Thursday, September 4, 2014

D&C 20:17-20 -- On Appreciating Perfection

"By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them;
And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them;
And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship.
But by the transgression of these holy laws man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man."
Doctrine and Covenants 20:17-20

There is an interesting idea in this selection: that we became sensual and devilish through transgression.  We know that "men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression" (Articles of Faith 1:2), so we often discount the "fall" as not really being applicable, at least in the "original sin" way that some others interpret it.  But it has some direct applicability to our lives, even though we won't be punished for it. :)
Because of the fall, Adam and Eve became mortal, and separated from God, and subject to death... and so did we, as their posterity.  We learn from scriptures about the resurrection that our bodies will be changed, and we won't suffer temptations or sickness or death anymore.  This was the opposite; they suddenly had the ability to be sick, and to be tempted.  It sounds pretty bad, but that fall also made it possible for us all to become like God... because we suddenly had a place to be tested, where evil would pull at us as much as good did, and where we could make our own choices and find out who we are.  Our natures here on earth are pretty evil... we want evil sometimes, or part of us does, and we have to work at it if we want to fuse our different parts together and choose God instead.  This sounds bad too, but it is also good... having to work for what we want cements our choices, and helps us learn and become stronger.  The stronger we get, the more we develop our potential.  The cool thing about all of it is that this is all according to God's plan to help us develop our potential and become happy.  Just like Adam and Eve in the garden, they couldn't really grasp the beauty and perfection and peace of their situation until they knew there was some other choice.  Discomfort, darkness, and chaos all teach us of these differences and help us to know what we prefer.  If we had remained in our state of innocence, we wouldn't have the potential to become like God because our lessons would have been limited, and our knowledge of the concepts of evil and sorrow academic, never having experienced them ourselves, and never having chosen one over the other.  God knows all of it in a real way, and by offering us this chance to experience it all ourselves, he gave us the potential to grow and progress a lot further than we could possibly have otherwise.  Kind of like our parents letting us out the door into the real world for the first time, he gave us the chance to be independent and start to grow up.
Christ's atonement solves the problem that the fall created, introduces repentance, and allows us to be redeemed from our now-corrupt natures.  But we still have to choose to accept it, and choose God over other distractions and temptations.  Today, maybe it will help to remember that evil isn't our true natural state.  Before this life we were good.  We chose good.  And just like choosing sin could throw us into a fallen state, choosing good can pull us back out, and help Good win the balance in our own souls.  Let's watch our choices carefully, and look forward to getting back to perfection, which we will now enjoy and appreciate so much more. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews