Thursday, June 25, 2015

1 Nephi 8:26-27 -- On Avoiding Mockery

"And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.
And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit."
1 Nephi 8:26-27

This is part of Lehi's dream, describing what was happening as people were falling away from the path and why.  Some of the people fell away because they were ashamed after being mocked by the people in the great and spacious building.  And usually I think of these verses as a lesson to those of us on the path, to remember to not worry about what other people say, and to remember that God is more important than popularity.  ... And that is definitely still a good thing to remember, for sure, but today I was thinking of it the other way.  How sad would it be to be one of those people in the great and spacious building?  I mean, sure, yeah... nice clothes, big cool floaty building, great view, lots of people watching out the window... but think about the whole restoration thing.  Do we really want God to give us back ... mockery?  disdain?  disrespect and disapproval?  intolerance?  Wow.  I don't think that is what *anyone* wants back in their lives.  And how empty too, to have that be who we are and what we do.  To be defined by our witty disparagement?
On the other hand, to be a person at the tree (the tree is discussed earlier, in verse 10), encouraging, loving, calling out to loved ones, encouraging people to find happiness... a better goal.  I think we get popularity and wealth mixed up with happiness and love sometimes.  We think that having power or money or popularity or looks or brains or talent, or whatever it is... we think that makes us better.  That people who aren't like us, who can't compete on our level, well, ... you know. :)  Mockery comes a little bit too easily to mind when we have decided that we are better in some way.
Today, let's try to remember that the things we really want aren't in the huge and awesome building.  We can't become our best selves by being merely popular, or rich, or powerful.  We become our best selves by turning to God, and getting his help.  And we definitely can't become Zion people through mockery.  Instead, we need to learn to love, and support, and lift others.  Today, let's head for the tree instead of the building, and find the most valuable thing in the universe. :)

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