Tuesday, November 3, 2015

D&C 25:7-10 -- On Seeking the Better World

"And thou shalt be ordained under his hand to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit.
For he shall lay his hands upon thee, and thou shalt receive the Holy Ghost, and thy time shall be given to writing, and to learning much.
And thou needest not fear, for thy husband shall support thee in the church; for unto them is his calling, that all things might be revealed unto them, whatsoever I will, according to their faith.
And verily I say unto thee that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better."
Doctrine and Covenants 25:7-10

This was a revelation given to Emma Smith, and it is an interesting one, talking about what the Lord wanted her to do with his power.  It's a different thing than he was asking her husband, the prophet, to do, but there are a lot of similarities.  He specifically tells her she will have the power to expound scripture and exhort the church, and that her time should be given to writing and learning.  I think this is a cool reassurance to us that we all have different callings and purposes.  Hers didn't need to be the same as her husband's, but it was also important, and worthy of individual revelation from God.  The part that applies to us all equally, I think, is the last verse which asks us to lay aside the things of this world and seek for the things of a better world.  The world to come.
It's hard in this world to focus on the long-term.  We so often make decisions based on now, or 5 minutes from now, ignoring the consequences that will happen later... figuring we can deal with them some other time.  But things snowball and build up, and they can get harder and harder to deal with down the road.  A choice we make today might make us despair in a few years, and wish that we hadn't made the mistake in the first place.  When God asks us to seek the things of a better world, he isn't necessarily telling us to ignore where we live or what we are doing.  He is saying, let go of those immediate and limited objectives and desires.  Look farther ahead.  Work for the better world, not the short-term payoff.  And that's one of the reasons that God asked Emma to use his power in her life the way that he did.  She needed to invest in learning, in the scriptures, in the church, and in writing, for the long term goals that he had in store for her... which of course didn't mean that she couldn't do good in the short term as well, learning as she went... only that she needed to put the better world first, and make it her priority.
For us as well, God is always looking ahead, asking us to write in our journals, graduate from seminary, "obtain [his] word" (D&C 11:21), calling us to give talks, stressing the church education fund and other educational programs, etc.  And individually, he might ask us to learn other things related to our talents, and expand in different ways.  As it says in Matthew 6:33, if we seek God's kingdom first, then all the rest will be added in.  Today, let's take the long view.  Let's seek the things of a better world, and put God's kingdom first.  Let's let go of our short-term current world goals wherever those things don't match up.  As we do, we're be building a better world... a Zion... God's kingdom.  And God will bless us with the things that we need to learn and grow and continue to look ahead.

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