Friday, December 18, 2015

Helaman 13:25-28 -- On Trusting God's Perspective

"And now when ye talk, ye say: If our days had been in the days of our fathers of old, we would not have slain the prophets; we would not have stoned them, and cast them out.
Behold ye are worse than they; for as the Lord liveth, if a prophet come among you and declareth unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him, and cast him out and seek all manner of ways to destroy him; yea, you will say that he is a false prophet, and that he is a sinner, and of the devil, because he testifieth that your deeds are evil.
But behold, if a man shall come among you and shall say: Do this, and there is no iniquity; do that and ye shall not suffer; yea, he will say: Walk after the pride of your own hearts; yea, walk after the pride of your eyes, and do whatsoever your heart desireth—and if a man shall come among you and say this, ye will receive him, and say that he is a prophet.
Yea, ye will lift him up, and ye will give unto him of your substance; ye will give unto him of your gold, and of your silver, and ye will clothe him with costly apparel; and because he speaketh flattering words unto you, and he saith that all is well, then ye will not find fault with him."
Helaman 13:25-28

These verses are interesting because they pretty much nail exactly how our minds work most of the time.  It's so much harder to accept truth when it requires effort or makes us feel guilty or uncomfortable.  But it is SO easy to accept lies when people tell us that we really can have something for nothing, or that we can go straight to heaven without sacrificing our sins.  Who doesn't want to believe that life is easy, and that we are already good and perfect the way we are?  It's hard to face our faults and imperfections.  It's challenging to admit that we need to change, especially when we need help to do it.
Unfortunately, if we believe the lies, we're never going to get where we want to go.  Just like everything else worth having, reaching heaven takes some effort and some sacrifice, and requires some self-development.  It doesn't mean that God doesn't love us... it just means that God wants us to be ready for the reality of the afterlife, not living in a fantasy world where we're just naturally all that and don't have to work at it. :)  God knows what he is talking about, and his prophets have messages that are important and relevant for us today.  If someone isn't seeing the whole picture here, it's always us.  God painted the picture in the first place... he wrote the story.  We're in his reality.
Today, let's trust God's perspective before we trust our own.  Let's accept the gospel whole, without editing out the truths that we don't understand or like.  Let's realize that we don't yet know everything, and that we still need God if we want to get to that stage.  Instead of pretending that it doesn't exist, let's accept the discomfort and guilt we sometimes feel about sin and remember that we are sinners, and we need God's help to quit the habit.  Let's make the effort to change.  Let's listen to the words of the Lord through the prophets and turn away from the flattering lies that lead us away from God's servants and his gospel.  Let's accept the truth as God sees it, and then we can get to the important work of making the world better for everyone.

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