Saturday, January 2, 2016

3 Nephi 11:14 -- On Perspective

"Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world."
3 Nephi 11:14

What an experience.  I think that we all will get to experience this eventually.  Sometimes we get frustrated because we don't have some of these same experiences as people in the scriptures.  Looking, as we do, at their lives from the outside, it all seems so clear.  It's hard to understand why Laman and Lemuel didn't believe an angel that was standing in front of them.  We don't always see why the children of Israel were so tempted to worship idols or to return to Egypt.  Why did Jonah not want to do what God asked?  So many things that seem sort of baffling as we read them... but to the people who went through them they were real trials.  We don't have all the details of every event... scriptural history is just snapshots in time.  But I think if we imagine someone reading about our lives, we can see some of the disconnects.  Why did we make the choices that we made that let us to this time and this place?  Why haven't we solved this or that problem in our lives yet?  It's hard to see what goes on in our lives from the outside, and even hard to explain it to others who weren't there in our heads. :)
Two ideas then.  First, we *are* like the people in the scriptures.  We get similar choices and similar opportunities.  Sometimes ours are spiritual where theirs were physical, and sometimes the other way around.  We all have similar main paths and choices though... to walk closer to God or further away, and sometimes other people can help us see the choices more clearly because they are looking from outside our heads. :)  Not that we should trust in the arm of flesh (2 Nephi 4:34 and elsewhere), but sometimes talking to a good friend that we know isn't going to contradict God can be a good touchstone.  We're here to help each other.  We just have to make sure God comes first.
The other idea is that Christ suffered for us, and it wasn't just physical, because he suffered for our sins, and felt from the *inside* what it was like to be each of us.  Even at those times when no one can possibly understand what we're going through and no one gets it... he still does.  That doesn't mean that he gives us permission to sin.  Even through the hardest times, we have to do the right thing... but he does understand temptation and fear and hurt and sickness, perfectly and individually.
Today, let's look forward to the time when we will be able to be in the physical presence of God.  Until then, let's also build our relationship with him spiritually, trying to understand his perspective as much as he understands ours.  Let's help each other, and let's allow God to help us overcome ourselves and move forward.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews