Thursday, April 7, 2016

Genesis 2:18 -- On Being Alone

"And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him."
Genesis 2:18

This is an interesting idea... that it isn't good for us to be alone.  I ran across a Harvard study recently that followed people's lives over lifetimes, and they were emphasizing how important good relationships were to happiness and well being.  This is a scripture blog, so we aren't going to discuss the study, but because I read it, it triggered some thoughts about why God would say this... because he knows that relationships are important for us, and that learning to love isn't just about some external charity for other people, but it is also about our internal peace and happiness.  I think the idea in general that we shouldn't be alone carries over into the rest of the scriptures, the rest of the gospel, and the rest of our lives.

This is one of the earliest truths established in the scriptures, and if we examine the rest of the scriptures after this while keeping it in mind, we can see that so much of the Good versus Evil and God versus Satan dynamic throughout is also a battle of Love versus Hate; Unity versus Divisiveness.  We help each other to be perfect... we're the classroom and the course.  That's why the idea of Zion... a perfect society with no poor among them is so important.  It isn't that we kick out the poor, by the way, but that we lift each other so that we all have enough.  Our ideal of Heaven isn't some power fantasy where we make it and get to be at the top of the mountain.  It is rather a dream of unity with our families, and a place where we know our loved ones will be, and where we encourage others to join us.  It's not about competition to step on others to make it, but cooperation to help each other over the difficult spots so that we can be there together.

Now, this doesn't mean that single people are lost by any means.  It's not just romantic relationships, and it isn't a condemnation of any person, or an attack on the way that anyone feels comfortable.  Some people aren't into crowds... me among them.  Instead, it is advice from God.  It isn't good for us to be alone.  We don't have to suddenly learn to love loud concerts or revel in the sardine-packed scene in Times Square on New Year's Eve.  But we should learn to reach out to others and develop relationships.  We should learn to love people outside our current comfort zones... however narrow or wide they may be.  Relationships are hard, and learning to love people that are different than ourselves takes a lot of work... but it worthwhile work.  It is important for all of us to learn about and love each other.  We need the help to build both the internal and the external kinds of Zion.

Today, let's let go of our treasured hermit ideals, and participate in real life and be social and personable for as long as we can.  And let's find a friend to practice with, to make things more bearable. ;)  Little by little, we can get there.  And if we're already gregarious and popular, let's remember that it's not good for any of us to be alone, and reach out to some people that are on the sidelines, and make sure they feel loved and accepted rather than mocked or excluded.  Let's be about inclusion and community... building Zion, and learning to extend God's love to all the people around us.


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