Sunday, November 27, 2016

Mormon 8:35-37 -- On Prophecy, Pride, and Possessions

"Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.
For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted."
Mormon 8:35-37

This is an interesting passage where the prophet Mormon is speaking directly to us.  It is a small part of his overall message, but this part is the clearest about him seeing us and our day.  I think it is an interesting feeling to have someone reaching out from the past, trying to help us.

One of the specific things he mentions here is pride.  And, because of that pride, envying, strife, malice, persecution, etc.  I look at what he has written about us, and I think it is right on target.  I'm not saying that we're all evil or that our cause is hopeless... we're not, and it isn't.  But I think we do all, often, have a pride problem.  We want so much to be right, to be better than each other, and to get ahead, which doesn't even sound bad until we think about the fact that it means we are leaving others behind.

He says we love money, and we *do.*  We want to be comfortable, and no matter how much we have, we want to have more.  Sometimes we want more than the neighbors, or our friends, or we play comparison games with family or friends, either trying to make sure that we're ahead in the game, or that other people aren't cheating by doing better than us. :)

We want to look good, and to have nice toys.  And those things by themselves are probably not bad, but as Mormon points out, we almost always love all of those things *more* than we love other people, especially other people that are in need.

Today, let's really think about the prophet's words to us, and take advantage of his reaching out to try and help us.  Let's not blow his message off as though it was directed to other people only, but rather consider what his observations mean for us in our individual lives.  What can *we* do to prioritize people over possessions?  How do we let go of our need to be ahead, and learn to share what we have been blessed with?  Instead of justifying our own needs, can we find ways to serve and help others?  Let's do what we can to get our priorities settled into a more Christlike pattern. :)

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