1. Lack of understanding of the situation.
There are situations in life where one has a clear understanding of the danger one is in. I have lived some when flying in hang gliding. All caused by an error in my assessment of the flight conditions. At least in two of them I prayed intensely to receive divine help (Liahona 10/1995) because I did not see another that could save me.
To date we are watching the Thai boys trapped in a grotto four km away from the entrance. In this as in other situations we are aware of the danger when we are in it.
Having a lack of understanding at critical moments is an aggravating danger. It prevents us from understanding the need for a rescue. Emotional attachments can sometimes be fatal. To value more our property threatened by a fire or a tornado, that our life, can make us take wrong decisions.
A rope or a hand stretched at that moment can be rejected as unnecessary or unsolicited. Then the level of spiritual oxygen lowers slowly without warning and hinders the discernment of the good and the bad.
We are all caught in two deaths, but we do not perceive our situation, nor the need for rescue.
The greatest difficulty
Perhaps, dear reader, you and I suffer the same situation without perceiving it. We are in a flight forward. Time is on our heels and death will be the closed gallery where we will all arrive. However, most do not conceive a rescue plan and we accept resigned the end. We have become so accustomed to the dark and gloomy wilderness that listening to a plan of salvation proposes to our joints the forgotten movements of faith and hope. Conceiving them again broadens our heart painfully like the womb of the parturient.
That is why the greatest difficulty in accepting the Savior is not perceiving our desperate situation.
«O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit. « ( 2 Nephi 9:10 )
Now, while simulating a dilated youth. While the orography of our body suggests us to recapitulate and take stock, the world urges us to run towards the incessant desires that flow around us. The ephemeral pleasure received, throws us from one rock to another with an underground force.
But the Savior tells us: «… And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world;»( D & C 93: 2 ) and on the contrary, his movements are gentle because «the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. « ( D & C 121: 45 )
Even in the most terrible darkness, someone like Alma, experienced in abyss advises us
«Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save.» ( Alma 34:18 )
He saves us from the shadow of death, the one that inclines our soul towards despair, the one that accumulates our sins on our backs, that shadow that tells us «Son of man worship me» ( Mo 1:12 ). But sometimes his redemption is after a dark and dreary desert. Then we distrust and prefer the flesh of Egypt to the freedom of its redemption.
2. Do not listen to the inner voice
In Lehi’s dream we can read «And I saw numberless concourses of people, many of whom were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree by which I stood.» ( 1 Nephi 8:21 )
That natural movement from the crowds to happiness or to the tree, it is not learned, we come with it. It is the genus that directs little turtles to the sea without seeing it. It is an impetus in all living things to go towards joy and to nest in it.
The seed of Christ’s light springs up at any time and place. From the caverns to today. We are oriented towards him, the light of the world. But that spiritual North, named in many ways and painted in infinite styles, can be disturbed. We can stop listening to it.
Belief in God, as well as intelligence «was not created or made, neither indeed can be.» ( D & C 93:29 ). Faith in a creator, is braided in his work and in the original minds, without contrary teachings. However, unbelief is a belief that is reached by effort, after a rational process.
Jehovah tells us:
«… all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselvesabout with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled» ( Isaiah 50:11 )
Those surrounded by those fiery sparks, «and they are without Christ and God in the world; and they are driven about as chaff before the wind. « ( Mormon 5:16 ). They turn off the light that illuminated them when they came to the world, they are considered too simple by the enemy.
The old gears …
The crowds that Lehi talks about, those who seek the tree of life, are the people who follow their inner voice, not the conclusions of a reasoning. They perceive the sound of the ancient gears that the gods put inside us. That fine bronze sphere from there, leads us to the celestial North. And he does it in a «which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake …» (D & C 85: 6)
Today, that ability to listen is drowned in the zeal of this century. The orientation towards the light that accompanied the dead in his grave in the form of tools for the next life, now, that inner voice «… some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.» ( Mark 4: 7 ).
Thus, faced with death, man fights for his life, but he knows himself defeated. Some with stoicism and others without assistance do not have the old words or thoughts. Surrounded by the sparks that he himself ignited, the unbelieving man, who abandons the voices of his ancestors, instead, hears any noise and assumes it as a profound knowledge.
… who speak of peace
But a part of that voice «fell on good ground, and bore fruit that sprouted and grew; and he gave to thirty, and to sixty and a hundred to one « ( 8 ) and to all who take refuge in his arm, his mercy accompanies.
Yes, the restoration provides all those who approach the Savior with the ordinances and covenants instead of the premonitory weapons and food that accompanied the deceased.
Those ancient gears, coupled before the foundation of the world, provide us with the investiture to pass the veil. With stoicism and hope. With a fullness, which accompanies the same inner voice as in antiquity.
That inner voice that «[speaks] peace to your mind as to the matter» ( D & C 6:23 )
3. Partial valuation of the Savior
A great difficulty in accepting Christ is that we live in an environment where there are answers for everything. And if we do not have it, we look for it in the well of wisdom of the networks. That’s why most of us do not reach the valuable point of uncertainty. If we approach him we take the closest answer and close the question. That is why we surround ourselves with sparks of certainty.
I lived in the first row the truncated evaluation of Christ. Since I had contact with the East through the Tao te King , the Bhagavad Gita , or in the practice of Hatha Yoga, I was always concerned about the educated and correct equivalence that was assigned to Christ and Buddha. As an attitude of coexistence, it did not seem bad to me. But once alone he did not understand that smiling and educated equality. One thing is social relationships and mutual respect and another my pillow at night.
All these readings and practices aroused in me very positive aspects, but they were branches connected in a strange tree. They were different from the cultivated olive trees of the house of Israel.
The gospel and with more intensity in the restoration places us before God with a family bond. He is not only a creator but a father.
Buddhism is not a theist, man saves himself from the wheel of reincarnation through meditation techniques and eliminating desire. Avoiding the Karma of bad actions and ignorance. The human being does not have a specific identity, it carries a portion of consciousness that is reborn in each life for its perfection.
A time of syncretism
There was a time especially in the 70-80 that these philosophies, without a God in their doctrine, were followed with more or less intensity by many. It was not unusual to find believers in reincarnation and yet they had no idea of Buddhism or Hinduism. It was a reaction of rejection of the Christian tradition that failed to respond to the crisis of faith produced by the technological and cultural revolution of that time.
The «technical» and atheist appearance. The detailed description of the mental and spiritual processes of these philosophies gave a patina of scientism that matched perfectly with the explained world of science. The term energy replaced God and the word conscience the soul. Both words were present in physics and in psychology, which in all its branches replaced the previous religious guidance. Karma, with its action-reaction theory of our actions, was congenial to the principle of conservation of energy.
The achievements of their practices are remarkable. I experienced them myself. However, their roads and destinations have nothing in common with Christianity. And what I say is a bad statement for the members of the church of the politically correct. She who teaches that everything is fine, that everything is the same. Yes, that energetic invitation to ignorance.
The winds began to blow towards equalization. A desire to create an alloy with all beliefs. However, I did not understand the avidity for an equivalence between Jesus Christ and other religious figures. This subject reminds me of the myth of Procrustes.
Procusto was the son of Poseidon in Greek mythology. He had a house where he gave lodging to travelers. I tied them to a bed. If the traveler was larger than the bed, saw the limbs that protruded. If it was shorter, it would dislocate it until it coincided with the bed. It had an adjustable, so that no guest coincided with the size of the bed. Everyone had to go through the ordeal.
Matching the message of salvation of Christ with other beliefs is the work of Procrustes. Jesus Christ is unique in all his message. It has no equivalents or comparable. With the restoration, the contours of the gospel stand out even more. Labeling it as a product of thought, as a philosophy more, is to cut its message so that it fits in a politically correct mind. Yes, in that church of politically correct. That obligatory bed for every living being of this world, iron yoke on our neck.
Regardless of whether we believe it or not, the message of the Savior per se is valuable.
- Jesus is the only being in this world who has voluntarily risen from the dead. There is no other fact like this.
«That is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, to take it again» ( John 10:17 ).
- No one apart from him has declared that it is the way, the truth and the life of the world.
«I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me » ( John 14: 6 )
- He is the only one to affirm that his literal father is God.
«I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.» ( John 15: 1 )
- No one in this world has suffered the pain of our sins. No one has said to free the sinner by his atoning blood.
«For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they may not suffer, if they repent; «( D & C 19:16 )
- Jesus affirms «I am.» Our identity persists after death. Other religions abandon their own identity in a stream of universal consciousness. Like drops joining the sea.
«Thus says the Lord your God, Jesus Christ, the Great I Am,» ( D & C 38: 1 )
- The equality before God proclaimed by Christ founds the concept of equality of all men before the law.
«And he invites all of them to come to him and share in his kindness; and no one who comes to him rejects « ( 2 Nephi 26:33
- His ministry is the fulfillment of previous prophecies. His life fits into a vast and extensive plan with a coherent story. Christ is not a spontaneous event, but the cornerstone of a plan of salvation.
«Redemption comes by me, and in me the law of Moses has been fulfilled.» ( 3 Nephi 9:17 )
- The atonement of Christ is a singularity. Little understood and even less valued.
The enhancement and growth that restoration adds to Christianity I will not comment here. It is too extensive, it would be a futile pretension to develop it in this article.
At this time I write, all the young people have been rescued from the Tham Luang cave complex where they were sentenced to death. It has been an epic rescue, performed by heroes.
One of them, 38-year-old Buddhist Samarn Kunan, lost his life due to lack of oxygen, when he returned to take him to the young people. When Samarn arrived at the place where the boys and their coach were:
- They understood his desperate situation.
- They knew how to listen to the invitation to salvation that was proposed to them.
- They gave value to the effort that Samarn and his team offered. They understood that there was no other offer like that.
Once outside, the young men gave a thank-you ceremony for this man’s sacrifice and vowed to be good people for the rest of their lives.
A different attitude would have been incomprehensible. However, the biggest problem, our lack of understanding about our situation, drags behind it the wrong decisions.
Alma in Tham Luang
A young soul, tells us his experience of salvation to overcome the three stumbling blocks to Christ. Can you identify them dear reader?
«… I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.» ( Alma 36: 17-19 )Next article» The Propagation of the Light of Christ » Some reflections of how the light of Christ fills the immensity of space and at the same time reaches our own soul