In general, the chemistry of listening is slower than that of speaking. In fact, sometimes we have to ask a loquacious interlocutor to slow down his pace, because we do not follow him. It is not about hearing but about listening and understanding. However, the view is faster than the ear. Describing what we see in words is a difficult task at times. However, doing is the ultimate and requires the contest of all the previous senses. It is not the same to read or listen to a recipe as to peel onions. When you have finished reading it you are crying on the cutting board.
Directing the orchestra of the senses with a good hand requires skill in choosing the moment in which each one is the protagonist.
Scrutinizing the scriptures represents a refinement of our senses. A pacing of the heavenly times.
In the institute class on Friday, December 14 of this year, we were able to carry out an exercise in this sense. The lesson was number 12 , Miracles on the roads of Palestine. Among the study material, we spend almost all of our time studying in Matthew 2: 1-12 . We read this passage and asked them what happened? the general response was a description of the miracle produced because of faith.
It is right.
The adjustment of understanding
In D & C 121: 45 it gives us a clue to the chord of our senses.
« Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presenceof God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. «
For me, a keyword is then . It is in the center of the verse and balances both extremes. One end describes what we should do; fill with charity and decorate our thoughts. Other what happens if we do it; strengthened trust and receive knowledge. But both swing in that word.
«Then» is an adverb of time. Adverbs complement the meaning of verbs, adjectives or other adverbs. In this case it is key because it tells us when all the things described at the end will happen.
It is extraordinary to check the symmetry of this verse and its language. Two verbs in their beginning two in their end. Meditating on this brings us closer to a simple idea: efforts are rewarded in their own proportion. But, when and how? To answer that, we have to deal with words that are difficult to accept as, incessantly and distill.
Doing something incessantly in time requires tenacity and will. However, we live in the time of motivation, not of will . The atmosphere that surrounds us is full of an idea. To do something we must be motivated.
But the Lord asks us to do something incessantly without getting, in the beginning, something clear. Until we get to your then . But the world teaches us that we should receive motives and then we will do. First see and then believe. The then of the world is not the same as in the scriptures. It does not try to complement but condition our response to things.
We were granted a time
Our current world, recognizes in time an inconvenience for everything and pursues its extinction. If you observe it, everything we see integrates the objective of shortening it in every aspect of our daily activity. Therefore in the world, especially of our youth, the meaning of this verse would be contrary to the arrow of time. The incessant disappears, and the adverbs are a stumbling block to the dazzling speed that all things must have.
«… that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God. « ( Alma 42: 4 )
That time of repentance is necessary for the transformation of the soul in the kitchen of the gospel. To fill the bowels of charity for all and for virtue to decorate us incessantly, it takes time. The slow fire of conversion is necessary to change the inedible into something nutritious. The result is a distillate, that is, a slow and progressive event. Like the dew it is a slow accumulation of tiny drops until it soaks the ground.
The lack of cuisine for soul food in modernity, is clearly seen in the lack of patience in applying their recipes. In our century, perseverance and will are weakened in favor of a gallinaceous flight over reality.
All too often we believe, in seeing the world, that the soul’s clock falls behind. We are impatient with that dew of the sky that takes to arrive. And so we forget that «And thus they all received the light of the countenance of their lord, every man in his hour, and in his time, and in his season» ( D & C 80:58 )
The study of the scriptures
If we abandon ourselves to the time granted for our repentance in the kitchen of the soul, everything changes. I do not know better place than the scriptures . In the scriptures we see and hear and in the old ones of paper, we play. A special kind of touch with the past. In his study all our senses work in unison. But we have to follow the arrow of time. That is, try to approach them from the far left of verse 45 . And in that way to pass quietly by the then of its meridian. With more or less ease or sufficiency. And wait patiently for that promised distillation of the priesthood doctrine.
As the years pass and my time treasury decreases, it costs me less to be honest with you, kind reader. If personal revelation does not do it, that of the world around you teaches you that most of your achievements and thoughts (97% certainly) will go with you. The personal study as well as the learning in the temple , are for our internal constitution. Only a small percentage can be transmitted by sympathy or radiation to others. But we all have the duty to share any new element that we synthesize in the depth of the core of the soul. Just like the stars do. Who knows if any speck of that lost dust will help the growth of a soul in the dark space of the world.
Te Saivor in Capernaum
Last Friday, we read Matthew 2: 1-12 as part of the class about the miracles of Jesus in Palestine. If you, dear reader, read these verses, I can ask you the same question. What happened?
When Jesus was teaching in the house, the crowd surrounded her. There was no way to approach
And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
The then of the Lord
Can we see in these four friends the then of the Lord? To do what they did was necessary to have charity towards their friend and not excuses. Also virtue in your thoughts. That’s why they had the strength and confidence to uncover the roof before the crowd. And get to the then of the Lord. A way to uncover, before all, their faith in Christ.
One of the students in the class commented, » Did not the owner of the house bother you ? That question showed that he was on the scene, watching.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
The Lord knew that they had not lowered the paralytic to forgive their sins, but to heal him of his illness. But that forgiveness was going to be the alibi of an important statement.
And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
Also by the faith of his four friends the sick man was blessed. Because something wonderful happened to the Savior and the scribes. The roof of the house opened to the sky and someone came down on a bed. This being an almost miraculous image, of what would happen next.
Let us now think for a moment about another outcome of the scene. Imagine that our patient is not healed of his illness and works his way through the crowd just as he came. Would there be a miracle? Would the faith of his friends have been remembered? Would that day in Capernaum be in our memory?
I do not think so. If I had been there, and I had seen that paralytic get up, everything else would have been eclipsed.
What is easier, say to the paralytic: Your sins are forgiven you, or to say to him: Rise, and take your bed and walk?
I asked that same question to my students on Friday. Because that question remained in the air of that crowded gathering. What do you think dear reader? That question is for our life.
The miracle occurred in his first words! «Son, your sins are forgiven» what happened next is so you know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins.
The miracle of Capernaum
Few in that crowded room realized the greatest miracle that Christ did. Forgive sins, writing them down in your account. Like the good Samaritan who carried a wounded man to the inn he left two denarii and then the promise.
And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. ( Luke 10:35 )
The forgiveness of sins was brought before justice. But everything was paid, when he appeared before her in Gethsemane.
Often, like those of Capernaum, we ask for a miracle in our life. Because of our illness or that of relatives. Our daily bread. Our just dreams. And that faith even leads us to uncover the roof of our limitations.
But there is a daily miracle. Sometimes unnoticed. The forgiveness of our sins that does not make us richer. Not more healthy. Neither more successful. And that almost goes unnoticed in our daily routine. Just mentioned in our testimonial meetings.
We, like those, are dazzled by miracles like the paralytic. When we talk about them we mention wonderful cures, amazing facts. And it’s good because he also did them.
But like bees hold the world silently. The power to forgive sins sustains hope and the promise of a future life free from all pain and grief. His forgiveness is the greatest miracle. Greater than regaining sight, more permanent than walking again.
The value and the price of forgiveness
The anti-Nephi-Lehmite people considered themselves to be «we were the most lost of all mankind) to repent of all our sins» ( Alma 24:11 )
Faced with the threat of imminent death on the part of the Lamanites, They ask for strength to save or resist, nor a miracle to eliminate the approaching death.
«…to repent of all our sins and the many murders which we have committed, and to get God to take them away from our hearts, for it was all we could do to repent sufficiently before God that he would take away our stain— Now, my best beloved brethren, since God hath taken away our stains, and our swords have become bright, then let us stain our swords no more with the blood of our brethren.»( Alma 24:11 )
They only asked that the miracle of forgiveness not end.
They approached that house surrounded by crowds. They opened the roof to seek forgiveness, not health or life.