When my grandmother Maria was with us, she paid the insurance company, the death insurance, on time. We all knew that, throughout her life, the amount of her dues far exceeded the cost not only of a funeral, but of five or six of them. I joked with her when the collector came, very serious, to collect the receipt. Now, my wife and I continue that tradition by extending coverage to our children. But we also try to be under the wings of the Savior.
In reality, we don’t pay as much for the cost as we do for the feeling of being protected, not just in our death, but in our home, car…and dental care. The latter belongs to another sphere, apparently our teeth are valuable incrustations of carved ivory, replacing them is expensive.
This aspect of the fragility of our life shows us that we live in a fallen world. The apparent bonanza of the present can disappear at any moment. The most beautiful smile can be broken in an accident. Insurance companies inspire us to meditate on the meaning of life, even if it is in their interest.
When we were married, I worked for a death insurance company. Death was an ally in selling, in fact, my best argument. In addition to the excellent quality of our services, I only had to help the client reflect on the fragility of our life. But that was not enough, the clients of the competition also died, so I ended up highlighting the quality of our coffins, they never fell apart.
Fortunately, our strong bonds with insurance companies are not valid beyond this life. Because with them «All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances…end when men are dead.» (D&C 132:7)
The risk of the soul
I find the advertising phrases of the insurance companies, almost evangelical. For example, a life insurance policy with the image of a small child «It’s not for you, it’s for him». This other one is shocking: «Our responsibility is to protect what you value most». And what do you tell me about this «Your house, your rules»… well, I would hire him already.
But why is it so hard to understand the need for a savior for the soul? We can easily deduce that many have stopped believing in her. But if what we value most is our existence, isn’t it a risk to find our soul in the end without assured well-being? We are more demanding for pilgrim risks such as the fall of lightning (in Almeria it does not rain).
The next question that arises is to insure the soul? of what risk? Who will claim responsibility? With what authority? These logical questions, applicable here, are hard for us to understand their validity there, behind the veil. Once again we accept risks that we would not take if it were the windows of our vehicle.
The soul has accompanied us since the beginning of the world, from its company is born the morality of humanity, from the debate of its existence, philosophy. Not to apply the care in its future conservation is a great risk. The Lord tells us that «and those that die shall rest from all their labors, and their works shall follow them». (D&C 59:2) Here is an explicit statement of the continuity of our deeds, there is no legal vacuum. As there is not a single exception in the universe where the law does not apply.
If our immortal soul did not exist, there would only be the fear of the law of men. We would know that this convention only governs our ways, but not our inner selves. From that untamed place, which we suppose uninhabited, chaos would threaten to spread anarchy around it.
A little buzz
From there, however, emanates the small buzz of a bee, it is our soul. You have to be very quiet to listen to it and be surprised. This nucleus of what we are is subject to the general laws of the world, which have jurisdiction in all spaces.
These places are indifferent to us, because they existed before us. The Universe is not poetic, it is a formidable predatory place. Even if we desire something strongly, the whole conspires for our end. All those colorful images of their spaces, which are in the background on our screens and in the collective imagination, are full of deadly radiation. To move it in its frosty bowels was a feat that only the Savior could do.
Our Father is the Lord and God of his spaces, but he has built a kingdom for himself and his offspring. Because the Universe is absolutely impersonal, it is not a welcoming place, it is necessary to urbanize it. Like a settler before the steppe, it is unavoidable to build a place where to dwell and protect ourselves, otherwise we would not have dominion, we would not be his children but his creatures.
Our soul comes with the mandate to live and the capacity to live forever, so it is necessary to ensure its future when it is not the atmosphere that protects us from deadly radiation. When our soul is exposed to the justice of the heavens.
The debts of the soul
Jordan Petersen asks us why we take care of our pets and yet many of us don’t take the medication.
Caring for the body according to the Lord’s standard causes us to find «wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures» (D&C 89:19) and one of those treasures is to find our soul by «to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.» (D&C 59:19) and caring for it so that the works that follow it are not burdens.
The continuity of the life of the soul makes it equal to the laws. We carry our successes and our faults. Thus, nothing is destroyed but transformed.
«if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish,» (Mosiah 2:38).
We see in this verse that the chemistry of the soul reacts to the demands of the law in the same way, whether in this life or the life to come. But this time the guilt, pain, and anguish we experience here are not tempered by the flywheel of a body. In that future place the transmission of pain or joy is instantaneous and in all its intensity, the conductivity of the immortal soul is total.
Those unresolved transgressions, with which we can coexist here, those that attenuate the memory with the passage of time, are transformed into a continuous present and not into the old indefinite past.
Today’s society relativizes everything, makes everything moral something conventional. In this way it abducts the human being from the universe and transports him to an imaginary world where only the desire for something makes the whole Universe conspire to realize it. But creation has more to do with mathematics than with our poetics of reality.
The Need for a Savior
I have known three situations where I have experienced the need for a Savior. A hanging from a branch in a ravine, another at 1200 meters flying on a slope with turbulence. From those two I escaped and we could say with luck. But I never escaped from the third one and I still am. It is the hillside of my sins and my faults.
I can’t ignore them, they don’t disappear. I cannot reason with them or convince them. My faults are mine and they are engraved in stone like the stelae of the pharaohs. And see if these last, almost eternal. I can attribute my evils to society as many suggest, to parents as I assumed myself. Even to genes as materialism commands. But ultimately you are the bearer of the sacred urn that contains them, the one that carries them on its back.
In our collective memory we continue to judge the dead by their works, even if we don’t believe that the dead live. They may be famous or unknown, but we extend the judgment and responsibility of their works beyond the grave. We may not believe in the immortality of the soul, but from within our own is manifested in the language of whispering souls.
Is not that judgment of history an image of the eternal judgment upon men? Is not our conscience the prosecution of our conduct? Is not the need for a lawyer before the law, for a mediator, inferred from this simple image?
We should shelter ourselves when we do not know the climate of the unknown city where we will go. Go to the one who «rise from the dead, with healing in his wings» (2 Nephi 25:13).
Let’s take a walk
I’m going to tell you something that happened to me. In this way we go out of teancum for a moment and take a walk. And… I don’t do this often.
When I was 27 years old I was transferred from a job. I went from armored transport to security at a mall. Believe me, it’s like being thrown from heaven to…not to hell, but to a place where everybody sends you something. I didn’t know what to think. I had been in that situation for almost eight months, and on top of that I earned much less than before. A companion came one day and cleared up the mystery for me. Javier (not his real name), someone influential with the bosses, spoke falsehoods about me.
At that age you have a body, not resurrected, but almost perfect, the endocrine and nervous system intact. So anger, indignation and hatred flowed without resistance within me. I had no control over that turbulence or the slope where my emotions rolled. It affected my family relationship and my overall mood.
I got to a point where I visualized my revenge on a daily basis and that alarmed me. But I recognize that it offered a certain pleasant warmth. That bonfire welcomes you at night, but it ties you with chains.
Exhausted and in the corridor of the frozen ones, I mentally said these words: «I can’t do this anymore, Lord, if you don’t help me, I don’t know what to do».
In an instant everything disappeared, a deep peace and joy seized me. To the extent that I had to go to the toilet to calm down and dry my tears of gratitude. When I returned I was astonished at the change, it was something impressive.
It was my Savior, he was the one who did it. I want to clarify, for those who doubt my story, that Jesus is powerful to save.
Healing on your wings
If I had not gone to the Savior, perhaps time would have fossilized my torment, I could be Javier’s friend over the years. Time is a therapy, but it is based on erosion not cure. Time files the edges of the wounds and heals them, but they can reopen and ooze the forgotten grudge. In this way it limits the mobility of the soul and creates reflexes in its behaviour.
However, the Savior heals completely, and sin, in this case mine, left no sequels, not even the slightest trace. Everything becomes gratitude.
Our works follow us there as they do here, from one day to the next. We sleep, we wake up and they follow us. Accumulated they will make a perfect attestation of our conduct and nobody will come out well unless he assures his soul with the only one who offers to do it. Our Savior, the Savior of all, even Jesus Christ.
There is no other offer of salvation in the whole world, did you know that? There is no one who has even offered himself. No one. He is the only one, he doesn’t need to compare to accept his offer. There is no other because no one understands our pains better than he, who suffered them all.
Under the wings of the Savior
In the new scriptures we learn the meaning of the wings, «their wings are a representation of power, to move, to act» (D&C 77:4). The Savior often referred to Jerusalem and the present world by saying «nations of the earth, how often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not!» (D&C 43:24)
There is nothing worse in the world than not recognizing our situation, our extreme need for salvation from sin. It reminds me of the driver who goes in the opposite direction on a motorway without giving importance to the fact. While he doesn’t find anyone, what difference does it make? everything looks the same. In the same way each one of us, by nature, makes mistakes and sometimes we live in a direction contrary to the law. And apparently nothing happens. However, the consequence in both cases is the death of the body or of the soul in the form of guilt, pain and anguish.
The Saviour is the only hope «unto you that fear my name, shall the Son of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings». (3 Nephi 25:2) He is able to save, to heal our infirmities. King David tells us of what he knows: «I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings.» (Psalms 61:4)
The riches of his grace
A few days later, as I was making my rounds at the mall, I saw Javier in the distance. I was coming to collect the cash from the central bank. I went at a brisk pace towards him. When he saw me he stood on his side with a serious expression, his posture was preventive. When he arrived I patted him on the shoulder and shook his hand. I greeted him and told him I was glad to see him.
His face was astonished. But it was no bigger than mine. I remember thinking, «Oh, my God, I’m really saying it! I recognized my healing and will never forget it. I am sure dear reader that you will have your own story. It is well to remember it and give thanks like that leper who was cleansed of his leprosy.
It is under the wings of the Savior «In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace» (Ephesians 1:7).