I chose to Ponderize Mormon 6:17 this week as I think it has very modern application.
My past two weeks of #Ponderize scriptures were from the New Testament. This week I focused on one of my favorites from the Book of Mormon. I was talking with my wife, Kristie of Our Kerrazy Adventure, and we were discussing how we react to the words of the prophets and apostles. As we spoke about our day and age, I was reminded of the Nephite Pride Cycle. A few weeks ago we learned from Ezra Taft Benson about the importance of studying the Book of Mormon and looking for modern day application.
“O ye fair ones,”
Who is Mormon talking to, who are the fair ones?
In the context of the verse, Mormon was lamenting over his fallen people. They were just a few generations removed from a visit from the resurrected Lord. Now they had rejected His Gospel entirely resulting in their utter destruction.
Today we now a few generations separated from the restoration of Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of us pioneer stock have the journals of our forebearers during this time. We have their written testimonies. Yet there are many who have fallen away and even have spite towards the Church.
“how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord!”
How do we depart from the Lord?
Like a ship without an anchor to the ground is or a rudder to steer, we can easily drift way from the Lord without even realizing it. When Kristie was pregnant with our first boy she went through pretty bad nausea and didn’t make it to church for a few weeks in a row. I was the dutiful husband and stayed home to take care of her. Mostly that consisted of playing video games in my pajamas. We were new in the ward and on the third Sunday we got a visit from the Relief Society Presidency. As I greeted them on my doorstep in my pajamas with my game on pause I realized something; we’re inactive! Not that missing a few Sundays is a one-way ticket to outer darkness, but I realized that I was not moving closer to my Heavenly Father, but drifting away. I am so grateful for those sisters who dropped by. One of them ended up being Kristie’s best friend!
“O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus,”
How do we reject Jesus?
If our listless wondering goes unchecked, we can start to drift towards hostility toward the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his Church. The people of Mormon’s time rejected to words of the prophets and were even hostile towards them. There were periods of great wickedness, typically stirred up by charismatic anti-Christs. Today we have those who set themselves apart as charismatic detractors of the Church. They adopt messaging I have referred to as the Korihor Doctrine in a past post. They teach that the commandments are foolish traditions and flatter others away. As in Mormon’s time, there are many who have been pulled away and reject “that Jesus” and His called apostles. They are critical of the brethren and twist uplifting General Conference messages and twist them to justify their own dissolution from the Church. They seek offense wherever it might be found, even where it should not exist. They try to tear down the faith others and make them feel foolish for trying to do what is right.
“who stood with open arms to receive you!”
What does it mean to be received?
They Savior stands with open arms to receive us. It tells me that no matter where we are on the spectrum of faith, the Savior is patient and he is kind. If we repent and turn to Him, we can be forgiven. We need to be forgiven, all of us. While we may not find ourselves in the paths of antagonism toward Jesus and His restored Gospel, we will often reject it. We reject Him when we put anything between Him and us. That might be work, addiction, selfishness, or even apathy. We must remember that when we do fall, we can fall into His open arms of comfort and allow Him to lift us back up.
What did you Ponderize this week? Are you part of any of the Facebook groups that are meant encourage your efforts?