For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (emphasis added)
Lately I’ve been reflecting upon this passage of scripture from The Book of Mormon and asking myself, in which of these areas I am in desperate need of improving? The answer is, most of them. Life is one continuous process of striving for perfection and coming as close as possible to achieving it. I’ve had a pretty good pity party as of late because I’ve been unable to gain employment and this verse always helps keep me grounded.
Latter-day Saints are taught to look to the scriptures when they are seeking answers to life’s questions. I have found that the Savior’s parables, and the teachings given us through his prophets, are infinitely applicable to most every situation in life. During my recent pity party I was thinking, ” why is life was so difficult for me?” (Quick, someone pass me a small violin, I’ve worn my other one out). My mind was turned to the 122nd Section of The Doctrine & Covenants. It was March of 1839 and the prophet Joseph had been in Liberty Jail since December 1, 1838 and would not get out until April 6, 1839. During this time in Liberty Jail, Joseph received the revelations recorded in Doctrine & Covenants Sections 121, 122, and 123. D&C 122: 6 – 8 reads,
If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea; If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can’t you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb; And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he? (emphasis added)
Now, yes, this was the prophet’s experience. But just like Nephi teaches, it is advantageous to us if we liken the scriptures to ourselves. If you’re wondering how the teachings of Jesus Christ apply to being unemployed, I’ll let you work that out. For myself, I think of the father whose son was possessed of an evil spirit in Mark 9: 23 – 24,
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Faith is a gift from God and all things happen through faith in God (see Hebrews 11).
Anyway, just a couple of things I’ve been chewing on over the last couple of days.