Thunker’s Weblog


A Life Worth Living
September 15, 2017, 11:03 pm
Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, LDS, Mormon, religion, Uncategorized

Robert Wheadon-126x150

I’m a stubborn learner.  Usually, it takes a few times of me banging my head against a problem before some light seeps into my brain.  For example, it took me a long time to figure happiness out.  For years I used to search for happiness in school, or books, or McDonald’s Happy Meal toys.  Fortunately, I have finally figured out while I still enjoy learning and reading and the occasional double cheeseburger, my peace, my contentment, my happiness, are not anchored in those things.  I think we all follow the path of happiness = things at various times in our lives.  On a daily basis, we are saturated with media-driven promises of pure joy if we would only buy these shoes, or this car or that tweedle-thwacker, (whatever that is.)  What really happens though is we end up wanting more stuff,  and because Amazon only delivers once a day, the sparkle quickly wears off, and we are left winterized in our discontent.

Another common happiness trap is when we tie our happiness to people.  This is where we place the responsibility for contentment on the shoulders of someone else.  Usually, we place it on a spouse or significant other.  Sometimes it is a friend or even a pet.  Invariably, however, friends, spouses, and even my dog, Keela, disappoint and hurt us.  It’s not that people usually try to disappoint.  It’s just that they are busy and have their own lives to figure out.  They can’t be responsible for our happiness on a 24/7 basis.  How exhausting would that be?

I’m learning that peace, contentment, and well-being lay in two places.  The first place exists between my ears.  I know most of you think that area is vacant and ready for renters, but I can assure that my cranial area is busy and buzzing.  With what?  With my deciding to be responsible for my own happiness.  My contentment is my responsibility.  I choose.  Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness;  only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate;  only love can do that.”  The point is that if I am unhappy with my lot, I cannot drive it away with things that do not bring lasting peace.  But I can improve my lot by bringing light and love into my world perspective.  It is within my power to seize the day, (carpe diem,) or not, (carpe diem malum.)

The other source of happiness I think can be described by everyone’s favorite Biblical general, Joshua.  In the Old Testament, in the 24th chapter of Joshua, we find our glorious leader calling all the tribes of Israel together.  He then relates to them the story of the nation Israel.  He goes over Abraham leaving his father’s house, along with his father’s pagan gods and going to Canaan.  He then moves on to Israel’s time in Egypt and how God rescued Israel from slavery.  He then relates Israel’s successful crossing of the river Jordan, and God being the guiding force behind Israel’s victories in Canaan.  Joshua is reminding Israel of this history, in part, because there are lots of options on whom they can worship.  Israel was still very familiar with the Egyptian gods, having been exposed to the Egyptian pantheon for several centuries.  The people living in Canaan also had their deities, which were available for worship.  Israel had lots of options on where to go for spiritual contentment.  Joshua reminds Israel in verse 15:  “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” In practical terms, we know serving the Lord translates into serving each other with love and honesty.

So, let’s find our focus and our God.  Being happy in life is our choice.  It is not dependent on circumstances.  Happiness depends on you.

Remember: Be kind, make good memories and come back soon.

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Hi-na-nee
August 18, 2017, 2:07 am
Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, faith, LDS, Mormon, religion, trials

Robert Wheadon-126x150

Hi-na-nee, (הנה אני) is a transliteration of a Hebrew word.  It translates into the English phrase, “here I am.”  The phrase only occurs four times in the Bible, all of them in the Old Testament.  In Isaiah, the Lord assures Isaiah that He is present.  Two other occurrences are in 1 Samuel with King Saul.  The citation I would like to discuss today is found in Genesis 22:1.  It says:

“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt (try) Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.”

This is the story of Abraham being commanded to offer Isaac on Mount Moriah.  I don’t want to go into that story today, but I want to talk about Abraham’s presence of mind, even before he was informed of the trial before him.  Before Abraham knows what God wants, he says, “Here I am.  I’m ready.  Put me in the game, coach.”  It’s an attitude I don’t think many people possess.  I know I don’t.  The reason is that God could introduce anything!  When God calls, it usually doesn’t mean we are soon to be the happy recipients of $10 million dollars or win a year’s supply of Dr. Pepper.  I have found that when God calls it is usually to help me grow as a person.  And I’m rather stubborn when it comes to personal growth.  I like the way I am.  I make a mean batch of spaghetti, can throw a decent Frisbee and belt out a passable rendition of Love, Love Me Do by the Beatles.  How much better can I get?

If you ask God, apparently quite a bit.  And it’s the same with all of us.  Remember that one of the main reasons we are here in mortality is to better ourselves, to polish our souls, to buff the imperfections out and return to heaven.  Yet only if we so choose to let the Lord work in us that way, because He will never violate our ability to choose.  And yet, He even opens the way to turn towards Him when we choose poorly.

How do we get all shiny and ready to return to our heavenly home?  Usually by the things that we suffer in mortality.  Trials usually come in three forms: 1) Self-inflicted.  These are sufferings that result from our own dumb decisions.  There are consequences to our mistakes.  Yet I know from vast experience that every consequence from my mistakes has made me better and wiser and stronger.  2.) Out of the blue.  These are trials that come under the heading of health crises, lightning strikes and just plain accidents.  3.) Sufferings caused by the decisions/actions of others.  These are also trials that are not due to our decisions, but are due to the decisions of others.

While these definitions are pretty solid, they are also irrelevant.  The source of our sufferings is more a talking point for us than for God.  Our Heavenly Father is much more interested in our attitude and actions when trials occur.  To develop ourselves and our souls to be like Abraham requires godly faith and trust.

In Hebrews 2:13, we read: “And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.”

The English theologian, C.S. Lewis wrote: “There would be no sense in saying you trusted Jesus if you would not take His advice.”

The point here is that no matter what happens in our lives, whether our health fails, or a loved one betrays us, or our car stalls in rush hour traffic, how we react to our trials is a key to continue our path of becoming like and understanding our Heavenly Father.  The apostle Peter got it right when he wrote: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7

I’m going to remember what Abraham said when God called him.  He said “Here I am.”  I’m not going to remember what Abraham didn’t say.  Abraham didn’t say, “What now?!” or “I’m busy!”  Abraham simply said, “hi-na-nee, Here I am.”

Be kind, make good memories and come back soon.

 



Grace

Robert Wheadon-126x150

I’ve been reading the last few weeks on the topic of grace.  It’s a topic over-discussed, or it’s a topic where only fools dare to tread.  It’s no surprise, then, why I’m jumping right in.

The time-worn debate centers around whether faith or works grants us access to God’s grace.  Let me settle that debate right away and declare the correct answer is “Yes.” All better now?  Me, neither.  Let’s explore a little more and define some things.  I am defining grace as God’s ultimate gift to us, His children.  This gift comes in two parts.  One part is the gift of resurrection.  It is a gift given to all humanity.  All of Heavenly Father’s children will be resurrected through His Son, Jesus Christ.  The second part of the gift is exaltation.  Exaltation is the gift of living the life God lives.  It is being saved in God’s kingdom where He reigns.  Both parts of grace are granted to all of us through Jesus Christ’s atonement.  I sometimes get the impression that in our current world, Jesus Christ has become merely a spiritual friend, a cosmic counselor, or someone we mention in prayer because we were taught to.  Yet Jesus Christ is so much more than that.  He is the Only Begotten of our Father.  He voluntarily provided the way and means for us to return to God.  He has done everything for us.  He has provided the only path for us to overcome mortality and not be chained forever to the grave through the resurrection.  He has also paid the penalty we incur when we sin and distance ourselves from heaven.  In Ephesians 2: 5, 7-8, Paul wrote:

“5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

Because of verses like this, some systems of theology have understood half of what is involved with grace.  And the half is true.  Grace is free, granted by a loving Father through His Son.  But what about works?  Aren’t we supposed to keep the commandments and earn our way into heaven?  That sounds good, except it’s impossible.  It takes a simple, honest question to see how incompatible that idea is with truth.  Can we atone for ourselves?  Can we pay the price justice demands when God’s command is broken?  Can we call down mercy from heaven for ourselves?  If we were totally honest, we would know that is not in our skill set.  The grace offered by Jesus Christ is essential.  What about repentance, though?  Isn’t that how I earn heavenly gold stars and walk back into heaven?  Don’t worry.  That’s coming up.  Now it’s time to address the works part of this theology.  Just to make sure the confusion on this issue is clear, let’s look at what Paul and James write about grace, faith and works.

In Galatians 2:16, Paul writes:

“16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

In James 2:14, 17-18, 20-22, 24 we read:

“14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

 

Feel free to comment, ask questions, or tell me I’m completely off base.

Be kind, make good memories, and come back soon.



Law of Consecration – Book Review
June 14, 2017, 11:52 pm
Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, LDS, Mormon, religion

Robert Wheadon-126x150

The Mormon Theology Seminar has published another volume of scholarly papers. This volume, edited by Jeremiah John and Joseph M. Spencer, is entitled, “Embracing the Law – Reading Doctrine and Covenants 42.”  In Mormon theology, the Doctrine and Covenants is a volume of canonized scripture primarily containing revelations received by the prophet, Joseph Smith.  Each revelation is numerically designated as a “section.”

Section 42 is generally defined as the revelation where the Lord instructs the Prophet Joseph in the manner the poor of the church are to be cared for.  The revelation was called, “The Law,” by early church members, a contraction of the Law of Consecration.

Consecration, or the act of setting something or someone apart as holy, is the focal point of this revelation.  In a very general overview, the Lord’s plan was to have the early members of the church act as stewards over the properties they owned.  The stewards would retain what they needed for their needs and consecrate the extra to the church.  The church would then have the means to sustain the poor and needy.

The papers submitted by various LDS scholars on the topic of Doctrine and Covenants Section 42 cover various perspectives and interpretations of this revelation.  This collection offers a rich source for thought and additional questions of this 1831 revelation.  Let’s begin.

The first article is by LDS law professor, Nathan B. Oman.  Entitled, “‘I Will Give unto You My Law”: Section 42 as a Legal Text and the Paradoxes of Divine Law,” this article addresses the dichotomy of secular versus ecclesiastical law.  The question is a basic one in organized society and has been in scholarly circles since the 1600’s.  It is a question that continues to impact people on a global scale, with varying interpretations.  For example, in the United States, the UK and Europe, the division of secular law and theological law has been well established.  The division is not so established in Muslim countries where the Koran can form the basis of law.

For followers of any faith, the question arises as to what is more circumspect: to obey the law of your faith or to obey the law of the land.

Professor Oman presents the case that Section 42 is a document that contains both divine law, as well as a legal text.  The issue at hand is how the revelation instructs Joseph Smith to care for the poor of the church and to do so in a way that is legally in accordance with secular law.

As I mentioned above, the Law of Consecration involved caring for the poor by donating the excess of goods produced to the church for distribution among the poor.  One of the requirements set out in the revelation is that members would deed their property to the church, while still maintaining control of the property.  The question arose as to what happened to legal ownership of the property if the property’s historical owner decided to leave the church or was excommunicated from the church.  Did the departing member get the deed to his property back?  Section 42 declares that the property is retained by the church for the care of the poor.  It is no surprise that when Joseph Smith implemented the Law of Consecration, lawsuits arose from this very issue.

Professor Oman arrives at the conclusion that divine law is not a very comfortable bedfellow with secular law.  The two legal sources are not very compatible, mainly due to humanity’s lack of willingness to part with their worldly goods for the improvement of all.

Next is a paper by Jeremiah John entitled, “That My Covenant People May Be Gathered in One.”  Professor John is an associate professor of politics at Southern Virginia University.  The focus of Professor John’s paper is divine law and the reason for its success or failure in implementation among humanity.  His point is that divine law succeeds or fails solely on humanity’s obedience or apostasy of the law.  Law in theology gets defined as commandments and we then choose our level of compliance or disobedience.  The law itself is divine.  That divinity become effective only to the extent in which obedience is applied.  If the commandment or law is misinterpreted, disobeyed or ignored, then the blessings and celestial promises tied to that law cannot be bestowed.

There are several additional papers that explore some rather interesting topics such as teaching by the spirit, section 42 as a social justice document and the concepts of sacrifice versus consecration.  Joseph M. Spencer’s paper rounds out the volume with an outstanding article on textual variation in Section 42 and the Doctrine and Covenants in general.

All of the papers in this volume are thought-provoking and worth consideration.  Each article is unique in its perspective and well-researched.  I found it setting the bar for Mormon studies and Mormon theological examination at a lofty level.  It is a volume well done.



Humanity and Evil

Robert Wheadon-126x150

One of the questions that has bothered, bedeviled and out-right bugged theologians for the ages is the question of good and evil.  Specifically, the set-up is like this: “If God is the Creator, did He create evil?  If God is good, how could he allow evil to exist?  If he allows evil to exist, how can He be good?”  There are a host of assumptions going on there.  Yet point I really want to focus on today is the source of evil.  Do evil acts emanate from within us as mortals or are they forced upon us by exterior forces?

Sound familiar?  It should.  Christianity has been wrestling with these ideas for over 1000 years.  Early Christian writers, like St. Augustine, wrote voluminously on these topics.

Let’s begin with God and Creation.  In Genesis, 1:1, we read of God, or Elohim, creating the heavens and the earth.  In Hebrew, bara is the word translated as create.  The word also can be translated as to form, shape or mold.  Many Christians have been taught the tradition that divine creation means creatio ex nihilo, or creation from nothing.  While that sounds mysterious and ethereal, that description of creation has never made much sense to me.  And there is no scriptural evidence for it.  And natural law doesn’t work that way.   I have always thought that God, whether He created the laws of nature or follows the laws of nature, formed the Earth from existent material, more of an in ordine creaturae, creation through organization, than a creation out of nothing.  The approach of God shaping and molding physical matter into worlds, stars and moons makes more sense to my soul.

Flowing from the idea that God operates within existing natural laws and existing material, could the question of the creation of evil be the wrong question?  What I mean is that instead of taking the assumptive stance that God created evil, what if we took the idea that evil has always existed and is made manifest through the choices we make.  Like Jeremiah said in Jeremiah 11:8, we read, “Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart…”

I am not saying that humanity is inherently evil.  I don’t think that is what Jeremiah is saying either.  I think we have the divine ability to choose back and forth, one or the other.   Jeremiah is talking about the people of Judah at a time when they thought more of themselves than they did of God.  Jeremiah does validate the idea that people could decide and walk the path they wanted.

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So that takes us to the next part of our discussion.  Does evil exist as an independent force?  Or is it a construct of universal values and the conformity or non-conformity that determines good and evil?  A universal value would be humanity’s abhorrence of taking human life.  Or stealing.  Or lying. Or… well, you get my drift.  As mortals on this earth, whatever our culture, society or belief, these values appear to be rather universal.  When we deviate from these values, we cross the line from good to bad, light to dark, divine to evil.  Can we be influenced one way or the other?  In other words, can Satan and his minions make us be evil?  I don’t believe we can be forced to do anything.  However, I do believe if a choice is placed before us, there are powers of light and powers of darkness urging us to follow their disparate and opposite paths.  It’s our choice.  It’s always our choice.

 

So, be kind, make good memories and come back soon.



Did You See That?
May 5, 2017, 9:32 pm
Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, LDS, Mormon, religion

Robert Wheadon-126x150

Do you remember the old Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons?  Violence was rampant but the coyote never died.  (Thank goodness.)  Acme products abounded as Wile E. tried all sorts of devices and traps to capture his desired dinner.  He never did capture the Roadrunner, but I admired his tenacity.

One of the interesting things about that cartoon was the landscape in which the action occurred.  Set in what appears to be the American Southwest, the artistic technique of Perspective was constantly in use.  Perspective.  You know, the ability to express distance and space on a flat surface?  It’s how the Roadrunner cartoons could show huge heights and cliff drops, all of which Wile E. Coyote survived.

Perspective is the word we use to also describe our viewpoint in space and time.  This definition is especially useful in scripture study, as well.  In the scriptures we have the habit of taking a narrative and taking a broad brush to it, attaching values that may or may not be appropriate to the scripture narrative.

Let me give you an example.  Pete Enns, a bible scholar, related a story of an interaction many years ago with his then six-year-old daughter.  Dr. Enns was reading his daughter the story of the Exodus, of Israel leaving Egypt.  When he arrived at the part of the story where Moses parts the Red Sea, the Israelites escape the oncoming Egyptian army, and the Egyptian army is then drowned in the Red Sea, his young daughter asked a question.

“Daddy, why did God kill the Egyptians?  Weren’t they His children, too?”   Wow.  Talk about a perspective I had never contemplated.  And I’m glad I didn’t have to answer that question.  Narrative in the scriptures can be, and usually are pretty one-sided.  Take the Exodus example I’ve been using here.  The scriptural story rolls out in Exodus 1:8-14:

“8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.

9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:

10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.

11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.

12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.

13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:

14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.”

Typically, we would read this as, “Israel good.  Egypt bad.”  That is how the ancient writer portrayed the political climate and relationship between Egypt’s king and Israel.  In our 21st century perspective, we attach our values to scripture.  In this case, we would say slavery is a deplorable practice and the Egyptians deserved everything coming to them.

And yet anciently, slavery was an accepted way of life and did not hold the negative connotation it holds today.  Debts were paid through slavery.  If a person owed another and could not pay, the debtor could be enslaved for a period of time until the amount of his debt was paid in full.  Then he was freed.  Slavery could be a result of war, where conquered peoples would become slaves until freed.  Think Israel in 387 BCE being trucked off to Babylon only to be freed 50 years later and allowed to return to Jerusalem under Cyrus of Persia.  Slavery was a thing of that day.

Sometimes it’s an interesting exercise to think of a scriptural story from a different perspective.  In our Exodus example, imagine what the Exodus must have looked like from an Egyptian’s point of view.  What would the perspective have been from an Egyptian slave versus a Hebrew slave view point?

Life is never black and white and neither is history.

Which raises another question.  How do we avoid misreading what scripture is trying to teach us?  How do we discover for ourselves the truth that God is trying to convey to us through Holy Writ?  There are thousands of commentaries full of author’s interpretations.  More publications come out every year.  Don’t get me wrong.  Commentaries are great for providing context and historical background.  And yet these same commentaries are subject to the author’s training, belief and prejudices.  How do we know which perspective is what God really wants us to know.

I know of only one way.  It has three steps, but it is really the only manner for each of us to know spiritual truth.

1. Read the scriptures daily.  Just do it.  There’s no short-cut.  Just set aside time daily.

2. Pray.  Pray before reading.  Pray in your heart during your scripture reading.  Ask for God’s help in understanding.  Ask him to reveal to you the truth you need in your life at that time.

3. Ponder.  Think about what you have read.  Think about anything that jumped out at you in your reading.  Pay attention to thoughts that come to you as you think about what you have read.  The Holy Ghost, the testifier of truth, will bring thoughts to your mind and lead you to greater truths.

In John 15:26:  “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”

In 1 John 5:6:  “…And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.”

In John 16:13: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

It seems clear that truth comes from one source and that is from God through the Holy Ghost.  That is how we obtain a holy perspective.  Let’s read with a little more depth.  Let’s take a little more time.  Let’s find the treasures in the word of God.

Be kind.  Make good memories.  Come back soon.



Mysteries abound where most we seek for answers.

Robert Wheadon-126x150

Welcome back!  The title of this post is a quote by Ray Bradbury.  In my last posting, I shared some thoughts on choices and what drives our choices.  I postulated that the deep desires of our heart drive our choices and those desires are the true yard stick of where we are on our way back to God.  We are all found in different places on the yard stick.  And where we are in our becoming like God doesn’t matter.  It is our overall direction we are traveling that matters.  Sometimes we move closer to God, and if you’re anything like me, your movement is one baby step forward and two leaps back.  That’s okay.  That’s how it is supposed to be.  Again, if we are trying to be like God, then wherever we are on the yard stick is fine.  It’s the direction we are trying to travel that is the important component.

Behind this whole yard stick metaphor lies the motivation of our efforts.  What drives us to want to be better people?  Guilt?  Love?  Duty?  Habit? Reward?  I think the answer is “all of the above.”  And all of our choices are not driven by the same motivation.  For example, the choice to eat derives from a biological need.  We don’t eat out of duty or promise of reward, though I certainly, at times, will reward myself with chocolate cake.

Aristotle defined choice as, “a deliberate desire.”  Aristotle’s use of “deliberate” means that our desires are things that we have contemplated and thought deeply on.  We have deliberated on what moves us.  We may not always be deliberate in our choices, but the desire preceding our choices is something we are very familiar with.

Have you noticed how many things God wants us to do are the reverse of our natural inclination?  Jesus teaches if we are asked to walk a mile with someone, instead of saying we are too busy, we are to walk two miles.  If someone steals something, like a coat, instead of throwing the perpetrator in jail, we are to offer that person our cloak, as well.  If someone offends us, we are taught to not only forgive one time, but 70 x 7 times.  (You do the math.)

In Mark 9:36, Jesus taught his apostles about humility and serving with intent.

“And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.”

All of these examples show how God’s ways are not our ways.  I think one of the clearest gospel tensions is found in John 14:15.  Jesus teaches:

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

We have read and heard that verse our whole lives, but has the message in this short verse struck home?  The verse is saying that obedience is a sign of our love of Jesus Christ.  That concept is largely foreign on several levels to us as we were raised on the principle of individualism, independence and the worth of self through building up the self.

Obedience is bowing our will to another, ceding our wants to the desires of another, and changing our heart to match the heart of another.  My goodness!  That sounds like the soul of Christianity!  Obedience, when fostered with godly love, loses all of its negative colors.

James Kugel, a Jewish biblical scholar, helps reinforce what God is trying to help us to understand.  Prof. Kugel recently wrote how Exodus 32:16 has an interesting interpretative possibility.  In the Talmud, the rabbinic commentary on the Jewish scriptures, it states that the word for carved, harut, should be herut, or freedom.  The verse, which describes Moses bringing the Ten Commandments down from Mt. Sinai, would then read:  “And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, freedom upon the tables.”  This gives the sense that the Ten Commandments were not given as a law of iron, but as a law of freedom.

So, now let’s go back to John 14:15.  “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”  Again, we are back to desires and motivations for our choices in life.  What it seems we should be working on is divine love, demonstrated through obedience of God’s law.  And what is the Savior’s definition of God’s law?  In Mark 12: 30-31, the Savior clearly and lovingly teaches:

“30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

Thanks for taking a moment to read my thoughts and feelings.  Feel free to provide feedback or questions.  It is all appreciated.

Be kind.  Make good memories.  Come back soon.