Monday, August 27, 2012

The Search

Christ taught that the Gospel net cast into the sea gathers all sorts.  (Matthew 13:47)  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and agathered of every kind:

I think therefore it should be no surprise that in the Church we do find all sorts.  There are some who are content near the surface, there are some who venture down into deep water, some leave the net, some who just like being part of a school of fish, perhaps some who are in the net by default, tradition, or social status.  Others say they are part of the net but don't do anything about it, and some are there but try to chew the net apart.

The good and the bad all get sorted out at the end of the world. (vs49).  So being "in the net" so to speak is no guarantee of anything.  Our human minds want guarantees though, there are entire industries built around the idea of safety and guarantee's.  It's pleasing to a part of us humans to hear that you are part of something true as it leads to a sense of security and false guarantee's.  We love assurances.... and sometimes may cling to some that are in fact, not correct.  Were someone to point this out, it could be received with anger, and accusations, and labels like "apostate".

 James wrote in chapter 1 vs 5 "aIf any of you lack bwisdom, let him ask of God, that cgiveth to all men liberally, and dupbraideth not; and it shall be given him. "

Joseph Smith's experience with that verse offers another testimony that that it is true, so that makes both James and Joseph witnesses that the message is true, and therefore will work for you and I too.  I see other promises in scripture that are very appealing and inviting.  My own search has lead me to believe in, and have faith in them.  I think a lot of people have a desire to experience all that the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers.  The fullness. A desire to be in personal contact with the Eternal.  Most people I know have at least some degree of that desire. So I think there's a bit of  "a search" going on inside of all of us.  Each person is allowed to chooses their own pace.

In that search inevitably comes things that go against your beliefs, your traditions, your assumptions, and your cherished sentimental feelings.  We often hold onto ideas as if loosing them would mean death.  Sometimes our view of God, church, scriptures, or just life gets challenged, and sometimes for the better.  For some, this is a scary enough proposition to never press further into the Gospel, and instead play it safe by not investigating, questioning, or seeking beyond mainstream thought.  However they are ideas, and we should be willing to replace old darkened ideas with better light filled ones.  While if may be "safe" or "guaranteed" by some definitions to stay as you are, by another view that mindset could be viewed as "rejecting" what God really offered.  By neglecting to "seek, ask and knock" we may end up with the heavens closed to us because our actions show we prefer something or someone else.

D&C 88:32 says this:
32 And they who remain shall also be aquickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are bwilling to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.

Sometimes seeking for further understanding brings up sensitive things.  But that shouldn't stop us from being willing to discuss, and search a matter out.  Should it?  Are we afraid God won't support us? Anti literature, overly intellectual approaches, personal challenges, doubts, or a variety of other things sometimes lead away from the gospel net.  Or sometimes a person's search reveals new information or "dirt" on some historical incident, or some church leader which can upset the foundation of their belief.  Then there's those times when people just give up believing or don't continue to try and figure something out.  Hearing such stories I noticed causes fear for many people.  But if some fail in their faith, that doesn't mean that faith itsself has failed.

I think it's possible to search, ask questions, wonder, or seek answers but with a negative, doubting, accusatory, and or critical spirit.  It does not edify (D&C 50:23).  Sometimes groups of people form who do this, and it's worth taking a moment to see if the right spirit is there before being drawn in.  And lots of times the criticism or accusations brought forward are accurate.  Sometimes the truth is plain old messy or even exposing.  Refusing to see or acknowledge it doesn't help add light to our soul either.  We needn't fear the truth.  Fearing the truth or avoiding it just seems like another of the many ways to miss getting light into our soul. If we are to repent, which we all must, we are going to encounter things and ideas that need to change. To quote a friend: Isn't it curious how we adopt ideas like they are part of our anatomy and then refuse to give them up. It's like the ideas are more painful to change than cutting off a finger. That's quite strange when you think about it. Ideas should be welcome when they come and welcome when they are replaced by something better.

In the right Spirit, and with real intent I think seeking additional light and understanding is not only appropriate, but is what God intends for all of us to do.  And so we must.

A few quotes from Joseph:

I advise all to go on to perfection, and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Godliness…It has always been my province to dig up hidden mysteries-new things-for my hearers.” (History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 363)

Joseph also said of the Elders: "if you do right, there is no danger in you going too fast, he did not care how fast we run in the path of virtue. Resist evil and there is no danger.. God, man, angels, and devils can't condemn those that resist every thing that is evil as well might the devil seek to dethrone Jehovah, as that soul that resists every thing that is evil." (TPJS pg 226) 

1 comment:

  1. Well, I'm not even sure how I stumbled across your blog, but I have been grateful to read the posts on spiritual topics, and even those of a more secular nature. I'm a pilot, and have enjoyed a couple of the posts you had about ATC. In fact, at work I shared the one about institutionalizing error.

    I too am on a journey seeking further light and knowledge and to commune with the Eternal. I am grateful to have found this blog. I wish you God speed on your journey.