Thursday, September 6, 2018

Perish not

Alma 12:14  For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence.

Similar thought from King Benjamin:

Mosiah 4:30 But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.

King Benjamin says to “watch” and gives a list of things to watch.  Growing up I exclusively interpreted "watch" as “police”.  As in “police your thoughts words deeds etc…”  Because as Alma said, those things are potential condemners.  But what if we take King Benjamin's advice to “watch” but view it from a few other cultures point of view and see what it yields?  Say we go with the eastern philosophy of watching as in “observe”.  If our words and thoughts and works will condemn us then perhaps we should stop identifying with them. Maybe that’s what “watch” means?  Is to observe them but not identify with them.  All of us observe things on a daily basis which we are not necessarily participants of or identifying with.  But we observe them. 

Perhaps observing them creates enough distance between your identity and the thing that it frees you up to possibly identify with something else.  Like identifying with God’s word for example.  Seeking to become the fulfillment of God’s word just as Christ did. Since God's word is eternal that seems like a great thing to identify with and seek to fulfill. 

Continuing along those lines of being "freed up" by way of observing.  Identifying as, or unable to distance your identity from something almost suggests being possessed by or overtaken by it. Which is interesting in and of itself to contemplate. Being possessed by our thoughts or words sounds scary.  But what if we fall into that? Then we'd for sure want to start observing them.

If this approach holds true, avoiding condemnation would be a lot more simple than some belief systems have made it.  It would allow anyone to cast aside the nonsense easily and instead do the things Christ says to do.  Such as:

-Stop accusing other people*.
-Set a standard of judgement for others you yourself can pass. (Matthew 7:2)
-Stop identifying with crap that will condemn you (Alma and Mosiah verses quoted above) and see about identifying with the Word of God.

These aren't overly complicated or difficult.....maybe the Gospel isn't such heavy a burden after all.  Maybe it's within our power to perish not.

* I charged the Saints not to follow the example of the adversary in accusing the brethren, and said, “If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven, and if you will follow the revelations and instructions which God gives you through me, I will take you into heaven as my back load. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you. If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours–for charity covereth a multitude of sins.  TPJS P193

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