Today I read Ephesians 4, which is one of my more favorite chapters in the New Testament. It covers a lot which is good in my opinion. All too often when you read a chapter it covers just one topic, which is fine, but when writing a blog like this when you have already covered that topic 3 other times and that's all the chapter talked about, it can be a challenge to find something new to say about it.
So Paul starts out stating that there is one Lord, one faith and one baptism, one God and Father of all. As we have read in the past, God is not the author of confusion. It is only man that has brought about so much confusion and at times it would seem I cannot really blame them. I can easily see how certain passages in the Bible can be interpreted a different way by people. But I believe that when the Bible was first put to paper, it was as clear to understand as is the Book of Mormon. But with certain plain and precious truths being removed it now is hard to understand and people are easily confused by it and blown about by every wind of doctrine. It is comforting to know that there is structure and unlike the common opinion of today states, there is a right and a wrong and that God's way is not a way of confusion.
This chapter also confirms what we learned in the last chapter, that Jesus' true church is going to have apostles, prophets and evangelists. This is a clear indicator to the faithful of what to look for and how to avoid confusion. God, through His Apostle, is telling us exactly what His established pattern is. God loves us very much and He wants us to understand what His plan is. He does not want us to be lost and any way uncertain about what He expects of us and and what His plan for us is. It is very comforting to know that He follows His same pattern in all ages.
This chapter is another great example of the Joseph Smith Translation clearing up certain parts of the Bible that might be ambiguous. In verse 26 Joseph Smith changes the verse to read, "Can ye be angry and not sin?" There are certain sins that are extremely prevalent in this day and age and have taken over some people's entire lives and absolutely destroyed them. Lasciviousness or whoremongering, is one of them. Sex is everywhere these days. You can't even walk outside your door without it being shoved in your face. It's in our books, our TV, our music, our movies, it's on the streets, there is literally no place to get away from the constant obsession our society has with sex and the female body. But a close second is probably anger. I have never seen so many crimes of passion in all my life. People do things because they were "made mad" and it's supposed to be a valid excuse for some reason. People scream and yell and throw a fit when they can't get their way. Adults behave worse than my 1 year old daughter.
If we cannot master our passions, then they will master us. It is that simple. We will never be able to progress and become like Heavenly Father is if we cannot master our basic human emotions. We know that Heavenly Father gets angry, the scriptures are full of references to God's wrath being kindled. But it is extremely rare that He just lashes out and even if He does, it is well thought out and for the best, I can promise you that. As I have said before we are here to learn to master our passions. When we arrive they master us. Think about little babies, they get mad and throw a fit when they can't get their way. We have to teach them to overcome that. That is our duty as parents. America is full of parents who did not teach their children how to do that and look where we are as a country now. As always, if you struggle with this, Heavenly Father is waiting to help, just like our earthly father is. We only have to ask. Until tomorrow.