Today I read 1 Peter 2 which contains lots of counsel from Peter on how we need to behave and how we need to act. For example Peter starts off by telling us that we are as newborn babies in the church and need to start off with milk. His analogy is simply telling us that we need to start with the basics. And he is right. How many people do you know that were scared away from the church, be they a member of the church or not, because they wanted to learn and know too much, too quickly? I have personally known more than one person to leave the church because they went to the temple before they were ready. Not everyone progresses at the same pace and so we need to recognize that fact and need to try and accommodate them as best we can.
Peter goes on to remind us that we are a chosen generation, a peculiar people. I know several people that have taken that phrase to be a stumbling block. They don't want to be a peculiar people. Although the footnote at the bottom tells us that the original Greek word that was used denotes special possession, I still prefer peculiar. We talked just the other day about the world and how the world acts. Do we really want to be a part of the world, when we see how they are? I challenge you to find me a popular show on television that in a season of production does not feature alcohol in some fashion. It's EVERYWHERE! We are a nation of closet alcoholics. So many people don't know how to function without liquor. Do we really want to be associated with that? Or would we rather be apart from it and be seen as different?
Again, I challenge you to find me a popular show on television that does not prominently feature sex. You can't do it unless you go looking in places like the Food Network or the Home and Garden channels. Popular, prime time TV features sex as one of its cornerstones of television. And 99% of the time, the sex featured is not between a husband a wife. It is either a spouse having an affair, or unmarried people having sex. Again, why would we want to be a part of that? Why would we want to be seen as taking part in that? I personally am proud to be different and seen as not part of that. I would shudder if I were a part of that honestly. It horrifies me that my daughter is going to grow up in this world and be exposed to all of this junk and garbage that is on the television. And even if I were to get rid of the TV and never expose her to it, she would still hear about it as she goes out into the world because the music is just as bad! No, I much prefer to take pride in Peter's statement that we are a peculiar people because I don't want to be associated with the world, at all!
Peter next moves on to tell us to be subject to worldly governments. This is a topic we have covered before but it is good to remind ourselves of it. As Latter-day Saints, we believe in being subject to worldly governments and in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law. This means even if we don't like the government, or the president, or the vice president or who ever we happen to have a problem with, we still need to honor the law and obey it. We should not be the type of people who despise police officers just because they are cops. They are here to protect us and make sure we are obeying the law. And honestly, I shudder to think what most of the world would do without them. We see it every time there is a natural disaster, people loot and destroy with wanton abandon. Last year in Alabama, where I live, we had several severe tornadoes all on the same day that left us without power for 8 days. As a result, the city instituted a curfew for everyone safety and protection. When the power came back on, we were told that there was a group of people who had come up from Florida for the sole purpose of looting the stores! Luckily, because of the curfew, they were caught and arrested before they could do any damage, but I couldn't believe it! What kind of horrible people take advantage of a whole city like that? This is why we need government to help keep people like that in line. There are those who I think would obey God's laws and do what is right regardless, but there are most certainly those who only obey the law out of fear of going to jail.
Peter's last counsel is to bear all our afflictions with patience. This sounds exactly like what God told Joseph Smith when he was in Liberty Jail. Our suffering is but a small moment and if we endure it well, we will be exalted. This is easier said than done, but we have LOTS of opportunities to practice it. The one thing we are not short on in this life, is trials. We have them so that we can learn to bear them with patience and overcome whatever short comings we might have that trials can help us overcome, like a bad temper or impatience. As we endure them well, God will bless us.
There is a lot of great counsel from Peter in this chapter and I have tried to capture most of it, but I would really encourage everyone to read it themselves as I'm sure the Spirit will touch them and teach them what they need to know in their lives. I know He did for me! Until tomorrow.