Monday, January 9, 2012

The Spirit of Christ that is Within Us

Today I read 1 Peter 1 and the first thought that came to me was actually about Abraham. In the Book of Abraham that Joseph Smith translated off the papyrus from the mummies he bought, Abraham mentions that all his troubles started when he desired to secure for himself the blessings of his fathers, namely the priesthood and saving ordinances. As I was reading Peter's words today, I couldn't help but wonder, what caused Abraham to desire those blessings? What made him reject the world that was around him and desire something better?

Peter gives the answer in verse 11, it was brought about by the Spirit of Christ that was in them. We sometimes call it our conscience. But that again begs the question, why are some willing to search out the things of God when others are not? Surely upbringing has something to do with it. After all, my daughter who is only 16 months old responds when we talk to her about God and tell her it's time for prayer. So upbringing is a significant part of it, but what about people like Abraham who are brought up in a world filled with idolatry and human sacrifices? Surely his father did not teach him the things of God. So what made him so unique compared to those who were around him in similar circumstances? What caused some people in the 50's who were taught that those who had black skin were inferior to those with white skin to reject that teaching and treat those men and women equally despite the times and circumstances?

Abraham gives us the answer later in his book in chapter 3. He has a vision where God shows him the pre-earth life and shows him that Abraham was one of the great ones, those who set themselves apart even before they had an earthly body, and was set apart by God Himself before he was born. We each of us come to this life with our own personality, anyone who has more than one child, or has ever watched children grow up, knows this for a fact. You can have two children grow up in the exact same circumstances, with the exact same family and be treated exactly the same, and they will act and react to the same circumstances and situations very differently. This is because we lived before we came here and we are all unique. We each of us come with certain dispositions and tendencies to this life. And some of us, are already predisposed to seeking out the things of God, as was Abraham. They can be taught something their whole earthly life, and they will never believe it because the Spirit of Christ that is in them will tell them that it is wrong.

Just as Peter, and before him, Abraham, said, there are those who diligently sought a better place, or to know the things of God. These people still exist. They yearn and pine for something more, something different. They don't know what it is, but they know it's out there. There are several stories of people when they hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints say that it sounds familiar, almost like they have known it all along. This is the Spirit of Christ within them resonating and confirming something they knew before but have forgotten because of the veil.

Those of you who read this diligently should feel good about yourselves because you too fall into this category. You have set yourselves apart, even from the majority of the Latter-day Saints, as one who desires something more. You desire to receive the second comforter and have your calling and election made sure. You are disgusted with this world and know that there is something better waiting for you. I sometimes wish I could be taken out of this world and all its evils. I wish that I could just carve a nice little corner out of it all for those who desire heaven on earth, those who truly desire to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But that is not the way of things and not in God's plans. He wants those of us who feel this way to live among the world so we can help make it a better place. After all, if we were not here, what is to stop the Lord from destroying it? The Lord withholds His wrath because of the righteous. That is His pattern. Always has been. We owe it to those around us to try and live the best life we can so that they too can be drawn to the things of God and we can help seek out those who also desire a better place.

This life is meant to test and to try us. We are meant to choose who we want to serve and where we want to spend eternity. Our choices shape who we are but also who we are shapes our choices. We come to this earth with a predisposition as we have discussed before. God will help us accomplish what it is we want, it is up to us however to determine just what it is we want. He can't help us decide that. Make sure you choose something you will be satisfied with for the rest of eternity because we don't get a second chance. Choose this day whom you will serve, God or Mammon, those are the only two choices. Choose wisely. Until tomorrow.

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