Monday – Obedience, Sacrifice, and a Contrite Spirit
The days are passing, as the Life Pivot continues. Sunday morning I attended the Sacrament service on First Sunday. The previous day, two of our members were baptized into the community. And the whole community showed up to support them.
Yesterday, Sunday, those men were confirmed into the community by members of the church and the missionaries working with us.
An observation that comes to me over the past few weeks of Sunday services, is, why do people come to church, and be totally consumed with their phones, talking with their neighbors, and kids running up and down the aisles for the entire service ?
I sat with one of the men who was baptized, and his wife. We had struck up a conversation prior to service beginning. Once again, we are seated a few rows back from the front.
It is one of a few observations: One, whatever is going on up front is not interesting enough for people to actually pay attention. or Two, People are not interested in anything else but the sacrament, because it is only then, that people become, respectful, attentive and penitent. or Three, some come only to see and converse with friends.
Not really sure myself.
But I know that I did not stay for Sunday Lesson, because I was really pissed about the fact that something incredibly important took place, and many in the congregation,
“Could Not Be Bothered” to pay attention.
I have a problem walking into a church, where people who gather there, are there for other reasons, than to worship and pray. I go to church, to commune with God, to make the commandments true for me every Sunday. Too much commotion in the sanctuary kind of blows the whole idea of reverence. And makes me unsettled.
Then I get judgmental, and I become self centered, and then everything that I am supposed to be doing there, goes right out the window. Which is why I left after service and came home.
In my continued reading of: The Broken Heart, Applying the Atonement to Life’s Experiences, I am told that the Atonement is not just one thing, it is the ONLY thing that matters.
The premise that Adam and Eve, were in the garden, and were tempted to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. They did not know better, because they lived within perfection. After the fall, they entered human mortality. They had to know the bitter in order to understand and know the sweet. I could not find the graphic I wanted, but the Hero’s journey is very similar.
Becoming a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is not just walking into the building one day, and proclaiming that “I am a member now. Give me all that is due me as a member of your church.”
Joseph Smith spoke of the importance of one’s knowledge “that the course of life which he pursues is according to the will of God.” The Prophet taught that such knowledge is necessary “to enable him to have that confidence in God without which no person can obtain eternal life.” He continued …
A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things …. It is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God.
When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has for truth’s sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make his sacrifice because he seeks to do his will, he does know, most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not, nor will not, seek his face in vain…
But those who have not made this sacrifice to God do not know that the course which they pursues is well pleasing in his sight; for whatever may be their belief or their opinion, it is a matter of doubt and uncertainty in their mind …[And] persons whose minds are under doubts and fears cannot have unshakable confidence; and where unshaken confidence is not there faith is weak; and where faith is weak the persons will not be able to contend against all the opposition … and afflictions which they will have to encounter in order to be … joint heirs with Christ Jesus; and they will grow weary in their minds, and the adversary will have power over them and destroy them.
The sacrificial attitude is that we want nothing else more than we want eternal life. It is the attitude of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
In other words, You can’t get something for nothing …
Over the past few weeks, I have felt a change in my spirit. I have felt a shift in the way I see certain aspects of my life, and how, some of them no longer serve me. And the movement towards God, demanded movement away from selfish needs.
One of my Elders spoke tonight about Opposition. Where ever we are in our days, we get to choose what it is we believe, how we act, and the choices we make. All the while knowing that opposition always exists, as posited by the science of psychics.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
We were reminded, sitting in the building together, that we have choices to make every day, and his hope was that at each juncture of the journey, that we make the right choices, to be holy and to be good, and to honor God’s commandments, every day.
Sitting in a sanctuary with many people, some engaged, and others not, the one thing I must focus on, as was taught to me, is that I need to be there for me. To be there for my community, and my fellows. When others cannot hold up their end of the deal, the rest of us have to step up and be pillars of faith. Examples to our fellows of the reason we sit in that sanctuary every Sunday morning.