Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Christmas Gift

Years ago I was a Houston Police Officer; some of that time was spent directing traffic. I’d report to my assignments at the appointed time prior to evening rush hour where I would assist drivers on their way home, facilitating the limited amount of asphalt and concrete to as many vehicles as would fit safely.

Most folks knew where they were going and didn’t need directions so much as they wanted to get there as quickly as possible while others; let’s just say they needed lots of help. I actually had to reach inside one woman’s car to help her tug on the steering wheel to complete a turn; no, not making this up. I explained, in a pleasant and reverent tone out of respect for her golden years, that perhaps it was time to retire her driving privileges as a matter of safety for herself and the rest of the public.

I heard one of the leaders of my church speak one time, referring to a specific event that bothered him enough to put it in his journal. He’d observed a young man hitchhiking along the roadside, his thumb high in the air. Upon stopping and rolling down his window he asked where he was headed and it was the reply given by the young man which is the topic I’ve decided to work on today.

“Anywhere is fine.” The answer indicated the young man had no direction in his life; a leaf blown by the winds of chance would determine his destination. That was disturbing enough for me to have remembered it all these years.

I think we all have, at one time or another, been without direction in our lives. Other times we are headed in the wrong direction and, without assistance, will find we’ve wasted considerable time and effort which, at the very least, cause us to expend extra efforts in order to get back on the right road or worse, keep us from reaching a safe destination.

I read quite a few articles written by intelligent and skilled bloggers. I find our core beliefs often times at odds, sometimes to the point where I wonder how we could be living in the same country.

I live in the United States of America, land of the free and home of the brave, a nation where it was stated for all the world we could assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, and …We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness; that United States of America.

I find it convenient for my associate bloggers to proclaim their agency, natural rights or individual spontaneity without regard for the source from whence such came. I covered this quite some time back when I wrote, Author of Liberty.

“If we are then to use the word inherent within the context of any discussion of rights then it must first be expressed somewhere, “From whom are we to inherit?” Who is it that has the ability to create such characteristics and to have the power necessary to propagate characteristics? Maybe I should restructure the question; In who’s image are we created after that we might be heirs?”

I then included scripture, oh my gosh; ancient text recorded and supposedly at the direction of God. The simple inclusion of such controversial text was enough to have many readers make a quick exit to some other page on the Internet, one with some semblance of intelligence, one without scripture or other cultist literature.

“…For shall the work say of him that made it, he made me not? Or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, he had no understanding?” (2 Nep 27:27)

I’ll go a step further and require those who claim their rights, as outlined in our Declaration of Independence, to provide the source of those rights. If they did not come from our Creator, Nature’s God as indicated; did these rights spring from out of the ground and if so by what power? At some point the source of rights must be determined or it is safe to say that rights aren’t unalienable. Rights then are mere figments of our imagination or delusions offered up as vagaries to satisfy our own vanity.

If God or some superior being did not provide the citizens of the United States of America with rights then we are no better off than any other nation; dependent upon the benevolence of other men who claim power over us; thank God we are different.

I was reading from the Book of Mormon earlier this afternoon, Mosiah 2:20-25, where the most basic obligations of man to God were explained. These folks lived under a benevolent king, a king who understood they would be better off in a pure democracy and yet accepted his role with total humility as an equal to those he served in the sight of God. How much better off should we be as a people, we here in the United States of America, where our nation was founded specifically with respect to our God, each individual equal and without station?

I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—

21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.

24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do,he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?

25 And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.

All we need do is remember God and keep His commandments. Many of our most successful individuals, those who have benefited greatly from the blessing bestowed from God, have proven either forgetful of ignorant of His requirements. Our founding fathers considered the commandment to be important, having their likeness built into some of our national structures; the Supreme Court building comes to mind. How convenient to have prospered first and then forgotten Him who has provided such bounties.

I read more, Alma 11:21-22, where a group of lawyers were attempting to prevent messengers of God from spreading the Gospel. Imagine, attorneys aligning themselves against God, has it always been so?

And this Zeezrom began to question Amulek, saying: Will ye answer me a few
questions which I shall ask you? Now Zeezrom was a man who was expert in the devices of the devil, that he might destroy that which was good; therefore, he said unto Amulek: Will ye answer the questions which I shall put unto you?

22 And Amulek said unto him: Yea, if it be according to the Spirit of the Lord, which is in me; for I shall say nothing which is contrary to the Spirit of the Lord. And Zeezrom said unto him: Behold, here are six onties of silver, and all these will I give thee if thou wilt deny the existence of a Supreme Being.

I’ll not include all that was written, suffice that Amulek was able to confound Zeezrom with pure language before all who witnessed the event. Read the entire text, two or three chapters for a more complete understanding of what transpired; which include one of my “Gospel in a nutshell” set of verses.

And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of
earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last;

40 And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else.

I started this article with an explanation of how I was a traffic cop who assisted folks, often times giving directions that would aid them as they tried to make their way home. Is it not equally important, an understatement if ever there was one, to gain a sense of direction which will provide a means of returning home to our Father in Heaven? I offer direction in a world full of conjecture and confusion; this is my gift to you this Christmas time.

(I tried to correct the font size "adjustments" with each attempt making it worse, sorry for making you use those Varilux Lens glasses so much)

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