Saturday, April 26, 2014

26 April 2014

This week I am going to go somewhat afield from my normal documentary memo to discuss a topic that I think applies universally to Homo Sapiens. I say that because I have noticed this, I will call it a “quirk” for lack of a better term, in many groups or individuals I have spoken to. It seems to be that it causes a great confusion to the brain as if it is foreign and mystifying; a synonymous and yet diametrically opposite concept that, when addressed, cause a stupor of thought as if it had never been considered before; and yet, perhaps should have been an obvious consideration all along.
If one was to take a survey by asking people in all countries and in all walks of life if they believed in a supreme being, the majority would answer, yes. It is true that the definition of that Supreme Being would take on many descriptions and characteristics, but whatever it turned out to be, it would define some concept of divine power and omniscience supremacy. Ultimately, this being is believed to be there to protect and bless us; to reward us for our obedience to him(?)  
As we begin teaching our classes on the principle of self-reliance, I stated that self-reliance has to be considered in reference to the spiritual and temporal point of view. It is common, almost prevalent, that when it is asked what the term “self-reliance” pertains to, the response will be that it means to be temporally reliant. That is, to be able to provide for your own food, clothing, housing, etc. It is then pointed out that, for those who believe in a Supreme Being, that, if in fact we expect His help in being temporally self-reliant, we must also be spiritually self-reliant. In other words, our spiritual life has to be grounded in that Supreme Being.
 In our particular case, because we are Christians and believe that Christ is that Supreme Being that we worship, I ask if they (the class members) “believe in Jesus Christ?” If they do, I ask them to raise their hand to signify that they do. Invariably, the entire class will promptly raise their hand. They are immediately commended for their emphatic trust and affirmation and then they are asked if they “believe Him”? Emphasis is given to the term “believe Him.”  Again, if they can affirm that they believe Him, they are asked to signify by raising their hand. It is at this juncture that the mind, in many, becomes confused. A few hands are raised spontaneously and others are raised jerkily as the individual looks around at their neighbor to determine what they should do.
To push the point, one of whom raised their hand in affirmation is asked what it means to believe Christ? The responses will vary from a definition of who He is to what He has done. Some respond that there is no difference in the question, that they are the same; to believe in Christ is the same as to believe Him. Obviously, a small amount of semi-serious thought will illustrate that that is not true. However, I believe that the majority of Christians are at that cross roads and are indecisive as to which road to take. The sad thing is that they don’t consider it important.
Let me illustrate. I can believe that Christ was born into the world, was crucified and resurrected. That is an easy step if I believe what is recorded in the bible – the written foundation of Christianity. However, it is quite another thing to believe that He can, and will, do everything that is indicated in that same book. For instance, will He really open up the windows of heaven and pour out blessings upon me “that there will not be room enough to receive it”, as is promised if I pay tithing? Or, is paying tithing a waste of my money; a whimsical, unfounded hope that I will get something in return?  Will He really bless me with all the necessities of life if I keep the Sabbath Day holy? Is your response I hope so, or an affirmative, Yes? If it’s I hope so, then you don’t “believe” Him. There is hesitation and doubt instead of complete trust that He can, and will, do what He says He will do and therefore, the blessings attached to that law are withheld because of our lack of faith, (trust & confidence) in Him. The concept is easy so why is there so much hesitancy to try Him, to prove Him?
He has created the earth and everything in it; gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf; fed thousands by His word; caused bread to rain from heaven; moved mountains, calmed storms and turned stones into light. So why is it that when He says that He will help us to provide for all our needs and even become rich, if that is our righteous desire, we don’t trust that He will do it?
My point of dwelling on this point with the class members is that if they don’t have a firm conviction in them that He is who He says He is and will do what He says He will, then He cannot help them. Why? The answer is because they will not have the determination to go forward in complete faith which is required to succeed. The position that there is no opportunity to get a proper education, there is not an adequate supply of jobs, they have no skills, or that there are no resources available to allow them to be successful, are all false. No one was sent to this earth to fail but rather, to succeed. The Lord said, “.the earth is full, and there is enough, and to spare…” He has given us the whole earth and everything on it and in it for our use – we simply have to choose how we are going to use those resources to meet our needs and desires. Therefore, if we “believe” Him, and I do, the only thing stopping anyone from being temporally self-reliant is that they are not spiritually self-reliant or that they are too lazy to utilize the resources given to them. Hence, the choice is ours. We can either be self-reliant or we can remain on the dole system allowing others to provide for our needs. And, once the handouts begin coming forth, the dole becomes an entitlement.

This video illustrates the concept of "believe Him" as discussed above.

                PURE AND SIMPLE FAITH


  1. Angie, I have enjoyed so much catching up on your last year since I finally got a new computer that works. I have been showing Mama pictures and reading some of your blog to her. The video of you two being interviewed was very interesting, also. So happy for you and proud of the work you are doing. I'll keep reading to catch up with the whole mission. Glad you are doing the blog. I had no idea you could get to it from Facebook. Mark's kids are helping tutor me a little when I pin them down. Did you hear that Emily Duren is going on a mission in July to Provo, Utah - but Spanish speaking? She will go to train in Mexico after reporting to the mission training center. The older Smith boy was called to Brazil. Cameron Dyal will be doing an internship out at the Timco airplane place in Lake City and his baby will be born while they are here. You can imagine how thrilled his mother is. I don't know if all the world can see this, but I hope not. Love to you both. Linda (still kayaking)

  2. Uncle Lee, enjoyed your comments and if I have to give a talk on self reliance one day, hope to steal from it. There is one point you missed though. Sometimes we are given physical problems which keep us from being add self reliant as we might wish to be. I'm sure these problems are given to teach us further. Humility and patience are just two virtues that get worked on in such instances.