Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Leaving UR

I have been considering all the ways that I can learn from Abraham following the directions from the Lord to leave Ur. 

As I sit in my car giving my son a few more min. Of sleep before I walk into the Liberty Jail Site, I reflect on not just Abraham but Moses, Lehi, and all the New Testament Apostles, plus our beloved Joseph Smith. Each disciple of Christ has a commonality  that allows them the ability to not just inwardly manifest their devotion, but also outwardly manifest their love and devotion to Him, through following His Divine instructions that sometimes require extreme hard ships.

Genesis 12:
1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.

What is the commonality? They loved God with a desire that led to action. Actions that drove them to follow His instructions. 

My daughter Brooke explained this exactly right this morning upon finding out that we were going to visit church sites. She was hesitant. She explained that she did not want to see the places that our pioneers of our church died. She said " that is sad, I think it would be better to just read the Doctrine and Covenants and show them we care about them by reading what came of it, the scriptures."

She understands and has the kind if love for God that leads to action. The actions of following the commandments and doing things that are difficult, but none the less directed by God, is how we honor Him best, just like she thought that would honor them best...by reading their scriptures.

A talk titled " Refusing to Worship Graven Images Today " explains the cause of loving God less than we should:

The second of the Ten Commandments the Lord gave to Moses is “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.” (Ex. 20:4.) While this commandment was initially given to fortify Israel against the idolatry rampant in the land of Canaan, it has great application for us today. 

Since the Lord has not rescinded the commandment, we need to look at our lives and see if we are worshiping graven images. There are “golden calves” all around today

—tangible images like cars, and others that are more intangible. When anything wastefully dominates our time, compromises our loyalty, or confuses our priorities so that God and his work become second, we are flirting with idolatry.
“The phrase ‘before me’ in the familiar translation ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me’ is the Hebrew phrase‘al-panai, which means ‘in front of’—either to the exclusion of another or ‘in preference,’ or ‘in addition to.’ The meaning is clear: those who worship the Lord should not make or adopt any other object to worship.” 1
In both the first and second commandments, we are taught not to put anything above God in our lives. We understand, of course, that the Lord is pleased to bless us with material necessities and pleasures. The problem comes when we worship the created instead of the Creator. What, then, are the consequences of modern idolatry, and how can we guard against breaking this commandment?

Golden Calves Today

President Spencer W. Kimball wrote: “There are unfortunately millions today who prostrate themselves before images of gold and silver and wood and stone and clay. But the idolatry we are most concerned with here is the conscious worshiping of still other gods. Some are of metal and plush and chrome, of wood and stone and fabrics. They are not in the image of God or of man, but are developed to give man comfort and enjoyment, to satisfy his wants, ambitions, passions and desires. Some are in no physical form at all, but are intangible.” 2
Too often people make men their graven images. Because we are afraid of the opinion of others, we won’t serve others or be kind to those society looks down on. We worship others’ praise and honor; we desire above all else the prestige others can give us. We want the right titles and awards. We want to wear the right clothing. We want to fit in.
Emphasis on personal appearance could lead to a form of idolatry. While a clean and healthy body is important, some people go to extraordinary lengths to emulate the models fashioned by the world. Our society too often equates personal happiness with its definition of personal beauty. Beautiful men and women smile from advertisements in magazines, in newspapers, and on television. Trying unsuccessfully to emulate these unrealistic images, many people live in a state of perpetual discontent. 

Money is one of the most common images that people bow down to today. They bow down by giving up their integrity and honesty in dealing with others in order to obtain it. They bend their principles as they are bowing down.”

When we truly love God we do not pit anything else before Him and that means that we do not spend more time on Him than we do our hobbies or pursuits in life. 
I think the fact that I have been coming to Missouri for the past ten years and I had been afraid to offend someone if I took l time away to see church sites tells me that I did not put God first in the past. 
I am so thankful for the examples of the prophets and apostles whom loved God enough to sacrifice their lives for His cause. I love each of them and my hear t aches for their sorrows and  today especially for Joseph Smith, but I will not let their examples of having no idols before God go to waste and I will let my love lead me to action in trying to serve Him through the things that I choose to spend my time on. 
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment