Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Milk or Meat?"

I brought a glass of milk and some beef jerky on a plate to class today and put them side by side.   We discussed what we would be able to ingest if we had or didn't have teeth.  The milk goes down easier and it is easier to digest (if you're not lactose intollerant).  No teeth necessary. The jerky has more flavor, is more filling, and sustains you longer, but it would be a struggle to ingest without teeth.

3 Nephi 26 is so fascinating to read.  I love hearing Mormon's little inserts in his writings here and there in the Book of Mormon.  He is abridging some amazing things in this account of the Savior's visit to America and wants to share ALL of it with us.  He's commanded not to because we (the readers of the Book of Mormon) are not ready for those sacred things yet.  We don't have the teeth to read them yet.  Mormon is only able to give us a teeny tiny part.  In verses 6-8, he says: "And now there cannot be written in this book even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people; But behold the plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people. And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken."

In verses 9-12, the reason these treasures of knowledge are being held back from us are explained: "And when they shall have received this (the Book of Mormon), which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation. Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people. Therefore I, Mormon, do write the things which have been commanded me of the Lord. And now I, Mormon, make an end of my sayings, and proceed to write the things which have been commanded me."  Our faith isn't sufficient yet to receive those "greater things".  We discussed in class what it would take for us to grow the teeth necessary to receive those "greater things" we're withheld from reading. 

Someone in class said that we probably wouldn't understand those "greater things" if they were included; we'd set them aside as unimportant.  Most of us wouldn't be able to distinguish sacred from unsacred.  Another said that we should have to earn the study-time with what we have before we are given more.  THAT'S FAITH!!!  Study + DOING = teeth.  I have a brilliant class. 
As a whole, our faith isn't sufficient.....................yet.  Currently, we're not DOING what's commanded of us as revealed in the Book of Mormon.  "Faith without works is dead."  The DOING shows our faith.   If we aren't willing to do the simple things (milk), then why should we be given the bigger things (jerky)? It's part of our earthly test.  We, as a class, didn't think that it would be fair for those who WERE DOING what was commanded, to be withheld from the knowledge of those "greater things".  I don't believe we are.  We receive, through revelation, as we're ready.  Those who do put in the time and effort into studying the Book of Mormon will receive as they live what they read.  I believe God reveals those sacred things to us as we exert our faith and grow those teeth necessary to chomp on the jerky!  "Line upon line, precept upon precept."

The lesson originally called for me to bring a steak to class and set it next to the milk.  Hahaha.  I'm a devoted seminary teacher, but.................umm, no. 

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