Thursday, October 29, 2009

1 Nephi - Chapter 13

So often we hear offensive statements about religion, like these:

“If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as less of an insult than religion.” ~ Edmond de Goncourt

“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” ~ Bishop Desmond Tutu

“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.” ~ Steven Weinberg
“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.” ~ Jonathan Swift

“The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world.” ~ Georgia Harkness

"Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity."  1 Nephi 13:5

I must admit that I've looked upon comments like those above, with a good amount of disdain.  But, in light of the angel's comment, quoted also, above; I should be looking upon the people who made those observations with a goodly amount of charity.  I guess I assumed them to be lumping the Restored Gospel into the mix.  Clearly, these observations are entirely justified and the folks who made them, perhaps among the most honest and courageous around.

We can only hope to show everyone that there is religion that lacks abomination and that is not rooted in such.

Because of the abomination of religion and the "plain and precious" things that have been removed from the Bible, we are eye witnesses to the stumbling of the Gentiles.  The cure for that stumbling lies in seeking to bring forth Zion.  The more her beautiful banners are unfurled before the world, the more good people will recognize her safety, peace and purity.  Clearly the scriptures of the Restoration are key to this, most especially The Book of Mormon.

Lately, I've bought into a dooms day mentality regarding America and her current woes.  Somehow, this chapter has filled me with hope.  I felt as I read this morning, that we are just beginning the process of removing the stumbling blocks created by the Abominable Church and that there lies before us a glorious period of clarity, joy and triumph as the Gentiles and the remnant of Israel, through discovery of restored truth, have those stumbling blocks removed.


di said...

2 And the angel said unto me: What beholdest thou?
21 And the angel said unto me: Knowest thou the meaning of the book?

I love that the angel is teaching with questions. Discovering on our own is an effective way to learn. Questions also help the teacher to know what to teach.

Your thoughts about having compassion for those that put down religion hit close to home to me. I’m sometimes put on the spot to defend ‘religion’. I rarely have much to say, but just try to live my beliefs.

Spencer Draper said...

Mike this is awsome I did not know you put this up everyday. Now that I have found it I look forward to reading it everyday and reading along with you so I can comment and discuss. thank you

D1Warbler said...

I, too, don't know how you keep up with such great insights every day. I have a hard time just responding to them, let alone initiating the discussion in a meaningful way.

Candleman said...

I think you'll understand, when I tell you that "Capturing" what I read, by writing about the insights that come as I read, has developed into a long enjoyed habit. Interestingly, most of the insights come as I write rather than as I read.

That I'm attempting to do it every day is just a trick I'm pulling on myself. I'm much more likely to exercise if I'm meeting someone there. The same goes for reading the scriptures. That fact that each of you keeps showing up motivates me to be more consistent than I ordinarily am. Thank you for that. Thank you even more for teaching me from you hearts as well. What a joyous gift this project is becoming for me. Thanks to a loving Heavenly Father and to each of you!

D1Warbler said...

It is interesting to me to see that so many of those who hate religion in general, and who especially hate the gospel, are truly the ones who are bound down and yoked with a yoke or iron into captivity -- a captivity of their own making -- in which they have no hope of anything better than what their own imagination can conjure up. How sad it would be to live in such a limited universe.

I am so grateful for a knowledge of the truth -- which is hopeful, liberating and enlightening, and also for the knowledge from Elisha that "they that be with us are more than they that be with them."