Monday, November 23, 2009

2 Nephi - Chapter 16

I won't pretend to understand what all of the symbols Isaiah saw represent.  I even have a book about symbols and find it difficult to feel good about any interpretation I might venture.  Hopefully, some of you have a more poetic or symbolic consciousness and can help in that regard.

One phrase stands out to me in this chapter:

"....lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted and be healed."
What beautiful language.  I especially love the association between conversion and healing.  This isn't the last time this association will be made in The Book of Mormon.  The idea of conversion is commonly associated with a change of beliefs, less often with a change of heart; but seldom, at church, do I hear mention made of the healing nature of conversion.  All are wounded, both physically and spiritually, by the foibles of mortality.  A huge portion of the role of the Atonement is to heal us of those things causing us pain in this life.  I personally believe that any pain can be seen as a pain of Hell.  We mortals are especially good at finding means to mask the pain we experience.  Again, it matters little if it is physical, emotional or spiritual pain.  We self medicate with all kinds of analgesic means that do nothing to alleviate the cause of the pain.  Ultimately, Jesus is the only balm in Gilead.  He is the only true way to find real healing, real relief from pain.  So, we experience the pains of Hell, even in life.  Hell in the next life, however, will most certainly be worse because we will be stripped of our mortal means of self medicating and will eventually, be forced to discover that the only relief available is to give our grief and pain to the Master.  True conversion, then, is principally the same as addiction recovery, coming to an understanding of this great principle and inviting the Savior to heal us.  This works so much better than drugs, or alcohol, or pornography, or Twinkies, because it is real soothing healing, not just a mask for our pain.

I suspect that the coal that was placed upon the lips of Isaiah represented the fire of the Covenant or in other words the cleansing, healing, restoring power of Christ and his holistic ability to make us whole.

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