Friday, November 27, 2009

2 Nephi - Chapter 20

The concept in this chapter is a difficult one for the self reliant.  It is so hard not to feel the need to personally fix what's wrong with ourselves and the world around us.  The first several verses especially tell us what can be best described by a quote from Anne Perry in her profound book Come Amageddon:
"Of course....I suppose it's comfortable to think of evil as stupid, but it is only stupid in the spiritual sense. It can never win because it destroys the very thing it fights for. There is nothing left for the victor."
Whether it be Calno and Carchemish or Fanny Mae and Acorn, the result of power grabs is the same - destruction, chaos and misery.  It might appear that the ones at the top are insulated from the pain and misery their corruption causes but;
25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.
Don't think for a minute that the wicked and their corruption will not be dealt with by a loving and kind Father in Heaven.

On a more personal note I'll never forget a conversation I had with a sweet missionary called to serve with the LDS Addiction Recovery Program.  He was new to the program and was just beginning to learn about how people recover from addiction.  He couldn't restrain himself from giving me and others credit for the remarkable progress we had made.  We kept resisting his praise and it frustrated him.  He just couldn't understand that the objective wasn't to get control of ourselves but rather, to give control to God.  Something, he had yet to do - and eventually did magnificently.  Anyway back to our conversation.  He had just praised me once again.  I had just rejected his praise with a quote from Heber J. Grant, "Devil talk, makes me proud."  My friend asked me to explain.  "I get no credit for my recovery, 'Shall the ax boast itself against him that heweth therewith? Shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it?'"  He couldn't understand.  So I explained further.  I am the axe, I am the saw.  I didn't create myself, I didn't sharpen myself and I most certainly didn't have the power to move myself.  I can no more take credit for what I have accomplished, than could the saw or the axe Isaiah describes in this chapter.
33 Behold, the Lord, the Lord of Hosts shall lop the bough with terror; and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down; and the haughty shall be humbled. 
I is easy to think this scripture is about the big and powerful, but I got lopped with terror, my high stature was hewn down, I was haughty and was humbled.  Were it not so I could not possibly be enjoying recovery today.  I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who carefully, kindly, purposefully, brought me to a place of humility.  The only place I could be rescued from.  My dear missionary friend now understands this, his humbling trials, though different than mine, were no less effective in helping him realize what humility actually is; our honest acknowledgment of our utter dependence upon God for everything we have, are and do.


di said...

19 And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.

I used to worry that I needed to be among the few trees that withstood. I thought if I was righteous (and my family) we might withstand this terrible day. I now trust the Lord in this. My family will be where he needs us to be whether here or there, it matters not. My assignment still remains to strive for ‘righteousness’.

Candleman said...

di, I love that. As always thanks for your special thoughts.