Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yes, But Not This Way

I read an amazing talk by Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, though he gave the talk when he was President of Brigham Young University, the other day. It was called "The Inconvenient Messiah", and it talked about us dealing with our temptations, and choosing to make the right choices, even if they're not what we'd like to do. This religion wasn't created so we could follow it when we chose, and do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. It was created so we would know how to live our lives, and what we should be doing to return to live with our Heavenly Father. Elder Holland gave another talk in the MTC while I was there on obedience that was full of great quotes, one of them being: "This isn't Burger King, you can't have it your way." He was specifically referring to the Mission, but it can be applied to our every day lives. We can't be "cafeteria members", picking and choosing what we like and don't like. We were given an unchanging list of rules. There are no loopholes, there is no sliding. Once you've entered into those covenants, you're in 'em.
In the talk, Elder Holland refers back to the Temptations of Christ, seen in Matthew 4:1-10. In this account, Christ had just been baptized, and had retreated to a secluded place, where He fasted for forty days. At the end of this, Satan came to tempt him. First, he tempted him on a physical basis, telling him to turn the rocks to bread. It wasn't that the evil in the temptation came from eating, it was taking the easy way out. Satan was tempting Christ to abuse his powers to make it easier for himself, more convenient. Christ, of course, resisted. Next, Satan tried to appeal to his Spiritual side, taking him to the pinnacle of the temple, and telling Him to cast Himself off. He would be protected, as the Son of God, and the angles would carry him gently down. He would not only be safe, but the world would see what had happened, and would know for a fact that He was the prophesied Messiah. It would have been an easy way for the people to gain that knowledge, and it wouldn't be faith based. People needed to believe that Jesus was the Christ, and have faith. Again, Christ resisted. Finally, Satan went all out. He showed Christ the kingdoms of the world, and offered them all to Christ... if He just worshiped Satan. Christ was fully aware that, at His Second Coming, all would be His. The world would be His kingdom, and He would rule over all. Even if Satan could give him all these things, it would have cheapened it. Christ will be King of kings and Lord of lords, and all will be his. All these things, eating, the belief of his children, and dominion over all, will come in time to Christ. He will have all these things, but He will have them in the proper order.
Yes, but not this way.
We all have temptations in our life, things we need to overcome. We all have those demons. It's up to us to stay strong, and not take the easy way out. Not look for convenience. As President Kimball told a woman who was convinced that a daily cup of coffee wouldn't keep her out of the Celestial Kingdom: "No, the coffee won't. But disobedience will." We must always rely on the Lord for relief from hard times. Just as it was said of him, "his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up". Nothing is ever too hard. The Lord does not let us go through trials too difficult for us to handle. Keep your head up, you eye single to the glory of God, and go forth with faith, knowing that He will protect you. I'm not sure who said this quote, but it's perfect: "Obedience brings blessings. Perfect obedience brings miracles."
No one is perfect, no one is without temptation. Don't worry so much about how hard things are, focus on how good things will be. Look to the eternity. Look long term. Just as a close friend of mine did, as he was recently struggling with health issues and going through a really rough time, yet every time I talked to him, he had a positive attitude, and was looking forward to something good that was coming up. 
Worry is the anticipation that the outcome will be bad,
Faith is the anticipation that the outcome will be good,
Faith in God is the anticipation that whatever the outcome, it will be for your good!

No comments:

Post a Comment