Thursday, April 28, 2011

There's Gotta Be More To Life...

What if you were told that laughing three times a day would cure arthritis by the local homeless guy down the street? You probably wouldn't believe him, right? But what if someone who had a PH.D and an inside knowledge as to the latest medicine and techniques told you the same thing instead? You just might believe him and give it a try. The difference? The doctor is the authority on the subject and knows his stuff, where as anything from the homeless guy... well, it might be kinda sketchy.

Personally, I'll Take The Guy In The Lab Coat...
I especially love the story of Naaman washing himself seven times in the River Jordan. He went straight to the authority figure at the time, the mighty prophet Elisha, to be healed of his leprosy. We don't know exactly what Naaman was expecting to happen in order to be healed, but we know that he was not expecting the advice he received to wash himself in the muddy water seven times, as characterized by his instant anger and refusal to comply.

His servant knew better then to go against the words of the Lords servant, and pleaded with his master saying,
My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
Once Naaman came to his senses had bathed seven times, his flesh was cured and he was healed. Even though he did it grudgingly, he still gained the blessings associated with listening to Gods prophet and by following that simple counsel. Perhaps he had expected some miraculous ceremony or a laying on of hands, but the simple and humble thing of just bathing in a small river in Israel was what would cure him instead.

This story is great because it reminds me personally to follow Gods prophet through all things, but it also makes me think about being asked to do things that don't make any sense from a logical standpoint. You wouldn't think that there would be a correlation between washing seven times in the dirty river and being cured of leprosy, but Naaman did it and good things happened.

We are counseled by a prophet of God today to also do things that sometimes don't have a visible and direct cause and effect relationship. Faith and logic sometimes just don't go together. One example I particularly like is the Word of Wisdom, which includes no usage of tobacco, drinking alcohol, harmful/illegal drugs, coffee and tea. Promised blessings from living this Word of Wisdom are found in the 89th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants.

And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
The blessing of health comes as no surprise seeing as how modern medicine and science warn against tobacco usage, and there innumerable cases where alcohol in some way damaged families or directly ended lives entirely. Other things such as coffee and tea have been found to be harmful due to tanic acid and the natural addictive factor of them.

But really, the real blessings of health are the ones that will come from being obedient to Gods word. If we look at the Word of Wisdom or any other of Gods commandments with the mind to justify our actions, to get around something we don't like, or to muddle through the gray area to find what we want, we miss the point entirely of living Gods commandments because we love him. Its not about abstaining from or doing something to get blessings, its about being willing to do what God has asked of us.

I look to the part where it says, "And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures" to remind myself that God is not limited by mans reasoning or logic. By keeping Gods word we are promised blessings of these "treasures of knowledge", even though there really isn't a direct correlation between drinking/smoking/drugs ect. and finding wisdom in some degree.

Obedience to Gods commandments bring forth blessings! It all comes down to being obedient and choosing whether or not to follow Christs example and being humble enough to do someones will other then our own. Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21 has this to say about the relationship between obedience and blessings:
There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
For Naaman, the blessing of being healed from his affliction would come only by his being humble enough to do the thing and live the law that was required for him to be healed. It didn't necessarily make sense, but he was commanded by Gods servant Elisha to do it. We find that same authority in the scriptures, in a modern day prophet, and through our prayers as we receive answers straight from our Heavenly Father. As we follow we continually find more peace and joy in life through the outpouring of blessings from Him!

I know that as we strive to keep Gods commandments, whatever they may be, we show our love for Him and our willingness to do all that is necessary to one day enter into His kingdom. Doing small things like washing in a river may seem pointless, but they have eternal consequences and bring forth blessings. All we have to do is live it and test it for ourselves, and I know God will catch each and every one of His children.

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