Monday, May 29, 2017
This week I read the different accounts of what happened on the Mount of Transfiguration. I noticed something I hadn't noticed before. In the account in Matthew, it mentions that Elias and Moses were there, and then in the footnotes it says that Elias was Elijah. However, in the account in Mark it mentions Elias and Moses and then the Joseph Smith Translation adds "or in other words, John the Baptist and Moses." In the account in Luke, it simply mentions Elias and Moses and refers to them several times as "the two men." I had always heard that it was Elijah there, but finding the differences perplexed me. I reached out to a good friend of mine that I trust spiritually and asked him his opinion. Instead of giving it to me he asked a series of questions, in order to help me come to my own conclusion. His first question was: "If we use the restoration as our manifesting template and those critical to restoring keys to latter-day man, who would YOU say must/should have been there?" I answered that if I had to choose one, based on the restoration of keys that happened in the Kirtland temple, I would have to choose Elijah, but that I believed that both could have been there. His next response (this was all happening via text) was: "As far as it is translated correctly." So then I was thinking, well the JST says John the Baptist. He told me to turn to D&C 110. Then he asked, "How many came to Joseph in restoring keys?" I was thinking simply of those mentioned in 110 so I said, "Moses, Elias, and Elijah." In response, he told me that actually we have to consider all who came, so there was John the Baptist to restore the Aaronic Priesthood, Elias, Moses, Elijah, and Peter, James, and John. Then he said that if they were all the major players then, that they would have all been at the Mount too. I could see it then. I remember General Authorities talking about more people being at the Mount that aren't in the scriptural accounts. Then my friend said this, which has given me cause for thought: "The clearest view of such things (particularly when scriptural accounts seem to conflict) is the documented pattern of the Restoration. That is really the grand key to overlay to clarify past dealings." And he's right. If something is being RESTORED, then that means it was in the past as well. Interesting, no?
posted at 12:41 AM
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Lately I've been feeling a little bit of a spiritual crisis coming on. Not a crisis of faith...my faith is intact. Let me explain. I have felt for a little while now like I am numb to the spirit a little bit, which has caused some alarm within my soul. I've wondered if it's because of my medication. Because I have bipolar disorder, I have to be medicated through school or I'll never keep with it. Right now, my meds are in a really good place. Mentally I feel really good, which is a sigh of relief because sometimes it's hard to find the right combination. My doctor and I have worked for a year and a half to get here. The medication keeps me from feeling highs and lows, which is great for a bipolar person. But there is a side effect that I don't like...I can't feel the intensity of the spirit. I can feel peace, but not that fire that I'm used to feeling. I've talked to other LDS people with bipolar and apparently this is common, but I don't like it. It's freaking me out, making me wonder what I've done wrong. This week, in my New Testament class, we read an article from an address to BYU by President Henry B. Eyring. It was called "Always." (https://www.lds.org/ensign/1999/10/always?lang=eng). In the address, he talked about the Lord's command to pray always. He also talked about how, in the sacrament prayers, we are to always remember the Lord. The question then becomes, how do we do that? President Eyring talked about how our past efforts are not enough. We cannot stand still. We have to determine to study daily and pray often throughout the day and give everything we have to be close to the Lord. I realized in reading this that I haven't been doing that. I think, because I'm so busy working full time and doing school full time, that I have been counting on my past efforts and closeness to the Lord to carry me through, and haven't been doing what it takes to be there. So maybe some of it is my medication, but maybe I can break through the "even-ness" and feel that fire again. It gives me so much hope that I can feel closer to the Lord and hear his voice daily again. In the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13, Christ talks about the seed being cast on different types of ground. I want desperately to be the seed that lands on good ground and brings forth fruit. So take heart from my own experience. We can all come unto the Lord and do more to be close to him. I know that's what I'll be doing.
posted at 11:41 PM