Traditions of Our Fathers Pt 7

Being Zion

Part 7 of 7

Social Lubrication (Excellent Tower of Power track from East Bay Grease.)

What lubricates this system and makes its functioning possible is joyful adherence to our two lists. There is no other way to keep from toppling over, one way or the other. Individual righteousness coupled with societal righteousness equals balance and equilibrium. We have been conditioned to believe that a society requires "running." And, perhaps that's true in a sense, however, the only one qualified for the position is Jesus Christ. He knows better than anyone how to teach correct principles and then let people govern themselves, and learn. He watches for growth and progression and takes note. His approving smile is more than enough motivation for a righteous people. And His presence!

You're in the market, toting your bag of tomatoes. Your head is down, directing your feet, and you hear a pleasant voice say, "May I help you with your tomatoes? They look heavy." You look up. It's Jesus! He gently takes your load, and you walk and talk together. Every pain, every regret, every sin, every sorrow, gone. Not even a memory. He teaches love. And you learn. You become more grateful, and with that, more forgiving.

This is the path we seek; to walk and talk with Jesus. He has promised this to us. But it is up to us to accept and approach this great promise with humility, obedience, and sacrifice. “He lives! My hungry soul to feed.”* His character, perfections, and attributes induce confidence, faith, and charity. It is our invitation to discover, from Him, the path to salvation and exaltation. And then, to walk with Him there. *(LDS Hymnbook, pg 136)

It is easy to shrink. It is difficult to face adversity. It is easy to fear. It is comforting to feel close to the Lord. Do not use the world’s alibis and excuses for your failures. Do not believe the evil told to you. Failures teach. Learn from them and carry on. Do not shrink. 

“There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have to prove our worth anew each day: we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything we are fixed, so to speak, for life.” —Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind, p. 181.

This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ

“And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal. And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.

“And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption. Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you;

“Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save. Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him. Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness. Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.

“And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.

“Therefore, if ye do not remember to be charitable, ye are as dross, which the refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth) and is trodden under foot of men. Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.

“For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. Yea, and I also exhort you, my brethren, that ye be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day; for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing.” (Alma 34:14-19, 23, 27-29, 31-32, 39)

Amulek beautifully laid out the heavy-lifting already accomplished by the Lord. The benefits thereby available to us, are eternal and glorious. The last few verses give us the elementary school curriculum. Our course, laid out in these pages, has been graduate school. There is much in between. To get from where we are, to Zion, is going to take every ounce of courage, grit, creativity, and faith in Christ we can muster, to quell the fires of pride, envy, and strife. 

What that effort does not need are traditions of our fathers hindering the way. That effort does not care who is right. The lowly of heart care nothing for the honors of men. Emotions may be our worst enemy to forward movement. Contentions, disputations, strife, and worst of all, pride, keep us from our onward path. Traditions steeped in emotion need rationality and intelligence to bring us back to the Mind of God, our pure love for the Lord, and our healing, forgiving love for each other. We cannot do this alone. Together, we can just decide to leave contention and pride at the door. It’s been done before. With loins securely girded with the armor of God, and faith in Christ strong, can we be Number Three?

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Eph 6:13)

"O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.

"Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God." (Mormon 9:27-28)


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