Tapping into the unseen powers

 

The dangers in this world are real and it is easy to feel frightened.

The young servant of the Prophet Elijah was understandably panicked to wake up and see a bloodthirsty army surrounding him.  But the prophet was unruffled.  “And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots.  And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master!  how shall we do?  And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

“And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see.  And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:15-17)

I think we are often like the young friend of Elisha.  He was not imagining the problems and dangers surrounding them.  And we may not be imagining the problems and dangers we face.  But like the young man we may forget to consider what unseen powers may be near to help us.  .

David was much smaller than Goliath, and we all know how that turned out. But have we thought enough about why? Goliath was fighting with his own brute strength.

David’s war cry was, “The battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.” (1st Samuel 17:47)

During the dark days of the Civil war when the Northern armies couldn’t seem to ever win a battle, one of Abraham Lincoln’s aids asked him, “Mr. President is the Lord on our side?”

Lincoln replied, “I am not so concerned if the Lord is on our side as I am that we are on the Lord’s side.”

Good council. Facing life’s challenges We may not have visible armies of angels at our command, but when our cause is just, our motives pure and our desires are only to do good our strength is multiplied many times. If we are on the Lord’s side, we may not win every skirmish but ultimately we will emerge victorious.

Smart Money

Consider this sad story about so-called riches.

It’s about a man who lived among a primitive people.  His house servants watched him get things just by writing notes from his checkbook and giving them to people.  At length greed got the best of the servants.  They killed the man and stole his magic check book so they could get all the wonderful things it could buy.

What a tragedy.  A life traded for things of the world. But we see that all the time. Even more tragic, sometimes it’s our own life.  We ignore or are ignorant of the principles of celestial economics.  We spend time and money on corruptible commodities of earth and ignore the opportunities to invest in eternity.  Who of us would not give an honest tenth of his possessions and a generous donation of his time and money if he could be sure he would get in return a reward so great he couldn’t carry it home?

That is precisely what the Lord promises. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (Malachi 3:10, 3 Nephi 24:10)

On the other hand, suppose our wildest dreams of acquisition and possession came true, and we owned the whole world?  “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Jesus asked. (Mark 8:36)

It should be obvious that the smart money and the smart time would go for the larger and enduring return.  But too often.  We go for the quick reward, conspicuous consumption, something for nothing. These schemes are as popular as they ever were in this world.  Ultimately they are as unprofitable as stealing a checkbook.

Little Epistle, Ecology of Eternity

There is something terribly wrong with the way we are treating the good earth.  From the often leaden and laden skies to the slash and burn farming of irreplaceable hardwood forests, the suffocating oil spills, the mountains of garbage, the toxic wastes this is indeed as the Book of Mormon predicted, “…a day of pollutions.”(Mormon 8:31)  And it isn’t just waste.  Even when we use earth’s resources efficiently we too often use them for destruction not construction.

The problems will not be solved by Greenpeace and animal rights activists.  Their premise of this planet is wrong.  They see it as a spinning space station accidentally evolved and eventually destined to grow cold and die.

In reality the earth is an eternal living creation of God.  It cries out in agony over the misuse and abuse perpetrated upon it. (Moses 7:48)  It will one day be redeemed, purified and celestialized forever.  Eventually he only will be worthy to inhabit it who “hath clean hands and a pure heart who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity nor sworn deceitfully.”       (Psalms 24:1-4)

Clean hands will not be stained with the blood and bodies of needlessly slaughtered living things.  Pure hearts will not use earth’s resources for evil ends.  Those not lifted up in vanity will not gorge themselves with conspicuous consumption while their fellow humans starve and the earth strains to support them in their extravagant tastes.  Those with the integrity to avoid deceitful swearing can be trusted to care for the earth according to the Lord’s commandments.  Only these principles of eternal ecology will ultimately save the earth and its inhabitants.  The best thing we can do for this planet is preach and practice the gospel.