Sunday, November 9, 2014
Our personal Phantom Menace
During our own personal tempering there are moments where the heat of temptation becomes unbearable (so we think) we can at times believe that we cannot endure the power of addiction or seduction. During these times is when we are truly being tested to show our true strength. I recall where there were moments where I was told by others (and perhaps myself too) that if the Lord asked for our lives we would give it but when the powers of hell rise against us and we are asked to live for Christ we falter.
There is an old Indian parable. In it, it talks about two wolves that are constantly wrestling inside us all. One is evil (natural man) and the other is good (our truly spiritual selves) and it was up to us to decide who was in charge; who was going to win. I am brought back to my earlier days of struggle and repentance. I was there when I sinned. I was there when I repented. I will be there when I have to choose the course that I am going to take daily to do good or evil; to serve God or manna (my hunger and desires).
For some of us we are on a clear and direct course of righteousness. We check with our compass every morning, during the day and every night. We avoid the rocks that would dash our lives to pieces and insure that we are in tip top shape for our journey. Some of us would say that this is only the example of prophets and apostles. Not so, brothers and sisters, we all have endured much and hope to endure all things so why not allow our personal example be our own Northern star. The prophet taught that ‘man are, that they might have joy’. If you are not having joy in your struggles in the name of Christ, you’re doing it wrong. We all have our personal devils that are constantly banging at our door but we must be strong against the winds and waves that beat at us and not let them beat us up.
I think sometimes of the movie Star Wars: Phantom Menace (personal feelings aside of the movie). Here was a story where good men and women let their pride get to them that they ignored prophecy, were blinded by their own ‘righteousness’ to miss a building threat within and without their world of peace and (within the span of two more films) watch as their lives become destroyed and friends die because they were not watchful of evil. I know that for my personal experience I think of my own government here in the States but also in a microcosm I should reflect on my own life. The Prophets have said that if the watchmen failed to watch that thieves would come into the town at night and lay ruin the town and its people. Likewise if we do not keep our guard in check and are ever mindful of the slings and arrows (of sin) thrown at us daily we will succumb to the temptations of the adversary.
We are good and for those that are ‘hoping’ to be good, you’re on the right path. Siblings, this life is hard but remember we chose it. We shouted from the rafters in heaven how excited that we were to be here in this moment. I know that for some of us spirits who were told of what was to come there was a question will it be harder than when we kicked Satan from heaven and the answer was 'yea'. We then smiled and said 'bring it on; I am ready'. Now that we are here we have come to realize how tough it is.
For some our tempering is really tough and our spirits have screamed from the heat. Our cries have gone straight to our Father and like the teacher who is silent during the test, He only pats us on the shoulder and whispers that we can do it. When we do accomplish it, we thank our teacher for teaching us the way to go so that we could keep our course straight and our spirits strong. Sure there are things that are ahead that will be hard but we are the children of the God of heaven. We can do it and we have great parents and brother who are with us all the way. We were taught in heaven, reminded here on Earth and we can return home. We just need faith and endurance (2 Timothy 2:10; 13th Article of Faith).