In an article called A Model of Mormon Spiritual Experience by Kevin Christensen, he mentions this paradigm where “…you begin interpret external events as God speaking to you, and you answer through your own actions.” (p.11)
This added a bit of enlightenment to the same way that I currently have come to view my daily relationship with God. A few pages later Kevin mentions this quote which gives a little bit better understanding of what he’s getting at.
“One understands oneself to be addressed [by God] through events … A person replies through the speech of his life; he answers with his actions. Events in daily life can be interpreted as a dialogue with God.” – Ian Barbour, Myths, Models, and Paradigms, 55. (p.18)
In the newer Karate Kid movie, Jackie Chan dramatically states to his young student, “Kung Fu lives in everything we do, … It lives in how we put on the jacket, how we take off the jacket. It lives in how we treat people! Everything… is Kung Fu.”
In the same manner, the process of being born again and fully converted to God causes us to see and respond to things differently. It is the difference between trying really hard to force yourself to act a certain way and the grace of enabling and understanding brought about by a true relationship with God that allows you to see clearly and empowers you to act in faith.
The rest of the article is absolutely worth the read, it has some amazing thoughts that I’ll probably comment about on another post:
Eagles and Angels
Now I realize that Tolkien’s trilogy “Lord of the Rings” is fiction, but I remember wondering at the end of Return of the King, “Why couldn’t the eagles have just flown the ring to Mordor and drop it into Mount Doom”? Every now and then I’ll read a similar criticism here and there online or in discussing the topic with friends.
This past Tuesday I was reading in 1 Nephi 3 where after two failed attempts at retrieving the brass plates, an angel intervenes to stop Nephi’s enraged brothers from beating him. The angel appears and says:
“Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod? Know ye not that the Lord hath chosen him to be a ruler over you, and this because of your iniquities? Behold ye shall go up to Jerusalem again, and the Lord will deliver Laban into your hands.” (vs. 29)
Just for kicks I pondered the question, Read Full Post
I was thinking about the whole grace/faith/works debate that seems to endlessly rage between the faiths.
Now we all technically believe in salvation by grace, or in other words, salvation is impossible without grace through the atonement of Jesus Christ. The disagreement seems mainly around how that grace is applied and what man’s role, if any, is in this process of salvation. All sides of the debate would probably agree that some kind of an acknowledgement of Christ’s atonement and grace on behalf of the individual is necessary in order to receive it, but at what point is one “saved”?
What frustrates me is how people on all sides of the debate seem to Read Full Post
Brad Wilcox was serving as a member of the Sunday School General Board of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as a BYU associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education in the David O. McKay School of Education when this devotional address was given on 12 July 2011.
I am grateful to be here with my wife, Debi, and my two youngest children—who are currently attending BYU—and several other family members who have come to be with us.
It is an honor to be invited to speak to you today. Several years ago I received an invitation to speak at Women’s Conference. When I told my wife, she asked, “What have they asked you to speak on?”
I was so excited that I got my words mixed up and said, “They want me to speak about changing strengths into weaknesses.”
She thought for a minute and said, “Well, they’ve got the right man for the job!”
She’s correct about that. I could give a whale of a talk on that subject, but I think today I had better go back to the original topic and speak about changing weaknesses into strengths and about how the grace of Jesus Christ is sufficient (see Ether 12:27, D&C 17:8, 2 Corinthians 12:9)—sufficient to cover us, sufficient to transform us, and sufficient to help us as long as that transformation process takes.Read Full Post