I once worked as a teacher's assistant to Truman Madsen in an introduction to Philosophy class at BYU. There were several of teacher assistants and we had the job of conducting small discussion groups, drawing up the tests, and grading the students. It was pretty obvious by mid-semester what grade each student would most likely get by the end of the class. There were few if any surprises come the end of the semester. We could have just cut the semester short, give them their grades and they could be on their way, but they weren't there just for the grade. They were there for the knowledge, for the experience. Heavenly Father knows what "grade" we will get from the test of mortal life but we still have to go through it both to merit the grade but also to gain the knowledge and experience.
This is for Joey. I love your analogy of repairing the bike tire. Near the beginning, at the appropriate age or upon conversion, we too are completely dunked in water; not to find escaping air but to seal us. Over time we puncture ourselves and our spirituality starts to deflate, For my own bicycle I bought double-thick tubes and very puncture resistant tires. Now, several years later I still have not had a flat tire. I wish I cold say the same for my spirit. Sometimes it is left flapping in the wind, until the next sacrament meeting where we all can apply another new patch.
Interesting comment, Joey. I appreciate this article and I also am reminded of Elder Oak's talk about "Becoming". We can obey all day but if we don't become a new creature, our obedience isn't enough. However, I have found that obeying with true intent has the effect of helping me Become.
Joshua, 28 billion was a number I pulled out of my hat--I wasn't trying to be precise, I was just trying to make a point about the nature of life. Joey, I am certain that Abraham was right, when he quoted the Lord. "We will prove then now herewith . . ." "Herewith" in the context of Abraham 3 can only refer to mortality.
I am going to take issue with this. Too often within church culture I have seen people compare themselves to others, feeling pride when they are successful in obeying a commandment and snubbing or sustaining those who fail.
Life is not here to test us but to change us. Name one test you have taken where you studied for eons of time only to have the test giver wipe your memory the day before the test, then inform you that your eternal placement depended on acting on knowledge you no longer had.
We are here to progress in ways that we could not in the pre-mortal world. My friend once taught a powerful lesson in Relief Society. She spoke of experiencing a flat tire while bike riding. She visited a nearby garage where someone removed her tire, pumped it up with air, then plunged it into a large container of water. He turned it so he could see where the air was escaping the tube. He then knew where the hole was so he could repair it. She said this is what she thought testing meant. Finding the flaws to make repairs, not judging the performance.
Great article! Just a question from an astronomer, where is the "twenty-seven billion year" figure coming from? The Universe shows itself to be 13.7 billion years old, and Earth 4.5 billion.
wait a minute. i thought life was a cabaret.
Thanks. I really needed to be reminded of this today. I love how the Lord sends us "letters from home" just when we need them most if we are seeking him. (and sometimes even when we are not)
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