I am in my mid forties, the mother of 11 children who are so far on track to do all the things parents want, keep the commandments, serve missions, get educations, marry well, and begin to establish their own families. I TOTALLY get the ideas Richard eyre is talking about here about control, ownership, and independence. I have come to realize that the main (only?) thing we can control is which way we are oriented—toward God, or not. Everything seems to flow naturally from that. At times in my life I have felt like I was beating my head against a brick wall, trying to control my circumstances when it would have been better to relax and accept them instead. I suppose it has a lot to do with the fine line between faith and works, like knowing when to be still and know that he is God and when to work as if everything depended on you. Anyway, it is exciting to me to see what someone else seems to have come to similar conclusions.
Thank you, Jason, for expressing my thoughts better than I would have been able to.
45 years ago, I read "I Promise You-I Challenge You". That book, and a phrase from a book on Zen meditation, "The glass is already broken", saved my life. I was in my 20s, wandering down a path littered with the spiritual and emotional corpses of my friends, oblivious to all of it. My eyes were opened, and I turned to a different path. When the Lord's servants found me in 1976, I was ready to hear the Spirit's quiet voice and receive the burning testimony that has never wavered. Thank you.
This is an interesting perspective and one I appreciate regarding these three pursuits or concepts. However, I don't necessary think these are always bad and robbing one of joy as suggested in the article. We need to be careful of blanket statements that apply in all situations. After all, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints has the Self- Reliance initiative, which helps individuals and family take control of their temporal needs instead of depending on someone else. Are we not encouraged to have goals? Disappointment, stress, and frustration are part of life and often the result of unachieved goals. Understanding the difference between two opposing sentiments is part of the plan and in part why we’re here on earth. Ownership isn’t a bad thing either. It is true that everything belongs to God, yet we are responsible for our stewardship over those things which God has given us. Jacob 2:19 comes to mind. Are we not commanded to labour six days and rest on the seventh (Exodus 20:9)? Regarding independence, I don’t agree that “to stand alone” and “to need no one but ourselves” is the motto of the day. Are there some who think that? Sure. However, most people acknowledge that someone somewhere in their life as influenced them to become who they are or to achieve the success they now enjoy. Finally, I’m not sure that these terms are worshiped but rather applied correctly or incorrectly. Part of life is learning how broadly or comprehensively to operate these concepts in our own life. It’s not that these ideas are bad; it’s a correct attitude and proper application of these and many other concepts that bring joy. Why? Because all good things come from God. When we’re in balance we are following the will of God, which brings joy through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
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