Jacob Speaks about Sin. www.kevinhinckley.com. Texas Coyotes. Sister Wendy Ulrich LDS Psychologist.
In my experience, neither critics nor apologists for the Church do much to convince me whether or not to believe. Debates, analysis, and scientific evidence may alternately undermine or support my beliefs,
But belief itself is a choice I wrestle God for, somewhere in the dark swampland of my inner landscape, where not only God’s credibility but my own are at stake…
Like the father with the sick child, a life tragedy may cause us to both seek God and wonder what we can realistically expect from him.
FAIR Website, “Believest thou…?”
I have noticed that many of the people I have known who have left the Church did not do so because they believed too little, but because they believed too much.
In their excessive idealism, they have held Church leaders or God to expectations which were inevitably dissappointed.
They have not believed God when He told them that ours is a lonely, deary world of reality, one which claims that they can be protected from being molested, disappointed or made afraid.
They have been angry at God or other Church leaders for not keeping promises which god has not, in fact made.
I note with interest that of all the names for the Savior in holy writ, He is never called the Preventer.
Son of Lehi, born in the wilderness
Born “in the days of [Lehi’s] tribulation”
In his childhood, “suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of [his] brothers
Beheld, “in thy youth his glory”
Finished his writings with”
I Jacob began to be old…and also our lives passed away like as it were a dream
We being a lonesome and a solemn people, wanderers, cast out from Jerusalem, born in tribulation, in a wilderness, and hated of our brethren…
wherefore we did mourn out our days.
As a result these life long experiences, what would Jacob believe about God and/or about himself?
Now, my beloved brethren, I, Jacob, 1) according to the responsibility which I am under to God, 2) to magnify mine office with soberness, and that 3) I might rid my garments of your sins, I come up into the temple this day that I might declare unto you the word of God.
And ye yourselves know that I have hitherto been diligent in the office of my calling; but I this day am weighed down with much more desire and anxiety for the welfare of your souls than I have hitherto been.
For behold, as yet, ye have been obedient unto the word of the Lord, which I have given unto you.
But behold, hearken ye unto me, and know that by the help of the all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth I can tell you concerning your thoughts, how that ye are beginning to labor in sin, which sin appeareth very abominable unto me, yea, and abominable unto God.
"The thought in your mind at this moment is contributing, however infinitesimally, almost imperceptibly to the shaping of your soul"
(The Miracle of Forgiveness [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], p. 105).
As a man thinketh in his mind
So is he.
When our neighbor, Jimmy, was four, he was not happy in preschool. No one could determine why. The school offered him the best toys and paints and smiling teachers. But still Jimmy cried every day. So Jimmy's mother and the director decided it would be best for him to withdraw. After a few weeks, Jimmy decided he wanted to go to a different preschool. His mother was skeptical but enrolled him in the new school. When she left him the first day, she was careful to leave a phone number, feeling certain she would receive a call. But it never came--not that day or all that week. He was happy every day and when asked what he did there, his usual reply was, "I help Bobby."
Then one day when Jimmy's mother suggested taking him out of school for the day, he burst out crying, "I can't be gone. I have to be there. Bobby needs me." It was then that she learned the source of her son's new found happiness in school. He was helping a boy with impaired muscular coordination, and both boys benefited from the relationship. Shiny red trucks, swings, or finger paints could not make Jimmy's day happy at preschool. Amidst those toys he could only think of how miserable he was and how much he missed home. But giving service to someone in need directed his interests away from his problems, gave him purpose, and made him happy.
(Rex Lee, BYU Devotional