Sunday, January 18, 2009

I See... Forgotten Scriptures

We all know them. Those powerful, inspirational scripture passages that move our souls to a higher plane of celestial consciousness. “This is my work and my glory; the bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” “When you are in the service of your fellow man, you are only in the service of your God.” These are the references you memorize in seminary; they become the worldwide Releif Society and YW program mottos; they are the arrows in the quivers of our fulltime missionary warriors on the frontline of the war started in pre-earth heaven for the souls of men.. They are the basic building blocks of the Kingdom of God on earth and in heaven

Did you know, however, that there are other precious pearls of wisdom in the standard works? I affectionately call them Forgotten Scriptures. They are moving, poetic, deeply meaningful, and often forgotten in the shadows of more famous references. My anecdotal research has revealed that every famous scripture has a superficially undervalued yet absolutely essential companion near it, kind of like the wife of a prophet or apostle. While very few members could honestly correctly answer the name of Boyd K. Packer's wife, everyone would agree that she is an absolutely essential element of his apostolic duty to testify of Christ. Likewise, forgotten scriptures contain beautiful expressions of reverence or faith that lends the more prominent partner richer significance. It is the difference between feeding and feasting on the word of God. Here is one of my personal favorites from one of my favorite voices in the wilderness, Isaiah:

“For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

This is the “go to” scripture in Isaiah 55: 8-9 for the downtrodden and depressed searching for meaning and hope that God is at the helm, looking out for them in the depth of their difficulties. If you stop there, however, you miss a strikingly simple, yet robust simile in verses 10 and 11 explaining exactly how His thoughts and ways are woven into the tapestry of our lives:

“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.”

The promises in verses 8 and 9 possess much more potency to penetrate our problems and tame our trials when we picture them as snow and rain that bathe the earth with their life-giving powers before returning skyward. Isaiah will never be the same for me again.

I've been quietly hunting down forgotten scriptures with immense satisfaction for years; it's time they received the amount of attention only the Mormon Third Eye can provide. I could post many more, but I don't want to deny anyone the thrill of the hunt. Feed the hunger! Discover your forgotten scripture today and feast on the Word of God!

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