Sunday, April 3, 2011

I See... the Same Thing Over and Over Again


The Priesthood is the power to act in God's name. Charity is the pure love of Christ. The Savior atoned for both our sins and our sorrows. Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Sincere fasting and heartfelt prayer can bring miracles large and small into the lives of those who do it in faith, nothing wavering. We are divine sons and daughters of heavenly parents; we were created in their image. Keeping the law of chastity and the Word of Wisdom brings untold blessings of health and wisdom. Pay your tithing. Love your neighbor. Keep the commandments. Bring souls unto Christ.

These doctrines and principles, and several other hundred declarations of faith and belief, can be heard over and over and over again in sacrament meetings, ward councils, seminary classes, and missionary zone conferences across the Stakes of Zion. General Conference is another popular venue for repetition. Why do we keep repeating ourselves? Do we lack creativity? Are we intellectually lazy? Are we.... (dramatic long pause for effect) just boring?

I'm sure we are to those who don't understand. After all, they are just words. There are no video games and 3-D graphics involved to catch and keep our attention. The only valid earthly logical reason to keep repeating ourselves is that good things are worth remembering, and everything in the first paragraph meets that condition. Practice makes perfect. Those in the world who seek to see as the Mormon Third Eye sees are blindly satisfied with this explanation.

However, despite the constant repetition, faithful practicing members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lead an exciting theological life. The key lies in a profound statement made by Elder Dallin H. Oaks in a stake conference almost a decade ago; “What you hear is more important that what I say.” In other words, it is what the Spirit whispers to our hearts as we listen to the same old words that makes those words so exciting.

As long I am trying to live right, I will always be thrilled by accounts of the First Vision. I will always be humbled by every description of what occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane. Captain Moroni's Title of Liberty will always stir noble desires for freedom deep in my soul. I hope Lehi's and Nephi's dreams about the love of God never loose their savor for me.

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