Sunday, July 19, 2015

I See... All-You-Can-Believe Spiritual Buffets

One the central themes running through several Mormon Third Eye blogposts is the mind-boggling concept of all-you-can-eat buffets. You can read more about them here and here,  In summary, I grew up in a tightly budgeted home where food was rationed. When I left the homestead and discovered buffets, Chinese, American, and several shades in between, I initiated a tradition of ingesting medically dangerous amounts of food- affectionately known by the slang “eating myself into a coma.” Steak, General Tsao;s chicken, and triple chocolate cake; Korean barbecue, Mongolian barbecue, and bacon-cheeseburger pizza; alfredo pasta, macaroni and cheese, and slow-roasted spare ribs. Need I say more? After consulting with the crack team MTE of psychoanalytic experts, I discovered that deep down inside, somewhere between my upper and lower intestines, my brain was pulling buried worries from distant childhood memories and messaging to the rest of me the irrational fear that “I had better eat as much as I can now, because there is no telling when this fantasy world will end and food will be restricted again.”
Just as I was becoming more confident that I had tamed this sector of my character, I have been challenged by another vice- all-you-can believe spiritual buffets. Last week was particularly hard. It was an overwhelming onslaught of day after day of opportunities to feed my soul with spiritual delights. Monday afternoon was spent at the Raleigh North Carolina Temple Recommend Desk greeting worthy young men and women of Apex North Carolina doing baptisms for their kindred dead. On Tuesday through Friday you could find me traveling to Palmyra with the 306 of our stake youth to visit the Sacred Grove, the Hill Cumorah, the Grandin Building where the first run of the Book of Mormon was printed and published, and the Whitmer Farm, where much of the Book of Mormon was translated and the church was officially organized on April 6th 1830.
Oh the endless rounds of prayers offered, scriptures studied, and testimonies born by sincere youth truly discovering the gospel for the first time! The precious opportunities to study scriptures and ponder precious gospel truths under the same stars and in the same woods and farmland that the prophet Joseph Smith frequented almost two centuries earlier! The heavens are open again! God speaks to man! We know the true nature of a perfectly loving and compassionate Heavenly Father! We are literal sons and daughters of God! The great plan of happiness is available to all! Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind may be saved! Through personal revelation, we can know the truth of all things! My spiritual body is ready to burst! How can I keep it all in?

But wait, there's more! Just when I thought it was emotionally impossible to consume more doctrinal truths and find more joy in serving the Lord, the next day I pulled my regular Saturday morning shift at the Raleigh North Carolina Temple. I didn't know when I would have another opportunity to partake in such a massive spiritual feast, so I continued to perform critical saving ordinances for the dead and feed my soul with even more spiritual treats. And let's not forget that tomorrow is Sunday, a traditionally popular day to grow closer to God. I am doomed. What can I do to productively manage this running bombardment of inspired input and prevent my spiritual body from exploding? I'm already over my limit.

I guess all I can do is find opportunities to share the gospel. I sense that missionary work is the only sure release valve for pent-up spiritual overflow, although it too has a tendency to turn around and feed you more spiritual food than you can handle. I'm gospel glutton and proud of it. How about you?  

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