Willing Obedience

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Jeremy at Orson?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Telescope recently posted regarding an epiphany he had will reading the Life of Pi. In particular, he gave the following quote:

There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if the Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few paise, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, ‘Business as usual.’ But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. Their faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening.

These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their defence, not God’s, that the self-righteous should rush.

It made me ponder on how many religious people lead their lives, particularly Christians. I?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢m not prejudiced toward Christians?¢‚Ǩ‚ÄùI am one myself?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùbut I live in Canada?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Bible Belt, so I am a little biased in my religious experience.

Why do so many Christians fight (verbally or otherwise) other Christians or believers of other faiths? Why do so many Christians tear down other faiths? Why are so many Christians abusive (verbally or otherwise) to those who do not ?¢‚Ǩ?ìobey the commandments?¢‚Ǩ¬ù? Why do so many Christians attack abortionists or homosexuals, but do nothing to Sabbath-breakers or coveters? Why do so many Christians pay lip service to God and Jesus through their praises, but do little else to live a God-like or Christian life? Why do so many Christians study the Bible, but do very little to apply its teachings?

It all reminds me of something Nephi said in 2 Nephi 31.

?¢‚Ǩ¬¶the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do. (v 12)

?¢‚Ǩ¬¶Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? (v. 10)

How often do we focus on ?¢‚Ǩ?ìkeeping the commandments of the Father?¢‚Ǩ¬ù, but forget about doing it ?¢‚Ǩ?ìwillingly?¢‚Ǩ¬ù? Do we keep the Sabbath holy because a prophet has told us to, or because it is our will? Do we avoid sexual transgressions because w fear pregnancy or STDs or because it is our will? Do we help our neighbours because the Elders Quorum organised a service project or because it is our will? Do we get baptised because our friends were baptised or because it is our will? Do we partake of the Sacrament because others around us do or because it is our will? Do we read our scriptures because we feel guilty if we don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t or because it is our will?

I wonder what the world would be like if everyone who commits moral acts did so because it is their uttermost inner desire to do so.