#3 June 10,2021
We strive all our lives to be better. Smarter, faster, healthier, or anything else that improves our life that we might be better today than we were yesterday. Whether it can ever be that simple or not it is a beginning point in describing and understanding the human condition. What is it we are really trying so hard to gain or are we hiding from something we are trying to avoid.
Recorded history and the Bible both agree that man has been running this race against mediocrity since the very beginning. I believe the story of Adam and Eve to be absolute truth and an excellent example of our effort to avoid being average. Even if you do not agree with my assessment of the event I think you might agree with the concept it teaches us. For all of history man has been subject to the idea that we are just one of the many diverse types of life that inhabits the earth around us, except for one thing. Mankind is intrinsically different if only in the concept that we have been given either the responsibility to care for all of creation or the ability to destroy it. We seem to be instinctively aware of this difference and accept the way it influences our lives.
Genesis 1: 16 And the earth brought forth grass; every herb yielding seed after his kind; and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed should be in itself, after his kind.
Genesis 1: 23 And I, God, created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind; and every winged fowl, after his kind.
Gensis 1: 25 And I, God, said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature, after his kind; cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth, after their kind; and it was so.
Genesis 1: 27-27
1:27 And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so.
1:28 And I, God, said, Let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Whether your chosen belief is that of a higher power, the universal fellowship of all creation, or the survival of the fittest, man has been given the ability to determine for themselves and the world at large life, death, survival, or extinction. We have been given the ability to observe, ponder, and choose. No other form of life has this ability, only man. The Bible describes so well the concept of mankind’s ability to choose and the responsibility it brings to our life that I will use scriptures to describe how we as a people become aware of this awesome talent and how we are supposed to use it.
Consider if you will the ancient world and mankind as one of its inhabitants. Like children we existed without any reason to act upon the world around us. Like the rest of creation we lived to only respond and react to what the new day offered us.
1:31 And I, God, said unto man, Behold, I have given you every herb, bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth; and every tree in the which shall be the fruit of a tree, yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
1:32 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein I grant life, there shall be given every clean herb for meat; and it was so, even as I spake.
1:33 And I, God, saw everything that I had made, and behold, all things which I had made were very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
In the beginning mankind as it were, lived the ideal life of innocence. Food was plentiful. Water was clean and safe. Sickness if there ever was any, came and went. We would either live or we would die. To us there was no good or evil. There was no joy or sorrow. No great decisions were required of us because basically they we unaware. But, because of our ever present hatred of mediocrity, that was bound to change.
3: 7 And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, for he had drawn away many after him; and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God; wherefore, he sought to destroy the world.
3:8 And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden. And he spake by the mouth of the serpent.
3:9 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which thou beholdest in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
3:10 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
However you view the personification of good and evil, man was given a choice to make and we have all faced this decision. We began our lives innocent of good and evil in this world. As children we had someone to make this decision for us, but there came a time when we were forced to make the decision of good vs. evil for ourselves. In our awareness we recognized the power of both good and evil and all the ramifications implied. Like Eve we also had to face our inborn hatred of mediocrity and the temptation to make our decision based on what we would gain by that choice. Like it or not we were about to learn that our decision would affect everything about our life, the way we would live it, and the way it would affect those around us.
3:11 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it became pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.
3:12 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they had been naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Never believe that Eve’s decision alone damned mankind because Adam made the very same decision. Both decided to be more. Both decided to be better and the knowledge they gained gave them what they wanted. They now had all the knowledge they sought and something they didn’t expect. They learned of fear and doubt.
Deuteronomy 28:66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life;
This is the concept that will give this article true meaning. I am convinced that we are not seeking a way to be better as much as we are running from the eventuality of living forever in bondage to doubt and fear. What would we give for a life of peace and the assurance of existence free from fear and free from doubt? For me covenant with God has given my life freedom from doubt and fear. The purpose I gained in fellowship with God now motivates me far more than any earthly insecurity ever has or ever will.
Alma 16:9 For thus saith the scripture, Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.
Understand the fullness of all we are given here. How we live our lives is our choice. No one will make it for you and in truth, no one can. Each of us chooses in our hearts what we will believe and how those beliefs will determine the life we lead. In God this freedom to choose is both upheld and enforced.
2:19 And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat;
2:20 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it;
2:21 Nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but remember that I forbid it;
2:22 For in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Our ability to choose is paramount to God. In fact it was one of the reasons Satan was caste out of Heaven.
3:4 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him; and also that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten I caused that he should be cast down; and he became Satan.
In our walk together searching for the freedom we seek, we will face many decisions. Rest assured I refuse to decide for you and I am quite unwilling to accept anything you decide for me. I will listen to all you have to say and will consider them as the offering of a concerned friend and hope that you will do the same for me. But……my choice is my choice and yours belongs to no one but you.
My hope is that we will walk many miles together for much has been given to me and I seek to share. I have found the promises of Christ have opened my life to light and truth that have made me doubt less and believe more. By opening my heart to the leadership of God through His Spirit I find fear to be less relevant every day. Because of promises I read in the scriptures I find the ability to move forward, despite the challenges I face. This is one of my favorites.
Matthew 11:29 Then spake Jesus, saying, Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Praise God for all the blessings He has brought us today,
And praise Him more for those yet to come.