Popping Bubbles

Blog #32 June 24, 2022

Timothy 3:1-5
3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.
3:4 Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.

To say we have problems in the world today is a drastic understatement. In my youth I looked out at the world and saw a place where ignorance and general stupidity reined supreme. Yes, it was a problem, but the solutions were as evident as the problems and the world came to realize that that bigotry of any type was as stupid as it was wrong. Though the progress is slow I am hopeful that the problems of my youth are finding resolution. Things are harder today because we are faced with a world where lying is more than just a way to nurture and sustain our pride. It has become an effort to change the very nature of truth in the life of the believer. 

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

In our beginning passage of scripture, Paul aptly describes the state of the world today. But, if you are a student of history you will realize that the world recreates these conditions in almost every generation. 

2 Timothy 3:1-5
3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.
3:4 Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.

Compare Paul's warning to Nero's Rome, France in the late 1700's, Germany in the 30's, America's rebellion of the 60's, the drug culture in the late 70's and early 80's, all produced for society the same lust and corruption Paul warns us about. What makes today different if not harder? Communication, people now have the ability to communicate instantly. Literally within a few minutes, my thoughts can be presented to an audience of thousands. Right, wrong, or indifferent my thoughts can invade your world instantly, and Brethren that is an awesomely dangerous attribute. Modern social media has the ability to flood our senses with lies. It can challenge if not alter the intent of your heart and even obscure and change the very concept of truth. Even in the time of Isaiah, Judah suffered from challenges to the hearts of the people.

Isaiah 30:1-3
30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin;
30:2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
30:3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.

Ponder the last word of this passage, and realize that we as a society suffer from confusion. What is right? What is wrong? What is good? What is bad? Eventually confusion forces us to ask the greatest question, what is truth? 

DC 90:4c The Spirit of truth is of God. I am the Spirit of truth.

In our complex society, the very simplicity of this verse makes most people doubt its veracity. We as a people have become convinced that nothing this simple can be the answer to our confusion. We ignore the obvious, choose the path of confusion, and arrive at its only possible destination, fear and doubt. Brethren, this is the source of our torment. We are scared, and in that fear we erect walls. We wrap ourselves in bubbles so clear that we don't even realize they are there. Instead of a people seeking for others who labor for the purpose of God, we are a gathering of bubbles that we think will protect us. Kinda' dumb isn't it. So dumb that it can't be the truth, can it? Let's look harder at this world of bubbles. David suffered from this same torment. 

Psalms 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye. Hide me under the shadow of thy wings from the wicked that oppress me.

The deeper I become involved with the ministry I have accepted, I find myself estranged from many who I mistakenly considered as companions within the common understanding of God's purpose we share. Just to share a few of the bubbles I have found.
1. Recognized scriptures and versions of those scriptures
2. Required authority to labor as a minister
3. The recognized status of a minister in society and their standing in the community 
4. God's status in our life
5. God as a Father
6. God as a Judge
7. Our ability as believers to affect the world around us in the name of Jesus Christ

These are just a few of the bubbles humanity has built, and they just concern the labor for God. Consider the bubbles of guaranteed political rights, financial status, social responsibilities to family, friends, and country, and many, many others. As I grew in this understanding it appalled me. To think of all those who chose to accept a life as a slave to a minor consideration, and I was helping them to do this. Something has to be done.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Alma 28:13 My soul standeth fast in that liberty, in the which God hath made us free.

To begin this mission of mercy we have to realize that we, too are victims of the scourge of fear and we have to pop our own bubbles first. Now don't get me wrong. We don't have to give up the beliefs that separate us from them. We just need to quit allowing them to separate us. We are seeking both a common understanding and oneness, but we cannot force it.

2 Nephi 1:119-120
1:119 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man.
1:120 And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great mediation of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil:

It is very important that we accept the fact that people must pop their own bubble. If we attempt to attack them with scriptures centering on their wrongdoing we will only reinforce their need for the bubble of protection they worked so hard to build. Remember that God is their Father, and He loves them regardless of their mistakes. We are to be His temporal presence and to share with them the love that God feels both for them and us. Assure them of the purity of our pursuit by offering them the joy of our freedom and from wherein that freedom comes. Remember we are attempting to build a bridge between us and them capable of bearing God, them, and us. The foundation of that bridge needs to be those ideals we hold common, then build from there. Now realize that the true power of what we attempt is within us but not of us. It is of God.

DC 83:15c And whoso receiveth you, there will I be also; for I will go before your face: I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and my angels round about you, to bear you up.

We must realize both what it is and how it expresses itself temporally. Through the Spirit of God laboring with God, the freedom within our hearts will express to others all that they want and all that they need. 

Mosiah 9:64 And they did walk uprightly before God, imparting to one another, both temporally and spiritually, according to their needs and their wants.

Before we go any further let me reassure you that I know who it is I am challenging to reach out in the name of God. I realize that we are not Apostles in the field wielding the sword of the Word seeking to bring nations to God, but I promise you the process is the same. The task of creating a common understanding with a friend requires the same fortitude and humility present in Peter as he spoke from the steps the temple in Jerusalem. But, be at peace because it is already there within us. God promised, and in His love for us He will keep that promise. 

Luke 21:13-14
21:13 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
21:14 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.

1 John 4:16-17
4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world.

The second assurance I will offer is my own testimony, and it deals with the day I popped my own bubble. I was at a meeting with another congregation and was present during an administration for healing. They decided to vary from the typical form of administration in a way I found dangerous to those of a tender faith. At the end of the administration I told God in my head that I thought it was wrong. He replied to me, "Then tell them". I argued with God and told Him I had no business telling them what to do. He replied again, "Tell them"; so I did. I asked the Elder presiding for the floor and was granted the right to speak. Brethren in that moment my bubble popped and the words poured out of me as God promised they would. The act itself was not what ministered most to me that day. It was instead the thanks I received from the membership of the congregation. Both Priesthood and membership alike told me that the ministry was very much needed. To top it all off, they recognized that which was given as coming to them from God. They recognized the Spirit speaking through me to them. Brethren this only happened because I humbled myself to the need within God's purpose and popped my bubble. It made me aware of the ministry God seeks for the world from His children.

Romans 1:11-12
1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, that it may be established in you to the end;
1:12 That I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

In closing I would like to share with each of you the importance of what we need to attempt. We don't need bubbles. The strength of God in this world is not dependent on the membership, His Priesthood, or a thousand and one different opinions on who God is and who we are within Him. Our strength comes from fellowship. We need fellowship that knows God's word in all its forms. We need common understandings of God. We need common consent with God. We need a labor for God that has its place in the hearts of all who believe. Again I will say..........We don't need no stinking bubbles. 

Pop your own bubble and watch with joy as others pop theirs.




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