Wednesday, January 22, 2014

That "he may loose the bands...which bind his people" (Alma 7:12)

This may come as a shock to many of you, but life is difficult. Each one of us is the sum of everything that has ever happened to us, and how we reacted to those things. Neither one of us is exactly the same for that very reason. None of us can truly, fully understand another person.

The hymn, "Arise, O Glorious Zion" has a special place in my heart. It practically teaches the full doctrine on how Zion can come out of obscurity and darkness in this wicked, corrupt world. The third verse teaches us of the struggles in life, "Thru painful tribulation We walk the narrow road And battle with temptation To gain the blest abode But patient, firm endurance, With glory in our view, The Spirit's bright assurance Will bring us conq'rors through." (http://www.lds.org/music/library/hymns/arise-o-glorious-zion?lang=eng). Each time I sing those words, I think, "Yeah! That's totally my life!"

Doubts, fears, and questions constantly arise. Why do I feel the way I do? Why is life so difficult? Why can't I see the end from the beginning? The truth is, because that's the way it is. This life is a time to grow. If God removed all the need for faith, none of us would grow.

We have one who understands us perfectly. He knows exactly the way we feel. He knows that life is difficult, and why. He knows the beginning from the end. He knows what we need to grow to become like Him. Jesus the Anointed One loves us perfectly, because he knows us perfectly. He loves us more than we can possibly love ourselves, because we don't know ourselves as well as He does. He came to understand the bands which bind us, as well as to loose them from us.

With John Taylor, I say "World upon world, eternal things, Hang on thy anguish, King of kings." He went through that anguish, because of love. He always prepared with purpose, taught with testimony, and labored with love all of this life. He understands us perfectly.

Answers, hope, and joy can come to each of us. Instead of seeing the way of Babylon, we can have the Holy Ghost teach us the ways of Zion. We still won't be able to see the end from the beginning, but we can have the strength, and the power of the Holy One of Israel upon us at all times through His redeeming and exalting blood.

Returning to "Arise, O Glorious Zion", the fourth verse explains by what power comes the Spirit to aid us in life. "Oh, grant, Eternal Father, That we may faithful be, With all the just to gather, And thy salvation see! Then, with the hosts of heaven, We'll sing th'immortal theme: To him be glory given Whose blood did us redeem." (http://www.lds.org/music/library/hymns/arise-o-glorious-zion?lang=eng). Through our faith in, and through, the blood of the Lamb, we are able to survive this life. We are able to thrive.

Because of the Power of the Atoning Sacrifice of the Son of God, He is able to perfectly, truly, and fully understand you, and me, better than we can understand ourselves. Life is still going to be challenging at times, but we will always have a friend bearing us up, even Jesus the Christ. And that is the least shocking thing.