Envy, Part 6

Being Zion

Equality Overtakes Envy 

During any given day, we may experience instances of envy-inducing media and personal situations. The envy of things or the honors of men are the most common baits, of course. Becoming immune to either temptation defeats billions of dollars in ad revenue. Just think of the effect you’re having right there! That’s success! But wait! There’s more…!

The most important thing to consider and understand, is all over the scriptures. There’s no doubt or wiggle-room on this one. We are all equal before God. Access to God is given freely to anyone who desires it. There is no line. You don’t need a ticket; you just get on board. (Homage to Curtis Mayfield’s blues tune, People Get Ready.)

Here are two relevant examples, one from Peter, through Cornelius, and one from God.

Cornelius was a Gentile who had not converted to Judaism, but was a righteous man. Even so, Jews were forbidden his association. An angel advised Cornelius to contact Peter for a visit, which he did. After a vision from God, Peter told Cornelius:

"God has showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean...Truly I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation, he that fears him and works righteousness is accepted with him." (LDS Acts 10:28, 34-35; RE Acts 6:6,7)

This was huge for Peter! A magnificent paradigm shift. And he was obedient and changed a deeply held belief because the Lord explained it to him. Peter was open and sensitive to the Lord’s will. Are we? Or do we run on autopilot most of the time?

Then, our Lord confirms:

"And for your salvation, I give unto you a commandment...all flesh is mine, and I am no respecter to persons..." (LDS D&C 38:16; RE T&C 22:6)

Exactly why, is it critical that God is no respecter of persons?

Joseph Smith answers: 

"But it is also necessary that men should have an idea that he is no respecter of persons, for with the idea of all the other excellencies in his character and this one wanting, men could not exercise faith in him; because if he were a respecter of persons, they could not tell what their privileges were, nor how far they were authorized to exercise faith in him, or whether they were authorized to do it at all; but all must be confusion. But no sooner are the minds of men made acquainted with the truth on this point — that he is no respecter of persons — than they see that they have authority by faith to lay hold on eternal life, the richest boon of Heaven, because God is no respecter of persons and that every man in every nation has an equal privilege." (LoF 3:23)

This is fundamental and Babylon-shaking doctrine. It lays us flat, staring into the abyss of our pedestal-making judgments. It topples our rock-star leadership to the rubble of unrighteous dominion. 

It raises those who thought they had no chance. It provides no advantage or hindrance to anyone, regardless of organizational affiliation. Our Lord is an intimately personal God. All are equally invited to approach Him with the confidence and expectation of an audience, and answers. You'll soon observe sudden bursts of knowledge, and confirming emotion, as revelation. You recognize that they came from a source seemingly outside you and yet inside, too. As you express gratitude for the increase of knowledge, you'll get more. This is how we attain to the Glory of God, and His Grace.

He waits for us to resonate in the frequencies of Heaven to pay us a visit, in whatever form. Envy causes spiritual dissonance which interferes with those frequencies. Communication becomes clearer with your alignment to Heaven. Tune in, turn on, and become one with the most welcoming and forgiving Being you could ever imagine.

Be One, and Be Unique

While we are one, with each other, and with God, and all having equal privilege before Him, we remain unique in our individual capabilities and spiritual gifts. How boring would be mortality, if we were all the same.

(Just a short note before Paul reminds us of fundamental doctrine. The Hebrew language has no neutral term for gender. A group of men and women is referred to as masculine. Hence, both men and women are recipients of spiritual gifts.)

"But the manifestation of the spirit is given to every man to profit all; for to one is given by the spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same spirit, to another faith by the same spirit, to another the gifts of healing by the same spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But all these work that one and the selfsame spirit, dividing to every man separately as he desires." (LDS 1Cor 12:7-11; RE 1Cor 1:48)

Each gift is a reminder of the Lord's interaction with us, and His trust. We are, male and female, uniquely blessed and challenged with increasing our ability to identify, develop, and use our gifts. As we bless others, the Lord takes note and we grow closer to Him, and we become more like Him.

Recognizing the gifts of others, when we have neglected our own, can lead to envy. This is not helpful. To envy another's spiritual gift is an affront to the judgements of God. Really? We would call into question the Lord's will for us and others? When we use our own unique gifts to bless others, whatever our level of expertise or capability, we join the Lord in His saving work.

We can see then, because of our equality before God, envy of mortal position is empty and irrelevant. Our Lord provides a path for each of us back to the Father, by his Atonement. Where we are on our unique path, is irrelevant to anyone else's position on their path. 

Neal Maxwell warns: "It is not wise for us to compare crosses." (Neal A. Maxwell, BYU Devotional, Taking Up the Cross, Jan 4, 1976.)

Direction on our path is far more important than position. In spite of that truth, comparing path positions, and paychecks, has become all too common in Babylon. 

The engine of envy is pride with lubrication provided by money. Paul warns Timothy about those who reject the Gospel of Christ and, instead, embrace a secular, strife-filled culture, where money is the ultimate reward. See if this sounds tragically familiar:

"...he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness...For the love of money is the root of all evil..." (LDS 1 Tim 6:4-5, 10; RE 1Tim 1:16) 

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