Wider Fields

Being Zion
The Lord desires to show us ever wider fields of view of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and our lives within it. However, hearts set, so much upon the things of this world, and envious aspirations to the honors of men, restrict our ability to rise. And rise, we must.
 
(Aspirations to the honors of men are, by definition, envious. Things and honors are inseparably intertwined with envy. Hence, envy is at the core of most advertising and public relations strategies. Babylon uses envy to its advantage. Babylon depends, indeed it feeds, on envy.)
 
Under this constant barrage of envy-inducing influences, we become cynical and unbelieving. We may even recognize the emotional conditioning as it's happening and reason against it. But it's a tiresome endeavor and the attendant spiritual static is wearying. Welcome to the modern mortal world.
 
The Lord succinctly defines the problem in Luke 18:17:
 
"Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein."
 
What are the two primary characteristics of a child? An insatiable thirst for knowledge, and the ability to believe that anything is possible. The two very things that have been culturally bred out of us.
 
The first provides impetus for the discovery of the eternal principles embodied by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the core source of truth. Honest truth seekers will find the path as they ask God and He leads them to it.
 
The second allows for the discovery of God's hand in the effort. Hence the opposition's vehement denial of God's very existence. They say "Show me God, and I'll believe." The Lord says, "Believe and I'll show you."
 
On the opposite side of belief tends to be the wealthy, who believe they are "saved" from the cares of this world, by "the things of this world" which they possess. Along with this belief rides the accompanying "honors of men." The Lord, continues in Luke, providing a stark example of this difficult position and its denial of truth.
 
"And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God."
 
The very Savior of mankind, in eternal submission, meekness, and humility, deflects and refers praise to the Father. If we look carefully, and pay attention, we get occasional hints at why His dominion flows to Him without compulsory means. Jesus is always the Great Teacher. The Ultimate Example. Then He continues:
 
"Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.
 
"And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
 
"Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me." Luke 18:17-22
 
Three words that define a gospel, "Come, follow me." The invitation requires belief in Christ, which wealth and its accompanying honors, too often deny. No particular emphasis on any of the three words, (being of about equal importance), just a pause after the invitation. "Come." Or is it a commandment? Perhaps, it depends on your perspective.
 
If you're looking away from the Lord, and are consumed with satisfying your particular lusts of the flesh, it will be a commandment.
 
If you honestly and virtuously seek after righteousness, you become as a spiritual athlete, able to progress past much about which the world cares deeply. It's a different paradigm. And, always, the seeking requires belief in Christ. Here is the final instruction and glorious Gold Medal of the Gospel:
 
"Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
 
"The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever." (D&C 121:45-46)
 
Just think of it as, Confidence Wax. 
 
Remember the consequence of charity and virtue? “…then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God…” Charity and virtue produce Confidence Wax. It’s a new product! All of us need a bit of shining up and this will do it. And, best of all, it’s always in stock.
 
Christ beckons. We have to rise to Him. Mortality provides the medium. Christ provides the Way.
 
As we become more like Him, we become lighter than the crass, competitive, and envious mortal world. And we rise. Eventually to meet Him and see Him as He is.
 
Either ignore Him, or follow Him. You choose. Every moment. 
 
The simple hymn embodies all thought on the matter:
 
“Come, follow me,” the Savior said.
Then let us in his footsteps tread,
For thus alone can we be one
With God’s own loved, begotten
     Son.
 
“Come, follow me,” a simple phrase, 
Yet truth’s sublime, effulgent rays 
Are in these simple words
     combined
To urge, inspire the human mind.
 
Is it enough alone to know
That we must follow him below, 
While trav’ling thru this vale of
     tears?
No, this extends to holier spheres.
 
Not only shall we emulate
His course while in this earthly 
     state,
But when we’re freed from present 
     cares,
If with our Lord we would be heirs.
 
We must the onward path pursue 
As wider fields expand to view, 
And follow him unceasingly, 
Whate’er our lot or sphere may be.
 
For thrones, dominions, kingdoms, 
     pow’rs,
And glory great and bliss are ours,
If we, throughout eternity,
Obey his words, “Come, follow 
     me.”
(Come Follow Me, LDS Hymn #116.
Text: John Nicholson, 1839–1909
Music: Samuel McBurney, 1847-1909)
 
And not only are we to follow Christ, but to actively seek, and recognize truth as we travel on His path for us, to salvation. Diligent obedience to the Holy Spirit protects our “innocence,” and refuses access to that wicked one. Our childlike thirst for knowledge and unlimited belief in Christ, are the most effective weapons of our innocence, and intelligence.
 
"The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. Light and truth forsake that evil one. Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God.
 
"And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers." (D&C 93:36-39)
 
"We must the onward path pursue
As wider fields expand to view..." 
 
Four Steps To Wider Fields
 
1. Examine the narrow fields I view.
• No matter how much we know.
• No matter how wide we think is our
   field of view.
• Momentary satisfaction with our current
   view is all we get.
• We are no more than 5-year-olds trying
   to be productive in a physics lab. The
   physicist can do nothing more than
   provide a broom and a dust pan and hope
   for the best.
2. Work, desire, and pray for wider fields.
• Work as if your life depended on it.
• Desire knowledge like a thirsty child
   craving cold lemonade on a sweltering
   summer day.
• Pray as if the Lord was right next to you.
   He just might be.
3. Return gratitude for your expanding views,
    and faithfully serve and obey the Lord.
• Gratitude displays, to the Lord, that we
   recognize and give credit to Him for all
   truth and knowledge gained. Service to
   others is service to Him. 
• Gratitude fuels obedience. Obedience to
   His commandments fuels our forward
   journey.
4. Go forward to #1.
• Always forward. Always leaning. Always
   loving. Always rising.
 
This is The Way, The Path, to become like Him. There is no other way.
 
That raises the hackles on the back of my neck as I pull against the bridle of obedience and hear the familiar whisperings of the Adversary. "Oh yeah?” He challenges. "No other way? Bet we can find one."
 
Most things are like chess. There is often a move you missed, or think you missed, so you keep looking because there just has to be a move out of this mess.
 
The path out of this mess is plain and simple, even in its eternal complexity. The path requires ever increasing knowledge. Knocking off the rough spots. Keeping our relationships more important than our opinions. Banishing rivalry, competition, contention, and strife. Looking with soft, forgiving eyes. And finding, it’s not enough. I still feel a love from the Savior that I cannot express or give, myself. I do not yet, fully understand. So, we begin, yet again with #1.
 
This is an ongoing journey. To rise to Christ and gain dominion "without compulsory means" requires great and humble effort, and courage. It is ever ongoing. And it is glorious.
 
Will I believe Christ? Will I cast the core of my character in His mold of forgiveness? Will I love, feely? Will I rise to meet him?
 
Oh, may I, please?
 
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