Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sister Beck Says So…Part III

You can read Part I and Part II here.

In these next three quotes from President Beck, she talks about some very heavy things, and I’ve been thinking on them a lot since last Saturday.

It’s not that they’re necessarily anything I haven’t heard before, but that they have been brought to my mind at a time when I’m going through some changes/challenges, and therefore, they seem new to me again (if that makes any sense).

But I suppose this is how it is with gospel principles: as you continue to progress (or at least strive too), truths of the gospel refine.


Now, on to the quotes:

“Remember we fought a war [in the pre-existence]. We were part of a great conflict and we decided whose side we were on. And we said ‘Sign me up! I’m in for the whole deal.’ So there has to come a point where the Lord says ‘Do you mean it?’” [chuckle, chuckle] “‘Are you really with me or are you against?’”

Ah, the pre-existence! One of my favorite LDS beliefs. It just makes so much sense, doesn’t it? And it also makes the creation of this world much more necessary to us (I believe) than to other religions. It also makes us more responsible for our lives (I believe) than is taught in other religions. We chose to come here for the good and the bad; we knew this ahead of time. We weren’t sent here just to get us ready to worship God for eternity (or burn in hell for doing a poor job). No, we were sent here to become like Him, literally.

The fact that we had the freedom of choice in the matter gives us more power in a sense: power over our pre-existent past (even if we can’t remember), power over our identity, and as a result, power over our lives. If you choose to put yourself in a dangerous situation, (e.g. earth-life) then you really can’t be a victim. Seeing yourself as a victim is a way to abdicate your power. And no member of the church, who really understands the happenings and implications of the pre-existence, can see him or herself as a victim.

Now, I’m not saying that people aren’t abused, hurt, victimized in this life. Of course this happens. But because of our understanding of the pre-existence and the Atonement (mostly this), we don’t have to see ourselves that way. We don’t have to believe the world’s view that because we were wronged, nothing is our fault; that we aren’t responsible for ourselves and our lives. We can claim and keep our power. No matter what!

Back to Pres. Beck:

“And so He said ‘I know how we’ll do this. I’ll send them to a world, and we’ll prove them’…And that’s what we’re doing. And we’ve heard a lot about the trials and troubles that come because we’re being proven. You don’t get proven when things are good. You get proven on all the waves and stormy times…”

Is your life tough right now? Good. It’s supposed to be. Get over it! You’re being proven, after all.

So many times we (mostly me) think that because we live the “true” gospel, believe in miracles, believe in blessings, and believe in a loving Heavenly Father and Savior, life should always be grand. We should always be spared. Miracles should always come our way. Or, at the very least, we should receive the answer we want from sincere prayer.

Consequently, we take it as a personal affront when life stinks.

“Why aren’t you saving me Lord? I pray, read my scriptures, do my V.T., yadda yadda yadda.” What we’re really saying is “I feel I’m holding to my end of the deal, so why aren’t you?”

Sometimes we (mostly me) think “I’m doing the best I can, so bless me already!” or “Aren’t you supposed to love me despite all my weaknesses? Send some miracles my way!” or, worst of all (and I know this from personal experience) “I don’t seem to be getting what I want in this life. This must mean you don’t love me (or don’t exist). Gospel, Shmospel! I’m outta here!”

But, what we have to remember is that we are here for EVERY reason we complain for being here!

This is it. This is life. And Sister Beck is right. The Lord asking us daily “Are you with me no matter what? Or, only if I bless you, your way?”

“So, therefore, what? Now what? You here being proven, now what? …I believe the first thing we do is we can’t forget; we have to remember. Every Sunday we come to sacrament meeting and we come for a reason, and that is, to remember. And to remember, we even renew our covenants every week that we’re going to remember. Initially, by about three hours after church we’re forgetting already.” [chuckle, chuckle] “Isn’t that right? I mean, the hardest commandment we keep is to remember. Always remember.”

Don’t you just love this? I thought her statement that “the hardest commandment we keep is to remember” was so true! Here, President Beck is referring to remembering the Savior. But later, she mentions remembering who we are (which I’ll talk about in Part IV).

And, although I’ve thought about it before, it is interesting to ponder on the fact that we covenant to remember. This places A LOT of importance on remembering! Personally, I forget all the time. I even put a sign on my computer that says “Always Remember” because I never do.

Now, take a moment and think about the ways you remember. I think we all have similar ones (e.g. reading the scriptures, praying, partaking of the sacrament, etc.), but I’m interested in the ways you might remember that are different. Make a comment, if you want, about your unique way.

I can use all the help I can get.

Stay tuned for Part IV…


Rachel said...

Hey, I have a "remember" sign on my computer too! Only, it seems the thing I have to remember the most is to not put post-its over it. It's very helpful, when not covered up.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to know if anyone asked her about GC in the question and answer session!

Matt W.

Liz said...

Matt W.: Nope, I wish someone had asked her that. But, people just asked the dumbest questions you can think of.

I'm going to talk a little about them in Part IV.