Since I left church today two experiences have been ruminating in my mind.
First in Gospel Doctrine we read in 2 Peter 2:22, where Peter says that returning to my sins is like a dog returning to his vomit. VOMIT! What a revolting imagery! My problem is that I don’t see it as vomit. Satan covers it with chocolate and whipped cream. My mouth waters. I can almost taste it. All that I can think of is the pleasure. I’ll just take a nibble and then just more and more. I indulge. And then my mouth tastes like vomit. Oh if I could always remember the aftertaste, the crappy feelings, the withdrawal of the Spirit. My prayers become superficial if at all. I don’t want to face My Father. I get angry about all the Church asks me to do. I want to “get a life” and forget the joy of “losing my life in His service”. I feel empty and want escape. Oh here’s some more chocolate, covered with whipped cream. Just a little won’t hurt. . . . The easiest thing to do would be to do the “natural” thing. Pleasure is just a click away on the computer or in my pants. Invitations come to me at the gym and elsewhere. . .
Now, I haven’t been having a chocolate orgy, but I have been getting lax and contemplating some nibbling. But today Peter shouted at me, “Oh please remember (2 Peter 1:12) Remember (vs. 13) REMEMBER (vs 15.). You can partake of the divine nature. It may be natural for you to desire these physical pleasures but you have a higher, spiritual nature. Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.”
I don’t know if you have seen the movie, “Matrix”. It illustrates well how we can be brainwashed with a virtual reality that keeps us from our true reality. It is natural to fall back into a material, physical, pleasure-oriented perspective. These desires are normal, but I have a higher nature and unlike an animal, I have a moral capacity to understand spiritual realities. I have a divine nature and can discipline myself for a higher purpose than immediate pleasure.
Last night my son asked me for a blessing. It shocked me out of my spiritual lethargy. Immediately the chocolate I had been sniffing didn’t look so enticing. I told him I would in a while. I immediately took a private inventory and pled for guidance. I pondered and prayed and then later, in my weakness, promising from that moment to repent and trusting in His love for me and my son sought him out. I laid my hands on his head and silently prayed for power and light. It came. We had a few sacred moments together as father and son feeling the love of our Father flow through us. We embraced and looked lovingly into each other’s eyes and he left. Oh may I remember, Remember, REMEMBER what I felt at that moment. There is a higher joy that surpasses all the pleasures of the world! Oh may I never violate the trust my Father and family have in me.
This incident prepared me to hear Peter’s call during Sunday School.
For the closing hymn in sacrament meeting we sang:
“Jesus, the very thought of thee
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far thy face to see
And in they presence rest. . . . .
To those who fall, how kind thou are!
How good to those who seek. . .”
I sang those words with renewed gratitude and have carried them in my heart throughout the day.