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Aloha! I am Kara Lynn “Kai” Sanders. I am originally from Heaven. I know I am a daughter of God and am directed by Him to do His work according to His purposes. I am humbled by that realization. Anyone who asks knows I consider myself just a visitor here (to earth) and am just trying to make my way back Home, to my heavenly Home. I was born in Connecticut and lived there for many years before moving to Hawaii. I tell people I was raised in Hawaii because that is where I was “raised” to a new level of knowledge about God, about myself and about the world around me. It is where I started to become a child who would “serve the world.” After four and a half years of tutelage I returned to Connecticut for about six months. I ended up stranded in North Carolina en route to visit a friend in the Georgia prison system. It apparently was where I needed to be because I officially “grew up” to where God needs me to be to do what He needs me to do.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

1 Nephi 2:12-14 - Murmuring

1 Nephi 2

12 And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.

13 Neither did they believe that Jerusalem, that great city, could be destroyed according to the words of the prophets. And they were like unto the Jews who were at Jerusalem, who sought to take away the life of my father.

14 And it came to pass that my father did speak unto them in the valley of Lemuel, with power, being filled with the Spirit, until their frames did shake before him. And he did confound them, that they durst not utter against him; wherefore, they did as he commanded them.

I am grateful to have this significant set of verses contrasting the difference between Nephi, Lehi, and Laman, Lemuel.  When the elders were holding a Book of Mormon class last year (Fall 2012) as I studied for class God revealed His explanation for why people murmur.  It is written plain as day here in verse 12.  You cannot miss the meaning if you know what you are looking for.  Sadly, I missed it for 23 years.  I imagine that is why people still murmur, even and especially those who profess their belief in God.  Apparently they do not recognize that when they murmur it's because they "[know] not the dealings of God"!  That same God they profess to believe in.  Think of Nephi's opening statement to the Book of Mormon.  It contained an acknowledgement of his challenges, but it quickly recognized the favor of God.  It even contains a short discourse on the difference in time between afflictions, which were many and throughout the course of his days.  BUT... the goodness of God...was found in ALL his days.  No murmuring there.  

And what about Lehi?  He saw the destruction of Jerusalem amongst the visions that were opened to his view yet he praised God.  He didn't praise Him for the destruction, he praised God because he knew the dealings of God and knew the destruction didn't come from Him directly.  He knew the destruction of Jerusalem would come because of the increasing wickedness of the people that would cause God to remove His power, goodness and mercy.  Then the people would destroy each other.  In the case for Jerusalem the people would come from without and without God's protection due to their wickedness they would be destroyed.  

Now that is historically speaking.  But really this is intensely personal for me and it should be for everyone in the church. Because whenever I see Jerusalem I think of my home ward and the boundaries it serves.  It makes me think of how people can be so corrupt at times setting the stage for the spiritual destruction of others.  This is evident in unhappy familial relationships, the ever-pervading gossip of unfulfilled peoples and the lack of discipleship, true discipleship which can only be reflected in our studying of the Master and following His teachings.  

You cannot, by dictionary definition, call yourself a disciple of Christ if you are not first a student of His life actions and teachings and second, one who perpetuates the same.  Most people are not....  This is setting the stage for the spiritual destruction of Jerusalem (literally and figuratively) because those who know the truth should, above all, be endeavoring to be disciples and should be putting themselves in positions to speak up for the Lord.  They should expect the persecution and ridicule as Lehi did because we have the stories to teach us.

Now with Lehi we have accounts of him being persecuted in and out of his own household.  It surely affected him as a parent!  As the wickedness of his children cuts deep into his heart, he was able to exercise some control over the situation though.  By allowing Laman and Lemuel to experience the power of the Spirit through him he was going to make sure they followed the Lord's way hoping it eventually would become theirs.  BUT as we know until every person takes on a personal mission to study and show themselves approved before God and develop a personal, deep and abiding relationship with Father, Son and Spirit, it does not matter how many experiences with Spirit they have if they are always outside of their own desire for them.  

This reminds me so much of so many, too many people who smile in your face but stab you in your back.  This happens when you are spoken of unfavorably or gossiped about when you are not around.  That shows a lack of character.  I imagine the worst is when you know you've said something they admit they were wanting, waiting or needing to hear but they never apply what you say!  They may be touched by the Spirit, endeavor to keep the commandments for the moment but forget about the long term.  That shows a lack of discipleship.  That's far worse than a lack a character ever will be in the eyes of God.

Without genuine, sincere repentance those same people will continue to walk in error or fall further in.  If I feel the sting of rejection, then how much more does Father feel it since they are His words spoke under the influence of Spirit?  How does the Savior feel since He died so there would be meaning behind the words that were expressed?  I imagine sadness.  I imagine wonder.  They knew when they spoke Their words they were clear.  I'm sure They wonder how those same words got so corrupted and the meaning messed up. 

Likely it's because people do not liken the word.  OR they liken themselves to the good parts of the story when truth be told we all in some way resemble the "bad" parts of the story.  I guarantee most people will look at these verses and discount their similarities to Laman and Lemuel especially because they are not trying to kill anyone and they believe in and serve God.  But let it be understood that these same people don't know their scriptures because regardless of how much you profess to Love and serve God if you murmur, SCRIPTURE says right here, you know not the dealings of God.  And the truth is, you're not trying to know either.  That's the first thing.  

The second thing is John taught that whoever hates his brother is a murderer.  Cuz see when God sees things, He sees things in black and white: wickedness and righteousness, Love and hate, truth and lies.  We add the shades of grey.  The commandment, the greatest commandment is to Love God and to Love others, essentially everyone, as you Love Him AND as you Love yourself.  The Love you have for yourself, God and others is the same exact kind of Love. 

The tragic thing about this commandment is it is true in all situations.  It is true whether people are aware of it, trying to live it or not.  That's likely why it's called the great commandment.  You can judge a person's Love of God by how they treat you.  It also tells you how they feel about themselves.  This gets tricky to assess if you don’t understand how it works but it’s true.  For instance…

I had an experience where I felt a particular person was worshipful in their attitude towards me.  This doesn’t mean they are worshipful in their attitude towards God, it actually means the opposite because they are seeking approval and validation from you instead of from God.  The reason why we would worship God is because of His glory, majesty, grandeur, etc.  He lavishes us with His attention when we do, whether we like it or not.  We know we can expect it though.  It’s really quite a beautiful thing.  He is the only One who deserves such an honor.  So when someone is worshipful in their behavior towards you then it also means their self-esteem is rooted in how the world views them, not God.  So they worship man in order to receive verbal praise.  

Another example is this person who allowed me and invited me to minister to them from the word for hours and hours after having been privy to a truly miraculous healing experience.  Feeling empowered by the Spirit, the day ended with feelings of camaraderie…at least on one end.  I’d had too many experiences with their double-mindedness that I didn’t even become blinded by their feelings of the moment.  I already knew they didn’t want to change for God and it took less than a week to confirm they wouldn’t.   Before the week was up this person had so twisted the word of God that they could justify their sins and live falsely under their self-assumed title of victim.  It was and continues to be disgusting as others support their behavior and allow them to walk a path out of favor with God.  The fact that they are without peace in their world is evidence of their level of favor because there is only one source of peace and that is the Prince of Peace.  He can only offer that solace if you are meek and lowly of heart, which represents a penitent nature. 

See... This person, like too many other people, believe they can live any kinda way they want and make up the gospel to justify their behavior.  In the end they will realize they have set the stage, laid the foundation, for their own destruction.  “If you Love me keep my commandments.”  We don’t get to pick and choose which ones.  And if we aren’t keeping the commandments or making a genuine attempt to do so we cannot profess to Love God, ourselves or His people, our literal brothers and sisters. 

This is where people will say or think "that’s impossible".  The only sufficient answer is “All things are possible through Christ which strengtheneth me.  (Philippians 4:13)"  That’s why Christ came!  He came to make it ALL possible or else He’s a liar!  If it wasn’t possible to attain everything He taught and/or Father commands, whether spoken Himself, through Christ, His apostles, prophets or disciples, then He is a liar.  They are liars.  BUT in God’s infinite wisdom Jesus called and eventually left behind some of the most heinous people to run His church specifically BECAUSE of where they came from and the context of their personal histories would so closely resemble our own!  This was so we could not only have a divine example in Jesus but also more realistic examples showing the process of perfection so we can see it CAN be done. Isn’t this what we experience with Nephi in just these 2 chapters alone so far?  And we also experience what happens when we don’t believe as the story of Laman and Lemuel unfolds before our eyes as well. 

Now all that was to say if you don’t Love your neighbor, having the same regard and care for him/her (1 Corinthians 12:25) as you do for God, you’re a murderer.  You’re killing their spirit with your private derision or open disdain.  That makes you more like Laman and Lemuel than anything else.  Is it worth it?  NOPE!  I’d suggest that keeping the commandments just because is far worse than walking away, especially if the commandments are kept half-heartedly.  It is better to claim ignorance and endeavor to know rather than to pretend you do know and be completely wrong in the end.  God KNOWS the difference and we’re accountable when all is revealed.  
I’m so grateful for the word of God and how the word is unfolded for me, to me, courtesy of the Word Himself.  Because of His relations with His prophets His words rule my life.  Thank You for that!  May I seek to know your dealings before I murmur against the experiences in my life.  May I hearken to the words of the prophets not just so I can follow unwillingly but so I can run the path you’ve placed before me and walk the stony road I’m called to trod and not be weary.  What an awesome gift!  And thank You for the work of Brother Joseph.  Praise to the man who communed with Thee Father; glory, honor and adoration to the Son who made even that possible.  Without You, where would I be?  Where would I be?  Not tryin to find out. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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