Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Faithful Questioning

My awesome Stake President, President Brandt, the past year has emphasized a need to ask questions in faith, rather than faithlessly. For instance someone who has a problem with the Word of Wisdom might ask in a whiny voice, "Why do I have to give up my Coke? I mean caffeine isn't mention in D&C 89 anywhere." But a faithful question on the same topic might be "How can giving up caffeinated drinks benefit me both physically and spiritually?" Then searching for the answers.

Well today I had a couple questions while attending the temple. It had to do with the methods used in the 1)observance and 2)teaching of Adam and Eve while they were on the earth. Heavenly Father is omniscient. Why did he use angelic servants to supposedly get information regarding Adam and Eve's faithfulness? Then the answer came to me nearly immediately in thought while in the Temple. I wanted to document them cause I have a terrible memory and wanted to record my experience.

1) Observance - Heavenly Father uses earthly leaders to help us become accountable for our actions. Since Adam was the first man on earth, there wasn't another mortal on earth to hold him accountable, so Heavenly Father had to send angels to do that.

2) Teaching
I have had many examples of people who have tried to teach me a specific gospel principle. There are many techniques used in teaching. Some include:

  • Harsh words and a blunt approach to invoke fear, or guilt

  • Self Righteously - The one teaching using himself as an example to follow.

  • Teaching out of love and concern. Teaching truths in humility and without self grandeur. Providing encouragement to avoiding problems without casting judgement. The spirit can best teach under this situation than the previous two examples.

Those who use methods other than the third one (In Humility, using Love and encouragement) are much less effective. I mean if their purpose truly is that of teaching a concept, wouldn't that be the best method? What is the ultimate goal of teaching? To help the person desire to learn and heed the teaching. If the person being taught is being yelled at, or made to feel guilty, or is being "preached to", is that going against the real purpose of helping the person gain a desire to grow?

Many times in the Old Testament I get the impression that Jehovah is a strict god, that goes to extremes. Killing a majority of the population with a flood, Sending famines, wars and destruction, etc... But the chance he gave Adam to learn and grow, rather than striking him dead upon eating the fruit (which he told Adam while in the garden would be the consequence), shows me a different side of the God of Genesis that I've initially been exposed to. He truly is all powerful and all knowing, but he often chooses methods to observe and to teach which allows for accountability and forgiveness.

Just makes me think, I have so much to learn! There's more to each story, than the story itself.

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