Monday, December 15, 2008

Whom are We Rejecting? By Alisha Nelson

This blog was particularly difficult for me to write. Not because they’re hard, but because I really wanted to address how I personally might reject the Lord, and how to remedy that. I think it’s sometimes difficult to discern emotions, and figure out how they’re wrong, and how to make them right. Hopefully what I thought of will resonate with someone else.

“I rejected my Redeemer, and denied that which had been spoken of by our fathers” Mosiah 27: 30

The word rejected is used differently in the Bible than The Book of Mormon. In the Bible, the word rejected is used to describe those who have rejected the word, the prophets, the commandments, and even those who have rejected Jesus Christ. These people in the Bible who have rejected aspects of the gospel are usually seen as beyond help, they are set in their ways. But in context of the Book of Mormon, “rejected” is used in a much more merciful context. In Mosiah, the story of Alma the younger is one about a man who rejected every aspect of the gospel. But, instead of him being cast off, through his fathers faith, he was redeemed by an angel. Though Alma “rejected [his] redeemer, and denied that which had been spoken of by our fathers” [1] he was still saved.

In Hebrew reject means to disappear

Few will choose to reject the gospel the way Alma the younger did, but many subtly reject the Lord everyday. The Hebrew translation of ‘reject’ means to disappear, sometimes we disappear from the Lords presence, and without even realizing it, we are wondering away from his counsel. This usually comes in the form of subtle rejections. A good example of subtle rejection is well described toward the end of Paul’s ministry when he “fear[s], lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” [2]. I find it interesting that Paul does not fear that the saints will fall away, but rather they will make the simple, complex. Only a few days ago I was worrying about everything that was unsure in my life, from how we were going to pay rent, to how we were going to raise children in a world so consumed by rejection. As I contemplated these awful things, the spirit whispered a song into my mind and heart: “When upon life’s billow you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost, count your many blessing, angels will attend, and they will guide you till your journey’s end” [3]. This simple song that I’ve sung dozens of times reminded me that my life isn’t as complicated as I want to make it. All I have to do is faithfully follow the Lord, and he will provide for me and my family. When I worried about myself, and was unavailable to the Lord to do the things only I can do, and by making my life complicated, I was rejecting His counsel. And while there are many ways in which we can reject the Lord, there is only one way to follow him: in faith.

I perceive by the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that by the stumbling of the Jews they will reject the stone upon which they might build and have safe foundation [4].

As a Latter Day Saint living in a community where the vast majority is of my faith, I find that since there are not many around us whom we can set ourselves apart from, there are many attempt to set ourselves apart by judging those of our same faith. This form of rejecting the Lords children, and thereby rejecting the Lord, is a disease that has grown ramped in Utah. And while I even find myself guilty of this rejection at times, I feel that this form of rejection is easily remedied by remembering that each soul has divine worth, and we have no way to judge without all the necessary knowledge. A good example of not judging comes when Jacob describes the travesties that will befall the Jews for rejecting the Savior. And while he prophesies that this rejection of a “safe foundation” [5] will cause them to stumble, Jacob points out that they will always have a “sure foundation” [5] upon which they may choose to build upon. The Lord has not rejected the Jews, he mourns for their loss, but will not desert them. Likewise, we as Latter Day Saints have an obligation to reach out to those around us, and give them the option of a safe, and sure foundation.

I conclusion, I wish to challenge the whole two or three people who might read this : I challenge you to seek out the ways you reject, and try to grow a little closer to the Lord by resolving that form of rejection. I promise, and testify, that as you do, your mind will be enlightened, you burdens will be lightened, and your heart will be gladdened.

[1] Mosiah 27:30
[2] 2 Corinthians 11:3 (a cross ref from Jacob 4)
[3] LDS Hymn Book pg.
[4] Jacob 4:14
[5] Jacob 4: 15-17


D-Weezy said...

Wow! What a great testimony you have. Your personal experience about your wordly worries was great. The way you put your faith in the Lord and let him lead you sets an astounding example for me to follow. Love the song too!. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Valerie said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog. I too have a problem with making things more complicated than they need be. Thank you for your reminder to simplify and love all.

Alexa said...

Amazing blog! It has such a powerful message. I liked what you said about people rejecting others by judging them--I've never thought of it this way before and it will remind me to try not to judge. Thanks for your blog, you did an awesome job.

Savanna Stradling said...

I have never really thought about me myself rejecting the Lord. But when really, whenever things go wrong, its always me rejecting. He will never reject us. Which is very comforting, however that puts pressure on me... its up to me to be close to him! and that is a very wonderful gidt of agency we have been given! Thank you for your wonderful testimony dear!

Ashley Wilson said...

Your blog was incredible. It's interesting to see how many different meanings one word can take on.