Thursday, October 16, 2014

Not A Thing of Naught

I read this scripture the other night with my children:

1 Nephi 19:7-9
For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet. Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; I say, trample under their feet but I would speak in other words--they set him at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels.

And behold he cometh, according to the words of the angel, in six hundred years from the time my father left Jerusalem.

And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him,  and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.

...And this scripture, though it describes things largely towards the end of Christ's life, reminded me of a scripture that preceded his suffering and death.

Matthew 13:54
And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?

Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Setting Him at naught:
The blessings these people in Christ's own country missed out on is saddening, and all because they knew him and knew His family, and couldn't believe that He could know these wonderful things.

What made them discount His wisdom and His mighty works after they had some form of witness of them? Was it their pride? Or jealousy that he could have a knowledge beyond theirs, despite being the carpenter's son?

I don't know the answer to that.

But in trying to understand it, I thought of this. It might be like my little sister (who suffers from various ailments that make her of a different frame of mind than the rest of us) coming to a family gathering, and suddenly spouting spiritual insights that confound the ones of us that these things usually come from. I wonder, would I be able to recognize the Spirit from whence it came. Or would we all just shake our heads and say, "What the heck was that?" and discount it because of who it came from and move on with our lives?

I would hope not.

We must overcome the prejudices that stand in our way of accepting truth. We are not above anyone because we know them and their background.

Speaking of my little sister, despite the challenges she has had to face that make her so very discountable, she has had spiritual experiences that evade the most doctrinally knowledgeable in my family.

Nephi was also not accepted by those who knew him, his older brothers. Their prejudices blinded them despite many spiritual witnesses that should have informed them otherwise.

We don't get to discount the least among us. They are probably closer to God than we are, who presume to know Him because we have learned of Him from others, and listen to others who we assume know Him.

Know Him for yourself.

Learn from Him.

We set Him at naught when we let our prejudices prevent us from accepting His truth no matter where it comes from, who it comes from, or when it does not meet our expectations.

Christ does not perform "many mighty works" to those who don't receive Him. The people of His own country did not receive these things. They were the ones, who it would seem, should have had the greatest opportunity.

Do not discount what comes from Him because you think you know better.

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