Thursday, September 18, 2008

And There Were Few

Chronologically, the first ordinance recorded in the scriptures was the marriage of Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden. Marriage is, perhaps second only to the atonement of Jesus Christ in importance in God's plan for the salvation of His children.

There are three things that strike me as significant in this event. First, it was our Heavenly Father who sanctioned and ordained the marriage. He commanded Adam and Eve to be one flesh and to multiply and replenish the earth. Second, the marriage took place in the Garden of Eden at a point in time before death had been introduced to the world. It happened before the fall of Adam. Evidently God intended for marriage to be unaffected by death. It was meant to be eternal, as He is eternal. Finally, the covenant was between a man and a woman. In years past, that final point would have been a 'well duh moment' for most people. Today, sadly, there a some who fail to see the significance of marriage being between a man and a woman.

This post will be a defense of marriage from a Christian religious standpoint. That God performed the first marriage should be evidence enough, not only to Christian's but those of other faiths as well.

In three places within the synoptic gospels of the New Testament Christ makes a statement similar to the following. ""If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." (Mt. 16:24, Mk. 8:34 and Lk. 9:23) In Luke, however, there is one crucial word added to this statement. There we read '"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."

Our discipleship and commitment to the Lord is not a singular event. Every day we are confronted with situations and
decisions. I guess it is most accurate to say that if we are true disciples then when faced with a situation, we made the decision long ago. One that is in total alignment with God's will.

At baptism we make a covenant "to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death, that [we] may be redeemed of God." (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 18:9) That admonition certainly extends to situations where we risk being labeled as 'bigoted' or 'intolerant'.

In the Book of Mormon there is an allegory about a Lord of a vineyard who plants olive trees. (Almost every child in the LDS church He takes great care and concern for the vineyard, but it doesn't always produce fruit as he would like. He tries several ways to save his vineyard and finally as a last resort he sends his servant 'one last time' to reclaim the vineyard for himself.

In Jacob 5:70 we read,"And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard sent his servant; and the servant went and did as the Lord had commanded him, and brought other servants; and they were few." So in the grand finale, the servant of the Lord gathers other servants to complete the Lord's work and it ends up that 'they were few'.

The last time I read that verse of scripture i was struck by how sad it was. At one time I considered labeling that verse in my scriptures as 'the saddest verse' in all of holy writ. I may still feel that way; but the good news is that even though 'they were few', they were successful in their labors and the reclaimed the vineyard for the Lord.

Tonight this seems especially pertinent to me. Earlier as I was traveling home from a meeting I heard a news report about a recent poll taken of 'likely voters' in the November general election. It purported that of likely voters 55% were opposed to California Proposition 8 and only 38% were in favor. I didn't catch the source of the poll and believe that as voters become educated as to the reasons to vote for Proposition 8 that the tide will turn.

Hopefully we will be able to say as Elisha "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." (2 Kings 6:11)

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1 comment:

Chino Blanco said...

In the weeks ahead, I expect more and more California Mormons are going to realize just how awful the Yes on 8 campaign leadership is, and walk away, because there's going to be an onslaught of stories like these:

The Unexpected Message The Yes On 8 Campaign Sends To Jews, Mormons, And Other Non-Evangelicals

Crusading for `Judeo-Christian values' doesn't come cheap