Men are that they might have joy

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By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

My file system leaves considerable room for improvement. I was looking for an article I’d written which referenced the movie Awakenings; it has eluded my cursory search and will have to wait for another day. The movie, based on a true story, let’s the viewer glimpse the quality of life, or lack thereof, in a mental institution; more specifically, those who lived inside a body unable to move about on their own or show expression. These unfortunate individuals were, as one doctor exclaimed, as if they were encased in stone, incapable of thought or feeling. He was mistaken.

In one scene Dr. Sayer, having had some success freeing one patient from his temple of stone, attempted to convince a reluctant hospital staff to allocate a considerable amount of money in order to put more patients on an expensive experimental drug, hoping to restore their quality of life, or as much as possible. One by one, nurses and orderlies supported the project and signed their payroll checks over to the hospital, stopping to drop those checks into the hands of the administrator. The chance to improve the quality of life for a few of our Heavenly Father’s children was portrayed quite well. Giving more than was expected or required was an expression of gratitude for what most of us take for granted.

Last week, I read an article titled Apologia, by Rhod, at a friends site called It Don’t Make Sense. There was a tone set among the paragraphs which bothered me enough to mention it, a lack of enthusiasm for something which should bring great joy, but instead made faith and religion sound like something settled for rather than eagerly sought. The single most important aspect of mortality is our relationship with our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ, but what I was hearing was more like a yearly employee evaluation report than testimonies of the Gospel.

I like to find short passages in the scriptures which I refer to as “Gospel in a Nutshell,” sufficient on their own should a person find only that one portion of scripture would have enough of the Gospel message to explain the purpose of mortality as relates to the Great Plan of Salvation, Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. One such set of verses is found in 2 Nephi 2:4-10.

That my friends is a message worth printing, but a little further down in verse 25 is something just as important:

“Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”

Read the whole chapter, but why stop there. Read the entire book. Folks shouldn’t have to “settle” for a religion or denomination which doesn’t fulfill their understanding of the Gospel. Important instructions intended to help us through mortality should add excitement to our testimonies and efforts to obtain all that our Father has for us should be done with enthusiasm and joy. I’ll close with one of my favorite scriptures, Moses 1:39:

“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”

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