Monday, July 16, 2012

Abide in the Lord’s Territory!

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Abide in the Lord’s Territory!, by Ulisses Soares
Of the Seventy

Misunderstanding leads to interesting situations.

I teach a class of nine-yr-olds at church, and had an interesting conversation that involved misunderstanding:

Student: "Can I go get a drink, or use the bathroom?"

Me: "Well, which one is it?" (Meaning water fountain or restroom)

Student: "Number one. Well, actually number two. Maybe both."

Me: "I was talking about... never mind. Yes, go!"

We watched a short church video clip last night that showed someone misunderstanding a scripture, thinking she was being called an "enemy to God" (see Mosiah 3:19). While she ultimately came to understand what the scripture was teaching and how the Atonement works, there was a time when she felt hurt, alone, and probably wanted to quit. On a smaller scale, I experienced some misunderstanding while reading a quote from Elder Soares talk today (it's longer than a short quote):

President George Albert Smith, repeating counsel from his grandfather, once said: “There is a line of demarcation well defined between the Lord’s territory and the devil’s territory. If you will stay on the Lord’s side of the line you will be under his influence and will have no desire to do wrong; but if you cross to the devil’s side of that line one inch you are in the tempter’s power and if he is successful, you will not be able to think or even reason properly because you will have lost the Spirit of the Lord.”

After reading the quote, I thought, "Oh great, I spend a lot of time in the devil's territory! I thought I would be on the Lord's side of the line."

My misunderstanding was with a single word: desire.

When I first read the quote, I thought: temptation. My faulty conclusion was that because I'm tempted to do wrong—even after years of trying to choose the right—then I must be on the devil's side of the line.

It wasn't long until questioning myself led me to re-read the quote and I started feeling better about myself, but I admit that I was worried for a few moments!

Elder Soares began and ended his remarks with a quote from President Monson that even I didn't get confused by:

You can’t be right by doing wrong; you can’t be wrong by doing right.

That sounds like the sort of thing that would look good hanging on a wall.

That sounds even more like a good way to live to stay on the Lord's side of the line!

1 thought:

richchipper said...

Thanks for this thought. For a long time I had a very difficult time with the scripture "Wickedness never was happiness". It bothered me because, of course, wicked people can be happy. Hugh Hefner isn't living in poverty.

One day, I was reading and glanced at the footnotes - it read "Peace with God". Suddenly, it became clear. You can't have peace with Heavenly Father if you are living the wrong way.