I found the link for this via Dr. Wally. I subscribe to both through Bloglines. It is always interesting to me to read the thoughts of another simple foot-soldier for the Lord.
The first article is a discussion of Mosiah 20 and the apostate priests of wicked King Noah. Candleman makes some trenchant comments upon their choices, and upon the consequences of those choices.
Some might think that the Book of Mormon is dismissive of women, because they are so rarely mentioned as individuals. But a careful reading will reveal that throughout this book of scripture, the Lord's love of women and his insistence upon our being treated with respect and dignity, are a recurring theme.
Jacob, the younger brother of Nephi, served as the Lord's prophet to the Nephite people. He had experienced first-hand the effects of unrighteous dominion in the family, when Laman and Lemuel (the two oldest brothers) wanted to kill their father, and Nephi, for testifying of (and exemplifying) righteousness. After the worthy part of the family separated from the selfish part, they became two great nations in Mesoamerica. And at some time after the separation, worldliness crept in among the Nephites. They wanted gold, and silver, and fine clothing, and concubines, just like the bad guys had.
Jacob called them to task on it. They were breaking the hearts of their wives and children, perhaps in different ways than Laman and Lemuel had broken hearts in the original family, but sin was taking them over. (This is not unlike the scourge of pornography which is blighting many families today. I have at least two friends who have divorced husbands who would not repent.)
After reading Candleman’s comments in that post, I wondered for the first time if perhaps it had not been something of a relief when those unrighteous men left, and the Spirit was free to return to the homes of the ones they had left behind? Yes, there would have been grief, and anger, and confusion. The sons were so disgusted by their fathers’ behavior that they would no longer be called by their fathers’ names, and those sons became a great force for good in later years. [I know a little of what it feels like, to be a rejected or a neglected wife, though thankfully never an abused one, and to arrive by the grace of Heaven to a place of healing, and dignity, and peace.]
I have ached for years at the plight of the 24 Lamanite daughters whom the wicked priests captured and took as wives. There may have still been a spark of good within those men, because when the Lamanite fathers caught up with them, the women pled for the lives of their husbands. I hope that means that the men had been kinder to their new wives than to their original families, and not that the men put their wives between themselves and the fathers, as a living shield. Though that was not an uncommon practice.
I have also thought about the Lamanite queen whose husband was poisoned by Amalickiah, who then married her in order to become king, and later, when he was assassinated, his brother married her. I want to sit down and talk with her sometime about what her life was like.
The Lord delights in the chastity of women. He also delights in the chastity of men and honors those who honor one another in thought, word, and behavior. In the Lord’s church, there is no double standard, no “boys will be boys”. I am immensely thankful for that. It gives me a security in my friendships with men that would otherwise be absent. What a blessing it is to know that NintendoMan sees me because he likes me, and not because he is angling to get me into bed.
Make no mistake: the spark is there, but we are careful to tend the spark by acts of kindness, rather than fan the spark by acts of selfishness that would ultimate destroy us, and possibly our respective families as well.
I highly recommend that second link, above, and not just for my LDS friends. Quoting Dr. Wally, “Anyone who is not irritated with someone at church is either ready to be translated, or isn’t spending enough time at church.” Loved it. Last Thursday night, when I was in the temple, I ran into a man who used to irritate the fire out of me, right after my divorce. Thankfully, I was in the temple, and so I was able to quickly switch stations inside my head and tell myself, “Isn’t it wonderful that he is worthy to be in the temple? And so am I.” Baby steps. And it may have helped that I ran into him on my way out of the temple, after I had been hugged by four friends on the way in and had spent the evening in service to others.
I particularly like Dr. Wally’s 4th point. I have been experiencing that a lot lately, myself. Especially at the end of an evening with NintendoMan, when he wraps me up in a bear hug. It is like he is hugging me on behalf of Heaven.
Some of you come here for the knitting. Behold, let there be toe:
[Sorry, couldn’t resist. We are studying the Old Testament in Gospel Doctrine this year, and yesterday we were comparing the accounts of the Creation in Genesis, Moses, and Abraham. Plato was at least a little bit right: everything was created spiritually before it was manifested materially.] Since finishing Celeste’s sweater late last week, I have been mulling over what I want to work on next. Yes, a sweater for little Faith, but what color, and which yarn? So at the last possible moment before heading to church, I grabbed a ball of the Noro sock yarn and my knitting tool bag. Between my early meeting and the start of Sacrament meeting, I cast on a sock. It may only get worked on at church for the next several weeks, or I may use it as the knitting equivalent of a palate-cleanser. The color is washed-out here; the real sock is like unto a plummy rust with tiny flecks of gold. These are going to be some crazy socks, notwithstanding that they are simple toe-up, heel-flap socks in basic mindless stockinette.
I have the day off, and it is my devout hope to stay in my pajamas and not leave the house all day. I’ll let you know how that goes...
- Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!