Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Spotlight on Women #3: Gospel--skimming the edge?

My father-in-law (when he was well) and I shared something in common.  And now I notice that my youngest daughter is picking it up as well.  We enjoy the edges and crispy parts of a nicely cooked pizza with lots of cheese.  My wife likes to make homemade pizza nearly every Friday.  In our home we are cheese lovers and needless to say plenty of cheese gets put on the pizza, not to mention plenty of other good things as well.  Sometimes when we are lucky a little of the cheese escapes over the edge of the pizza and gets cooked to a crunch on the edge of the pan.  That is good stuff.  Still though, we love the rest of the pizza.  I wouldn't give up the rest of the pizza just to get a couple bites of crispy cheese.  Not only is it our favorite but it is also the favorite of lots of other folks who have been invited or had one brought to their home when they needed it most. 
Sister Sheri Dew tells how in her visits to New York City that she heard many New Yorkians tell how they loved Central Park.  Well Sister Dew had been a number of times and didn't see what was so great about it.  It was big, but nothing spectacular about it.  Until one day she found herself going into the park farther than she had ever done.  She had been on the edges a number of times but not deep into the park, and when she went in farther then she understood why so many people praised and lauded Central Park.  She saw some of the treasures that make central park so great, memorable and lovable.  (No One Can Take Your Place, p7-8)
I have never been to Central Park but I can understand her story because I have seen many things in my life that don't seem all that great when viewed or only known on the outside.  Or even if a little effort is put into getting familiar with them.  People are often that way.  We know them a little and we think we have the book on them.  Books covers can also be misleading.  We often see books with fantastical art that the stories inside cannot keep up with.  But other books have rather plain covers that do not at all represent what great things are inside for us to learn or experience. 
Sister Dew tells how on that particular day she was going deeper into Central Park and seeing many things that amazed her that she had no idea were there because she had only skimmed the edges.  She didn't know there was a castle in Central Park for example. 
Those of us who are a little familiar with Sheri Dew will not be surprised that she compared this great increase in her appreciation for Central Park, as a result of her going further into it than she ever had before, to the gospel.  She suggests that the more deeply we go into the gospel, the more right down the middle of the doctrine of Christ we go, the more beautiful and amazing it will be to us.  Whereas if we just cut the corners and skim the edges that we will miss many amazing and wonderful things.
C.S. Lewis said "We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at the sea....We are far too easily pleased" (A Mind Awake, 168).
Sometimes I can't help but think that members who decline or postpone preparing themselves for the temple are indeed too easily pleased with the gospel.  They are missing a major delicious part by convincing themselves that whatever keeps them from the temple is better because they can't imagine the blessings of the temple. 

One thing in particular I think that women miss a lot is information and doctrines related to the Priesthood.  I've heard ladies ask at times "why is he telling us about Priesthood stuff" when a Bishop took the opportunity to teach the Relief Society about the Priesthood.  The Priesthood is as important to the ladies as it is to the men, although possibly in different ways, so I would hope they would learn how the Priesthood fits into the gospel. 

When I was a young man and talked to my Bishop to tell him I was taking a vacation that could lead to a lengthy absence if all worked well, because I was asking a young woman in another state to marry me.  He said that was fine because I was worth more to the church married than I was single at that time of my life. (I suppose some might wish to debate that.)  Sister Dew asserts that the more we know and understand the gospel the more useful we are to the Lord.  I suspect that is true. 

She concludes quoting President Hinckley and then commenting: "'The gospel makes so much sense!'...It is the good news.  And the more we probe its depth and breadth, the more likely we will be able, regardless of the opposition, to once again stand loyally by God and by Jesus, and to do so without so much as even flinching at the onslaught of the world." 

1 comment:

  1. very cool, dad. very cool :) i think there are alot of things that we don't realize how great they really are because we just get too busy to put in the time and really get to the good stuff that that thing has to offer! i think this happens plenty with the gospel and specific doctrines, but also with people!! people don't always look so beautiful on the outside, but they oftentimes have something really incredible on the inside if we take the time to find it. that's probably something i could be better at myself! anyway, i really liked your analogies and beautiful pictures too :) thanks dad!


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