Compare Matthew 6:25-34
A difficult standard.
It may be significant, though, that the roughly equivalent passage in the Book of Mormon, in 3 Nephi 13:25-34, is expressly directed not to the faithful at large, but specifically to the Nephite Twelve, who’ve been called into full-time service. We might also apply it further to full-time missionaries.
Compare Matthew 6:19-21
The simple fact is that material possessions wear out and become obsolete. Houses burn down. Things get broken, are stolen and lost. The pleasures associated with them fade. They become “old hat.”
Seeking lasting satisfaction in a new car or a new HD-TV or a new house or a new dress or a new cell phone is a quest that’s bound to fail.
We all know this. But we forget it. Constantly.
I’ll be happy when I get that promotion. When I own that car. When I move into that house. When I have that boat.
We’re slow learners.
“Our hearts are restless,” wrote St. Augustine, addressing God at the beginning of his Confessions, “until they rest in Thee.”
To paraphrase a common saying, “When the time for action arrives, the time for preparation is past,” or “When the time of judgment arrives, the time for preparation is past.”
We lull ourselves into a state of comfortable complacency, assuming that everything will continue as it has long gone, that we have lots of time, that tomorrow will be just like today.
And then we die. Or become ill. Or have a terrible accident. Or experience a natural catastrophe. Or suddenly lose a loved one. Or are fired.
We’re seldom fully ready, and, all too often, we’re utterly unprepared.
And, each time, we vow that it won’t happen again.
Compare Matthew 10:34-36; Mark 10:38
Having faith in Christ, living the Gospel, and enjoying fellowship with the Saints is, on the whole, a prescription for peace and happiness.
But it can sometimes be distinctly otherwise.
There are people out there who really dislike our faith and our church, and they’re not always nice about it.
The Gospel brings unity, but, in this life, it also creates disharmony.
In my particular case, being a public advocate and defender of the claims of the Restoration has drawn a great deal of hostile fire, derision, misrepresentation, and contempt. I don’t take any pleasure in this. I don’t enjoy conflict. I have no interest in martyrdom or persecution. I’m a pretty cheerful, mild-mannered guy. I would much rather have peace and quiet. But, if this is the way it’s got to be, this is the way it’s got to be. It’s not as if we weren’t warned.
Posted from San Diego, California