Thursday, June 30, 2005

Have I Thunk Any Good in the World Today?

There was a time when the Practical Mormon made end-of-the-monthly visits (Yeah, you know what we're talkin' about) to some rather prominent members of the Church...One of whom presided over our local temple.

During one visit, this young, newly-endowed, visitor inquired of that wise and elderly host: Don't you get bored, going through multiple endowment sessions every day?

"Nope," we were assured. "I learn something new every time."

Still unsure about how even to get from the dressing room to the endowment room, we found this assertion a bit incredible.

Now, twenty-some years and hundreds-some endowment sessions later, we're astonished at our former cluelessness. The intelligence available in the endowment is so vast, so mind-expanding, so multi-layered, so complex, it would take a lifetime of regular attendance to even nibble around the edges. And that's just the endowment.

So here's a part of what we learned yesterday at the temple:

It's possible to restrain the Spirit of the Lord through our own thoughts and behavior.

The Practical Mormon has somewhat to say concerning this matter:

We attend the temple approximately once a month (sometimes more frequently) with Gale, our best-friend-since-high-school. On the way home, we had ourselves a converse on this topic. "No way," sez Gale, "do individuals have the power to restrain God."

We rehearsed for Gale an incident of a few years back where one sympathetic soul suffered a part of the pain being undergone by another. Proof, we suggested, that we are spiritually intertwined with one another.

We rehearsed, too, the scripture requiring us to forgive all men -- proof, we said, that we restrain God by our unwillingness to forgive.

If we beings are this intertwined (and we'd have to be, in order for the Atonement to work), mercy forbids one being to forgive another for an offense against a third party -- unless that third party openly forgives.

"But," quoth Gale, "the Atonement took place 2000 years ago, long before we committed our offenses."

"Hmmm," thunk we. "Perhaps now we have additional evidence that all things are present to the Lord."