I know I didn't post yesterday, but I really did read!! Now that we have church at 9:00 I just can't post on Sunday mornings. And then with meetings, I didn't get home till 2, when I took a nap, cooked dinner, put the kids to bed and spent time with my husband. It wasn't till today that I realized I hadn't posted!!
But yesterday morning I read the scriptures we'd be discussing that day in Gospel Doctrine. It's difficult, because in studying D&C we don't just plow through chapters like in all the other standard works. It's grouped by topic and date. I'm still deciding whether I want to keep reading straight through or study the lesson for the week. Except I can study the lesson in just one study session. So what do I do the rest of the time. Should I keep with that topic all week and just find more about it? Should I start the BOM again? Tell me what you guys think -- what do you want to read?
Yesterday's lesson (#2) was on Jesus Christ. There were verses from sections 6 and 19 that I didn't review because I've read them recently, but I'll share the other scriptures I read.
I love section 93. We learn that Christ was not given the fulness at first, but learned grace for grace, just as we do. Also, these things were given to us that we may know how to worship, and what we worship.
The next scripture that stuck out to me was 133:42-52. I don't know that I've ever paid attention to this passage before -- I certainly don't remember it. One of the things I'm discovering I love about D&C is that we are hearing the voice of God. It's not that of Mormon, Nephi, or even Joseph Smith, generally. It is the word of the Lord, directly from His mouth. (And not lost in translation of languages.)
These verses have a definate "Old Testament" feel to me. Yesterday we discussed in class that section 19 was special because it's the only place that we actually hear the words of Christ, talking about the Atonement and Gethsemane. But these passages in section 133 reveal that is wrong, for they also talk about Gethsemane.
Christ says that he has trodden the wine-press alone. -- I know that Gethsemane literally means "wine-press," and it was a place where wine (or olive oil, whatever it was ) was made. But I've never heard Christ Himself talk about Gethsemane that way.
Then He says, "I have trampled them in my fury, and I did tread upon them in mine anger, and their blood have I sprinkled on my garments, and stained all my raiment; for this was the day of vengeance which was in my heart." (vs.51)
This verse has caused me to really think and actually discuss with my husband (who knows a LOT about the gospel, if I do say so myself! I love having doctrinal conversations with him. It's one of the reasons I knew I could marry him -- our ability to discuss the gospel.)
It seems that when we speak of Jesus' redeeming qualities, we think of Him as being so meek and humble, which He was. But there were times that He was angry, too. The one instance I can think of in the NT is His cleansing of the temple. My husband pointed out to me that even that wasn't an out-of-control type of anger. He took time to braid a whip. This wasn't Him losing His temper and going crazy in the temple. He saw what was going on in His Father's house, and knew that they could only be expelled by force.
When I picture this scene, I don't see Christ whipping the money changers and throwing crates with doves onto the ground. I see Him overturning table and spilling money. I see Him cracking the whip in the air and releasing doves into the air. I see Him speaking loudly enough to be heard, but not screaming in a man's face.
(Perhaps this comes from reading Gerald Lund's Kingdom and the Crown series, but I think his description is an accurate one.)
So this is the ONE place where Christ is said to be angry. "Righteous indignation," we call it. But the words Christ uses in v. 51 are pretty strong words -- fury, anger, vengeance.
We all know the parable/video of the debtor and creditor, where a thrid party steps in, pays the debt, and becomes the man's new creditor. I think I've always seen the merciful side of this, more than the just side. "What a marvelous thing, to have our debts paid for us!! Yeah! We're free!!" Which is true. I'm not trying to make light of this. I'm just saying that there's more to it that I haven't considered too much before.
This third party, Christ, our advocate, didn't have that sum of money set aside in a savings account to just hand over. It was literally taken from His flesh. For every single person who ever existed, or whoever will exist, on this world and otherwise!!! I can't even imagine the magnitude of that offering. And it was for all of us dumb sheep, who just can't seem to get our act together. Who sin over and over again, because we're lazy or willful. And Christ paid for those sins over and over again.
I can understand why He might be a little angry.
But in the next verses, He demonstrates why He is our Savior. Instead of deciding the toll was too much, He paid it, and redeemed us in His love and pity. We look to Him and express the loving kindness and goodness with which he has bestowed all our gifts upon us.
He is now our creditor. And He has paid an unbelieveably heavy fine for us. Now we have to repay Him, and meet His terms.
These examples can also teach us a lot about dealing with our anger. It teaches us that there are some things that you should get passionate about. Again, I reiterate that Christ was never out of control. I am not saying it's okay to yell at your kids because Christ got angry, too. Rather, in all of Christ's life, there were only a few things He got truly, passionately angry about. Are we like that? I don't think there's anything my children could do that would actually warrant the anger they sometimes see. I get control of it right away, but sometimes the anger is something I consciously allow because it feels good. There are time I get so frustrated that it seems like a little yelling is justified -- especially if it lets off steam and makes me feel better. Then I choose to reign it in.
But in looking back, this isn't right. I think that just enough steam is let off in a deep breath. And would you rather your children remember the mother who raises her voice (albeit infrequently) or the mother who takes a deep breath before speaking in a controlled voice?
I know what I want -- what I remember of my own mother. And it would seem I have some changes to be made.
p.s. I read this on Segullah today and loved how perfectly it matched what I was talking about. I also love the thoughts shared -- it brought tears to my eyes.
EDIT: Upon further study, it appears that in v. 52 Christ is speaking of His return, and judgement day for the wicked. This makes a lot more sense. Thanks, Pam!