Wednesday, December 01, 2004

What is Real?

Meridian Magazine: "What is Real?" By H. Wallace Goddard

A great and moving piece that I enjoyed; here's a sample if you missed it:

Grim Reality

I remember a ward member asking me a “real” question in an interview when I was serving as her bishop: “This stuff I’m doing is supposed to be wrong, yet it is the most real stuff in my life. I feel most alive when I am sinning.” Clearly a challenge hung in the air: “How do you explain that, Bishop?”

Choosing A Reality

What are the “real” moments on your emotional landscape? Are they the “thrill” of sin and excitement of misdeeds? Or have you discovered the serenity of faithfulness and the sweetness of gratitude? Do you see God moving in majesty and power (D&C 88:47) and feel the awe? Do you sometimes feel an unexpected heavenly embrace as you march through life? Does your soul ever flood with gratitude as you sense that “God’s in His heaven and all’s right with the world?”

Each of us chooses Satan’s troubled reality or God’s serene one. We can predict the effect of our experiences by their source. Satan is the father of grim, pained awfulness. Father is different. Father creates love, joy, and peace—which are infinitely varied yet unfailingly enriching. Everything He creates is intended to “please the eye and to gladden the heart” (D&C 59:18) even as it enriches our souls.

To the young woman who claimed that sin was the most real thing in her life, I might recommend hooking two wires into an outlet and grabbing hold of the bare ends. 120 volts can provide quite a jolt. Very energizing. Memorable. But it kills us as it energizes us. The pleasure surge that draws people to cocaine also damages the circuitry that makes pleasure possible. Sexual immorality damages our ability to feel trusting and loving with anyone. Greed dampens the ability to enjoy the commonplace. The more we follow Satan, the more miserable, empty, desperate, and despairing we become.

If we want satisfying lives, we must choose to follow God.

Read the whole thing here.

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