Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 7: The book of Ether to the tune of "Lean on Me."

I am not a particularly religious man. I just wanted to preface this, in case I have more readers than I thought and somehow spark a religious debate. I have no interest in discussing religion with anybody in any great depth, I feel every persons perception of religion is sacred to them and them alone and should generally be let be.

That being said, I am going to share something today: my favorite scripture. It's a passage not too many people will be terribly familiar with, and I apologize. It is from the book of Ether, the 13th (or 14th, depending on whether you count the Words of Mormon as a book) section of the Book of Mormon. It is from the 12th chapter, the 27th verse, and I owe my understanding of it to Sister Bowers, a seminary teacher and remarkable woman who actually got me to listen to something at 5AM. It goes as such (and YES, from memory, sue me if it's wrong but please don't tell Sister Bowers or she'll retroactively take away my only scripture mastery sticker)

"And if men come unto me, I will show them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble, and my grace is sufficient for all men who humble themselves before me. For if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me; then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
Ether 12:27

I don't think this has to be interpreted in the context of Christ (even though I love this verse so much it's one of the few instances where I'll permit it : P ). I really think this verse has something for everybody. The last few days I've been planning to see my father and a few good friends on the 14th of January, to go to the hockey game with them, catch up, all that jazz. Today I realized I'm anxiously awaiting it. I cannot wait to see my friends, how different they must be, what stories they'll have to tell me. You could say I've been a bit of a hermit the last year or so and I really miss having that in my life. And then this verse hit me like a ton of bricks, completely out of the blue. Then it hit me.

Ether 12:27 is about leaning on others. Sure, it's in the grand context of the Savior, in all his splendor. But you know what he's saying? If you make the effort to help yourself and others, others are more likely to help you. If you make yourself humble, people won't mind helping you be strong. In a lot of ways, I realized this applied to me: I've been making an effort to change my life, and suddenly...all my friends are back. I abandoned them, shut myself away. But when you open up, when you come back down to their level, they're always going to be there....much like Christ, actually, but that's a different story for a different day.

You know what's funny? I could've said I smiled today because of achieving some kind of greater understanding. I really could've, and you'd believe me, too. But you know what I really smiled about? You'll never guess.

After I realized the scripture could apply to the people around you I thought out loud: "It's too bad those "God is other people" hippies don't read the Book of Mormon." It would really make their case, you know?!

Then I went back to work with a wicked grin on my face.



  1. Great verse! And I promise not to tell Sister Bowers a thing. lol. But to be honest, I have no idea if that was 100% or not, but it doesn't matter. You made excellent points there that I never really considered. And personally, I love your ending! ; )

  2. I love your analogy. Scriptures (and so many other life lessons) can be applied in a variety of situations, based on where we are in life. I think it's wonderful that you're reconnecting with your dad and friends!

  3. Dude, I alternately laughed hysterically and almost cried at the insight in this post.

    Wonderful - truly wonderful.