Child and Adult

To me, the poetry of religion is found in the paradox, which provides the perspective for pondering beyond that which is merely logical.

Compare Matthew 6:28-33:

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not,
neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all
his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so
clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast
into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we
drink? … for your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all
these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,"

with D&C 88:119:

"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a
house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a
house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;"

or D&C 136:9, "Let each company prepare houses, and fields for
raising grain, for those who are to remain behind this season; and this
is the will of the Lord concerning his people."

Of course, we can read in both spiritual and physical interpretations, but taking the directives in their physical sense there is an obvious contradiction. It strikes me that among other things, the paradox captures the the narrow line we must walk in this life of being both a child and an adult, physically and spiritually. The Matthew verse conveys the beauty of God’s love and care for us as his dependent children alongside the futility of our focus on the material needs of this world. The D&C verses articulate the necessary steps we take as adults to care for ourselves and others physically, so that we can do the Lord’s work, but also so we can be responsible and independent from the Lord. It is not meet that we should be commanded in all things, after all.

Comments

  1. Christina, thanks for the post. I know that I started enjoying the scriptures a lot more when I started noticing and enjoying the paradoxes. I suppose that everytime I come across one, I feel like it is a vindication for freedom of thought, and the necessity of personal revelation, and the important commandment to not judge. Also, I think that it reminds me to put into perspective the fact that God is omniscient, and as much as I may think that I’m hot stuff, I’m laboring under the handicap of a mortal brain and a mortal conception. Paradoxes in the scriptures beautifully and subtely illustrate my position and humble me enough to listen a little better.

  2. “It is not meet that we should be commanded in all things, after all.” VS. “Let the Holy Spirit be your constant companion” (or something like that).

    Isn’t there (ALMOST) a paradox scripture for every other one?

  3. One of the nice things about the scriptures is that they are large enough to be able to find what you want in them.

    This allows different people to latch on to what they like or need at different times. This can be both good and bad, but I think that for faithful readers it is mostly good.

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