Tuesday, September 16, 2008

fruit salad.

So, twice a week I have to write a journal entry for my Book of Mormon class. The idea is to pick one scripture and apply it to my own life, and today I was writing about 1 Nephi 8:27. It's not the most eloquent paper I've ever written, but I liked the lesson I'm learning, so I decided to share it. Enjoy :)

One element of Lehi’s dream is the great and spacious building filled with multitudes of people. In his dream, these people are mocking and laughing at the people who are partaking of the fruit. Consequently, some of the people who stayed on the path originally and tasted the fruit begin to doubt and wander toward the building into the mists of darkness. Although the people in the building are often described as representing the wicked and apostate people of the world, I think the metaphor is one that can relate to a condition within the LDS church itself. There sometimes exists an attitude within the church of “being good but not too good.” Among the teenagers in the home ward I grew up in, the “cool” kids were always the ones who edged the lines and pushed the standards, and in order to fit in there was pressure to bend the rules. I spent the last three summers working as an EFY counselor, and one of the most common problems among the youth is that the “popular” kids are the ones who adopt a more callous attitude toward living high standards. Unfortunately, the mindset among many of these youth is that it’s considered cool to use profanity occasionally, disobey your parents, or watch inappropriate movies and TV shows. And, beyond just the youth of the LDS church, I have seen this same scenario played out in many college settings, even among BYU students. Sometimes it makes me sad – and sometimes it downright drives me crazy – that such a trend has caught hold among otherwise faithful members of the Church. Since when did it become a bad thing to be a “Molly Mormon” or “Peter Priesthood”?
However, the purpose of this journal article is not for me to jump on my soapbox (although I’ve certainly done just that…). I think what I need to learn from this scripture is to be less bothered by the people in the building and focus instead on inviting people to the tree. It’s easy to get distracted by the desire to fit in, even if that means toeing the line or changing a standard. However, if all I do is sit there with a piece of fruit in my hand and fight the desire to throw it at the people in the building, I’m no better off than they are. And besides, I’m not perfect; I know I have my moments and situations where I’m probably more of a building-goer than a tree hugger. So, although it could prove difficult to not get frustrated, my goal is to stop letting the building bother me, and start inviting more people to partake of the fruit.
The end.

So there it is...my thoughts on fruit and trees. I've decided to include a picture of a tree for good measure...even if the Tree of Life probably wasn't a beautiful Autumnal tree...if it had been MY dream, it would have been....oh how I love it with all my little season-deprived Arizona heart :)


Matt said...

YOU rock my face off. And I can definitely say that I always appreciated visiting your family (especially in my teenage years) because it was one of the only places I didn't have to think about the building. Back home the multitudes were in my face all the time with their mocking and trickery, and you guys always made that fruit look so darn appealing!

Celeste said...

Thanks for sharing KT. I totally agree with you about... well all of it. You are so amazing in your writing skills. How is school going?