Sunday, March 8, 2015


While I was teaching at the Institute of Religion in Reno, Nevada, I participated in a local radio show produced by Carl Chamberlain called Sabbath Reflections. I later self-published some of these talks in a three set series called Reflections for a Sabbath Day.

During this year and perhaps into the next I will from time to time be including some of these talks which were given as the spoken word on the radio show as part of my Thoughts for a Sabbath Day!! These talks will be easily identified because they were all based on questions found in the scriptures. Hopefully, those who remember these past spoken and written words will enjoy stepping back into the past with me. (Astute readers of my weekly Thoughts for a Sabbath Day are already aware I started this process on December 28, 2014).

Since I have enjoyed another few decades of life since these were originally written, and, hopefully, my understanding has increased with age beyond that from bygone days, some will become aware that I have updated and modified some of the talks as they originally appeared.

And away we go!!

As I look back on a life that now exceeds 75 years, I think the days of innocence might have been in many ways among the very best. There is no other time when our progress as humans advances more rapidly than when we are in the beginning stages of our mortal existence.

Those were days which were filled with adventure and an abundance of learning and discovery. The grass is green. The sky is blue. Water is wet. Always eat bread with meat. Choo-choo trains come from Santa. The gospel is true. Babies are delivered by storks. Prayers are answered. When Easter falls on your birthday the bounty from parents and the bunny is not magnified.

It would be difficult for any of us to pinpoint the date when it begins to slip away, but little by little with the rising and setting of the sun, the traits of innocence which facilitated and perpetuated the gaining of unchallenged knowledge and the progression of abilities were replaced with mature thinking processes and casual acknowledgement of the miraculous functions of the mortal body.

Trust was replaced by doubt.

Acceptance was replaced by skepticism.

Innocence was replaced by self-proclaimed intelligence.

Self-proclaimed intelligence eventually revealed the extent of ignorance.

Adam’s passage from innocence is portrayed as a rather abrupt occurrence. One day he was content with having had no covering and the next he was exhausting the abundance of nature in order to fulfill his need to be covered.

Heavenly Father’s reaction was interesting. He didn’t ask, ‘How did you discover your nakedness?’, but he inquired ‘Who told thee that thou wast naked?’

As mature skepticism has been replaced by brief flashes of wisdom in my life, I have discovered that it is extremely important to always know, ‘who’ it is that is telling me things and what is ‘their’ set of prejudices, especially when I am being given new information which might tear away at the truths learned in my days of innocence.

My older siblings’ motives may not have been pure as they helped me to understand that choo-choo trains really came from the toy store.

After all, they may have been more than a little jealous of my extra joy on Christmas morning, which was now gone from them forever, because their innocence had been replaced with knowledge.

It is always profitable to remember that the being who revealed to Adam his nakedness, was the same being who falsely proclaimed himself the god of this world; the same being who through his misuse of agency would be forever limited in his acquisition of truth; the same being who put it into the heart of Cain that the true order of life was to murder or destroy others in order to get gain.

It may just be true that all perpetrated facts may not spring from pure wells.

The evaluation of the Los Angeles Dodgers as a baseball team given by a devout San Francisco Giants fan just possibly may be prejudiced.

The evaluation of the merits of protein in beef made by a rancher just possibly may be biased.

The value of prayer in a person’s life as viewed by an agnostic just possibly may be skewed.

There is no doubt that knowing who information is coming from may be a real key to knowing the relative value of the information.

Should I be as accepting of facts about the results of smoking if they come from the tobacco industry as I am when they come for the Surgeon General?

Should I be as accepting of thoughts on the value or dangers of pornography, if they come from Smut Publications, as I am when they come from scientific surveys on the causes of sexual abuse?

Should I be as accepting of views about the existence of modern day revelation, if it comes from scholasticism, as I am when it comes from the testimony of a living prophet of Heavenly Father?

Life has taught me that the time of innocence was a tremendously productive period both physically, mentally and emotionally.

The processes which evolve as one matures have taught me that some things learned and accepted innocently need to be reevaluated.

Wisdom, when it blesses me if only for brief periods, tells me that voices of men may proclaim prejudices and biases, but not always truth.

Therefore, although I now know that Santa is a symbol of joyful giving and that babies are probably too heavy for storks. I have come to know with even greater understanding and force that the grass is green, the sky is blue, water is wet and the Gospel of Jesus the Christ is true.

No comments:

Post a Comment