Sunday, March 15, 2015


My mother had a lot of sayings, some of which I didn't really appreciate as I was being taught about life under her tutelage. I remember one of them had to do with not doing things which you might have to pick out with your nose later on. (Kind of along the lines of not driving one’s post holes too deeply.)

Now, that I am, of course, wizened with age, I understand that with her counsel she was trying to help me understand that the choices I was making would have consequences which would affect my life well into the future. She was usually referring to the choices I was making which she felt were not all that good.

As I look back on those long gone days of youth, I realize that many of my retorts to her ditties also had interesting counter statements during later periods of life.

As a teen I might have been heard to say: it’s my life and I can do with it as I wish.

Years later I probably countered with: if I were to have that decision again, I would definitely make it much differently.

As a teen I probably said: what’s good for you might not be good for me.

Sadly, as an adult, although I should have, I’m not sure I ever told her: I would have been much better off if I had listened and applied what you were trying to teach me.

I am sure it has to be part of the Eternal Plan, that each of us usually has to pay the price to understand some laws for ourselves:

That, yes indeed, we have been put on earth to act for ourselves, but we also must come to understand that each decision carries with it a resulting consequence.

That the price for the consequences of some decisions can be quickly paid, but the price for the consequences of some decisions may linger for years and even multiply in their indebtedness.

That sadly, the consequences of some decisions spill sloppily onto the plate of those we love and spread their ugly tentacles over generations which may as yet not be born.

That happily, the consequences of some decisions build, strengthen and magnify ourselves and thereby spread goodness and peace to those who surround us.

That gratefully, the Savior of mankind has paid the price so that all can escape the consequences of poorly made decisions.

Long ago Cain, the son of Adam and Eve, was taught by his parents the principles of the Law of Sacrifice.
But, in a misuse of his agency, he rejected their teachings and offered an offering of his own design which was unacceptable to the Lord.

Typically, as we mortals are prone to do, when the consequences came upon him, having his offering rejected, he became angry, resentful and depressed.

It seems that the children of earthly parents have difficulty in accepting the consequences of their choices even when the consequences come as a result of the erroneous choices they have made.

The Lord’s words to Cain reveal the law of agency and consequences and as is the case in many of life’s lessons, we have a tendency to reject the formula because of its simplicity.

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?
(‘Accepted’ from the Hebrew word Sehayth – to be elated, to exalt one’s character or rank, to raise oneself up)

As He spoke to Cain, was the Lord not saying to all of us, you need to understand that the way to self-fulfillment is through the proper use of agency, making choices which will result in happy consequences and result in growth for ourselves and for all with whom we come into contact.

If thou doest well
. (Well, from the Hebrew word Yaw tab – to be sound and right)

It is all so clear, it is all so simple, mother had it right all along. Learn what is right – do it – and you will find fulfillment.

Because he rejected the right, Cain suffered through mortality, lost his inheritance and his birthright and poured down consequences upon his children for generations to come.

How many generations will be affected because of the poor use we make of our agency?

How often do we have to pay the sad consequences of wrong decisions, before we gain understanding of this Eternal Law?

What is the legacy I am passing on to those generations yet to come to mortality because of my decisions.

Why am I wroth? Because I have rejected the truth!

Why is my countenance fallen? Because I am suffering the consequences of my wrong decisions!

If I do well, I will be accepted!

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