Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Sunday School Lesson Recaps: There Is No Reward in Thoughtless Obedience

This month, the topic is "Temporal and Spiritual Self-Reliance". Thus far, we have talked about the following:

D&C 58: 26-28 - "For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.

We talked about needing to make our own decisions and choose what we believe about lots of things - that being told everything to think, believe and do is, essentially, Lucifer's plan, which is why those who do only what they are told to do receive "no reward". They don't grow; rather, they stagnate and never develop any degree of godliness.

We talked about "anxiously" meaning "with fervor and excitement - and how being "engaged" means being "committed and in a close relationship", not just casually doing something occasionally. We talked about how "good cause" is singular, while "many things" is plural - that we should do lots of good things, but that it's better to choose a good cause into which we can pour ourselves than to do multiple things only shallowly.

We talked about how "(wo)men do good" isn't confined to any one area (not even church), so anyone who does good, no matter what that is, will be rewarded.

Alma 37:37 - "Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good."

We discussed how "counsel" means "discuss among equals - that it doesn't mean to do only what you're told or commanded to do. That ties in really well with doing much good of one's own free will. We also discussed how "direct thee for good" does not mean "tell you what to do" - that it's much more like pointing in a general direction and away from the opposite direction. Another way to say it is that God will point us toward a good outcome, but he won't tell us exactly how to get there.

D&C 9: 7-8 - "Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind;"

We talked about the background for this passage and then focused on the need to "study" things prior to asking for answers - and how it is important to do so "in your (own) mind" and not just rely on or accept what others think, no matter who those others are.

1 comment:

Chilled said...

I like your post. But I feel that the institutional church actually encourages slothfulness. Conformity is the chief aim. Say or write something unauthorized, outside of the traditional narrative, and you risk being exed. Thinking for yourself is dangerous, because when prophets speak, the "thinking has been done."

How does a person freely act with the implicit threats of discipline if those acts aren't in harmony with what your local leaders deem appropriate?