Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We all are necessary to the plan!

I guess I am not the best at blogging, but it does encourage me at times to put down my thoughts and feelings. I seem to be going in the direction of these catagories. LOL! 1) Thoughts on what I read, either spiritually speaking or human psychology. 2) Pictures of the children and the grandchildren. 3) Pictures of some adventures. Well, at least I am keeping some sort of journal this way.

I have learned this past week a little more on the "Doctrine of Agency", (which I don't entirely understand, and I believe we all have misunderstandings concerning it.) That when we are trying to "fix" someone else it becomes "unrighteous dominion". That takes cause for pondering.

( This wonderful law of agency is shown beautifully by the Savior's example. The Savior did not go and ask the women in adultery to come here and he will fix them. He waited for the people to come to Him. He did not go chasing after people to show them He could heal them or force them to be healed. The people He healed came to Him, willingly. It was their choice.)

Getting back to the "unrighteous dominion" part, I was reading in my Meridian magazine this morning and it happened to include this concept and I decided to include these excerpts for good reading. (and better understanding, at least for me.)

Power and Love

Jesus Christ embodies every good trait, and we see the combination of power and love exemplified in His servants. Those who remember President Spencer W. Kimball have no problem envisioning power, love, and humility reconciled within the same individual. Yet when it comes to the way many of us apply these principles, the practical answer to the question of power is much more difficult; we often fail to develop such traits harmoniously within ourselves. As Joseph Smith taught, “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion” (D&C 121:39).

Latter-day Saint psychologist Dr. Allen E. Bergin explains, “Social scientists tend to separate power and love in order to accurately describe human relationships and organizational dynamics, but the gospel intent is that power and love become unified in a singular style.” Societal attitudes have a way of encroaching and creeping into every nook and cranny of our worldview, and we must make a constant effort to understand the difference between the world’s version of power and the Lord’s. Bergin calls the gospel ideal revolutionary, but one that the world does not find “natural or possible” to implement.

So what is the gospel ideal of power, and what is the world’s? Again, Joseph Smith captured the essence of Godly power in scripture: “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned” (D&C 121:41). The result of exercising this kind of power is “an everlasting dominion” that exists “without compulsory means” (D&C 121:46). On the other hand, any time a person exerts influence in a forceful manner, or whenever the exercise of power is motivated by something other than love—such as a craving for control, admiration, or the accomplishment of self-oriented goals—the individual uses worldly power.

Power and the Family

An important arena where unrighteous dominion can occur is within the family. Dr. Bergin writes, “God has given specific principles for how families are to be governed so that each member is nurtured in love and growth. Unfortunately, Latter-day Saint families do not always follow these principles.” Specifically, spouses may adopt habits of unrighteous dominion in their relationships when they adhere to oft-misunderstood biblical scriptures at the expense of heeding latter-day prophets. Taking certain teachings out of context from the whole gospel spectrum can lead some people to erroneously conclude that it is men’s responsibility to lead and women’s obligation to follow.

For example, President Gordon B. Hinckley explained that Adam’s “ruling over” Eve as stated in Genesis means “to responsibly provide for, to protect, to strengthen and shield [his] wife.” 3 President Spencer W. Kimball quipped: “We have heard of men who have said to their wives, ‘I hold the priesthood and you’ve got to do what I say.’ Such a man should be tried for his membership.” 4

While it is wrong for a man to use the priesthood as an excuse to dominate, it is also wrong for a woman to insist on independence to the point of ignoring her husband’s opinions and counsel. Seeking to be in control at the expense of cooperating with one’s spouse is unrighteous dominion, whether the controlling spouse has the priesthood or not. Instead of engaging in power struggles, spouses should adopt “the principle of unanimous consent in decision making, as used in the presiding quorums of the Church,” which is outlined in D&C 107:27–31. Dr. Bergin writes, “Neither partner in a marriage should go forward with a decision or action without agreement from the other partner.” Instead of conforming to a worldly power structure wherein one person leads from a higher position, Latter-day Saints must “accept and act upon a revolutionary vision of differentiation without dominance and of distinctiveness without inequality.”

“Distinctiveness without inequality.” That is the power structure of God’s plan. Powers are divided up, so that all beings, male and female, have a necessary part in the plan of salvation. It has been set up in such a way that we must rely on each other. No man can be exalted without the powers and gifts given only to a woman. No woman can be exalted without the specific powers of men and priesthood.

Who runs the kingdom? The women. And the men. And God. Take any of their powers away, and the whole plan falls to pieces.

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So it is all part of the plan, we just need to learn how to "do" it like the Savior did it. Becoming like Him takes a lifetime of willingness to study Him and to practice. I, myself, get's stuck in the natural man easily. It is a constant battle to overcome the world and my own weaknesses. So the more I learn, the less I really know!!



1 comment:

clan of the cave hair said...

wow! Deni, that message is powerful. No pun intended. I wonder if I printed this out and "accidentally" left it behind for my boss and his wife to find, if it would benefit them in anyway. I am actually quitting my job partially because the balance of power is so far to the left of where I percieve it should be, and there appears to be no hope of fixing it.