Category Archives: Parable/analogy

Reflections

This shot was definitely a spur of the moment, but at that one moment, there was no wind, the suns placement was perfect, the water was still, and my handy dandy point and shoot was patiently waiting in my pocket.  After looking at this shot, I realized that there seems to be something about a reflection that is attractive to the human eye. Although this shot is a very simple shot and was in every sense relatively easy to capture, the presence of the clear reflection in the shot immediately captures the eyes attention.  The question I then asked myself was, where and what does the natural eye focus on first when looking at for example this picture of a reflection.  I found myself “reflecting” back to when I first recognized the presence of the mirrored image before I took the shot.  I realized that my path of vision first started by refocusing on one tree within the reflection, and then immediately the reality and presence of the entire reflection on the pond came into view.  My brain translated the image, defined the line of symmetry, and then put the words “wow thats sweet!!” into my mouth.  Its kinda like when one zooms back out with his or her camera and it suddenly and automatically refocus on the broadened view. Of course with the brain, all of this happens in about 3 seconds, but yet I find it truly fascinating! It only increases my testimony that God is in every sense real, and that He has blessed us with these amazing bodies.

Now as I pondered over the image and concept of a reflection, a beautiful analogy unfolded in my head, and I understood more fully that because Christ often taught using parables, the people had a deeper understanding of the Gospel.  There are two points that I would like to make regarding reflections and the Gospel:

1. Often times we do not recognize whats in front of us and we have to readjust our eyes in order to get the whole “picture”.  The Gospel plays a key role in our lives. It unfolds God’s plan for us. It gives purpose to our lives. It revolves around our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and as such, as a member of His church I am striving to follow His example.  Everything we do, every day, every choice, takes us somewhere.  Sadly, satan is very real, and in every sense he influences the world in which we live. As sons and daughters of God, we have to remember IMG_1365what is most important, we have to reajust our eyes every once in a while, always remembering who we are and who we can become.  Dont let the distractions of the world change our perspective and lose sight of whats most important. Eternity is a long time, and this life is short.  How broad is our view, how eternal is our perspective?

2. Our lives are a reflection and there are many influences that can and do distort it.  However the object or subject of the reflection, will always be there.  Just like Christ will always be there to lift us up when we our lives are distorted, by Satan and his followers.  One stone may only cause a slight rift in the reflection, but many stones can quickly ruin the reflection altogether.  Our reflection, our countenances, must be sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

Alma 5:19  “I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?”

Is the reflection of Christ engraven upon ourselves? He is the Light, the way, and the perfect example.  As sons and daughters of God, our reflections can become clear as we live the Gospel.

A Firm Foundation

ImageA couple Mondays ago we cruised over to the Edge Rock gym with Sister Draper, a military relations missionary for the church here at naval station Mayport.  We arrived at the gym still bearing the nametags of Him whom we love and serve, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and we gladly expressed to the lady at the front desk our role as missionaries for the LDS church.  After getting our shoes and harnesses we hooked into the auto belay device, grabbed some chalk for our hands, and latched onto the wall, eager to be the first to the top.  At this point my photography instincts awakened my creativity and I grabbed my soft bound Book of Mormon, immediately recognizing the new perspective and analogy that I could get in these next shots.

The principle that I realized later that night as I looked through my camera is the fact that in order to reach new heights, physically, mentally, spiritually, one must have a firm foundation.  In order for an elevator to rise, it is firmly held and lifted by cables, of which have a firm foundation within the building where they found.  Hikers, mtn bikers, runners, etc., all gain elevation only if they follow firmly packed paths that lead them safely up the mountain.  Even airplanes are firmly held by the thrust of the engines and the aerodynamics of the design, and without being firmly held inside the plane itself, man would not be able to fly anyway! Whether the means by which we are rising is doing the work for us or not, airplanes being a good example, has no influence on the fact that in order to rise at all, we have to be firmly held to something, or else we will literally fall.  It is such a simple principle, but at the same time profound.  It applies to every aspect of our lives, whether we are physically rising or not.

Being a missionary, I have seen and felt first hand the firm foundations, or “rocks”, as portrayed in the picture, that missionaries must use in order to rise spiritually.  The Book of Mormon in my opinion is the most important, or most firm handhold, in ones progression to exaltation and life with our loving Heavenly Father.  We are even told by Isaiah in the Bible; “For as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways than your ways…” (Isaiah 55:9).  The key word in that scripture is higher.  The Heavens are higher. We then can logically assume that spiritually we have to rise in stature and knowledge in order to return to the Heavens.  I love that.  Theres a scripture in the Book of Mormon by a prophet named Helaman that I also love…

12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the arock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

We must build our foundations on Christ….and the Book of Mormon is a testament of Jesus Christ.  I can testify that as we read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We will literally rise in understanding His gospel and we can safely return to the presence of our Heavenly Father.  I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and I know it is true.