Sunday is the day I share a little of my soul...enjoy.
I've seen miracles. One of them is named Jellybean. Olivia is her real name. She is a sweet little friend born with Spina Bifida who is living proof that God has not forgotten us or abandoned us. Her mom Shellee has been my friend since an early age and she is still holding to the same Faith that brought us together all those years ago.
Yet, I also have a friends who has been what they call " enlightened". I love them dearly as well. I think we all have people in our lives who claim they are happier because they don't have the chains of religion "holding them down." No guilt. No responsibility to anything morally per say. They can be the most well intention-ed friends...who believe in an old belief disguised as new-age. It's a "modern" way of thinking. It's based on the fact that humans are alone. There is no God. It's...frankly, not something I can swallow. I'm not saying I think less of my friends as children of God. In fact, that status will never change. Anyone who knows me, also knows I love everyone. A glorious creation of a Living God will always have value in my mind and heart. They will always be connected to me as my spiritual brothers and sisters. We've actually said, "we will just have to respectfully agree to disagree on subjects of religion." We mutually respect each other's place...and I'm thankful for that.
As for my position, I just can't agree with the line of thinking that rejects the reality of a Living God because one cannot see that God the second they look up in the sky and say, "God?" In fact, the whole line of reasoning that says "God didn't answer and I found truth after that..." well, I can't buy it. I can't buy it, not because I'm narrow minded, but because I've been enlightened by a powerful witness of God's reality. I can't ever imagine thinking that we are alone. We'll live and die and then it's over?! Really? Why even do anything? How could that line of thought ever lead to peace?
All things in this world and universe denote there is a God. Every cell and atom, every star and galaxy are ordained. There is order. There is light. There are laws. Without fail, there are spiritual and physical laws in place that I can't explain in human terms. Does that mean they don't remain in full force. I'm not a scientist. I don't know the math of Gravity. Though I can't see Gravity, can't call upon it and have it answer, doesn't mean it will not always be a powerful real force on the earth and across the endless concourses of space. It doesn't change it's reality if I accept it or reject it. It is a viable power non the less. Perhaps that is why I get so passionate about my Faith. It is the power by which God created the universe. It's been such an enabling power in my life. It's alive and real in my heart as much as the blood pumping through the muscle mass pounding in my chest. Faith makes me who I am. I looked up once and said, "God?"...and he didn't answer right away. However...I believed that I couldn't be here for one brief existence and then end. In that direction, I sought spiritual Enlightenment though much prayer and meditation...and yes, even spiritual mentors known as Prophets.
So what do we do in a "Modern" world? As a Christian...what do we do? Howard W. Hunter once said,
"I believe we can be modern and enjoy the fruits of a modern world and its high standard of living, and I believe we can have the benefits of modern scholarship and scientific advances without turning to the theories of the modernist. I believe the principles of the gospel announced by the Savior in his personal ministry were true when they were given and are true today. Truth is eternal and never changing, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is ever contemporary in a changing world.
The knowledge explosion of which the world is so proud is not of man’s creation. It is his discovery of portions of the unlimited knowledge and information which is part of God’s knowledge. How we use it is determined by whether we are of the eternal kingdom of God or a part of the temporary understanding of the world. The question is simply this: are we seeking to find our place in the world in the realm of worldly thought, or are we seeking to find our place in the unchanging kingdom of God?" What your definition of what "Spiritual Enlightenment" is, may very well be the answer to where you stand in your Faith. Are you enlightened by the Spirit of Christ...or some other light?
I will always hold dear to my heart the knowledge that of all the friends I could have in this world, of all the bright minds I could have in my circle of influence...the single greatest association I could ever hope to achieve is the friendship and association of the Holy Ghost. It will cut through the shadows of doubt and fill me with the knowledge and Peace that passes all human understanding. It's in this Spirit, and with this spirit as my Enlightened friend...I choose to walk. I hope that others will choose the same...but I can't choose for anyone but myself. I can love them...but I can love myself enough to remember who has been my friend since my infancy...and the friend of Jellybean. I'm thankful most of all today for the gift of His friendship.