Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rebuilding our 'soul' as a people

President Thomas S. Monson wrote a piece in the Washington Post as part of a series in which religious leaders were asked:
What have we learned about religion in the past 10 years? 
What was the spiritual impact of 9/11?
I loved his response. He indicated that the tragedy caused most to "rediscover God" and there was a renewed sense of spirituality. He noted how this has waned in the years since.

I loved this passage:
Our Father’s commitment to us, His children, is unwavering. Indeed He softens the winters of our lives, but He also brightens our summers. Whether it is the best of times or the worst, He is with us. He has promised us that this will never change.

But we are less faithful than He is. By nature we are vain, frail, and foolish. We sometimes neglect God. Sometimes we fail to keep the commandments that He gives us to make us happy. Sometimes we fail to commune with Him in prayer. Sometimes we forget to succor the poor and the downtrodden who are also His children. And our forgetfulness is very much to our detriment.
I love his usual Monsonesque poetic phrasing. The most important commandments given of course are to love God and love our neighbor, which he notes "will make us happy." I also love that he specifically highlighted the newest "purpose of the church" which is caring for the poor and needy. I can't express how grateful I am that my church is putting greater focus on pure religion.

The other passage which really resonated with me was this passage:
The way to be with God in every season is to strive to be near Him every week and each day. We truly “need Him every hour,” not just in hours of devastation. We must speak to Him, listen to Him, and serve Him. If we wish to serve Him, we should serve our fellow men. We will mourn the lives we lose, but we should also fix the lives that can be mended and heal the hearts that may yet be healed.
The concept of expressing gratitude to the divine, seeking a greater sense of awareness of how to help those around you, following those promptings, learning to seek out those who are in need, and helping others is what it's all about. 

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