Monday, April 20, 2015

All the Stars that Glitter

This post is an excerpt from the words of Orson F Whitney.  He speaks of the creation of this world and others like it.  He shares the perspective that God's work is to save and exalt the human family.  It is a beautiful perspective.  I also share with you the thoughts of a scientist on the creation (see video).

"We are placed in this world measurably in the dark. We no longer see our Father face to face. While it is true that we once did; that we once stood in His presence, seeing as we are seen, knowing, according to our intelligence, as we are known; the curtain has dropped, we have changed our abode, we have taken upon ourselves flesh; the veil of forgetfulness intervenes between this life and that, and we are left, as Paul expresses it, to “see through a glass darkly,” to “know in part and to prophesy in part;” to see only to a limited extent, the end from the beginning. We do not comprehend things in their fullness. But we have the promise, if we will receive and live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, wisely using the intelligence, the opportunities, the advantages, and the possessions which He continually bestows upon us—the time will come, in the eternal course of events, when our minds will be cleared from every cloud, the past will recur to memory, the future will be an open vision, and we will behold things as they are, and the past, present and future will be one eternal day, as it is in the eyes of God our Father, who knows neither past, present or future; whose course is one eternal round; who creates, who saves, redeems and glorifies the workmanship of His hands, in which He Himself is glorified.

"The earth upon which we dwell is only one among the many creations of God. The stars that glitter in the heavens at night and give light unto the earth are His creations, redeemed worlds, perhaps, or worlds that are passing through the course of their redemption, being saved, purified, glorified and exalted by obedience to the principles of truth which we are now struggling to obey. Thus is the work of our Father made perpetual, and as fast as one world and its inhabitants are disposed of, He will roll another into existence, He will create another earth, He will people it with His offspring, the offspring of the Gods in eternity, and they will pass through probations such as we are now passing through, that they may prove their integrity by their works; that they may give an assurance to the Almighty that they are worthy to be exalted through obedience to those principles, that unchangeable plan of salvation which has been revealed to us.

"It is one of the grandest attributes of Deity that He saves and exalts the human family upon just and eternal principles; that He gives to no man, or no woman that which they have not been willing to work for, which they have not deserved, which they have not expanded themselves to receive by putting in practice the principles He reveals, against all opposition, facing the wrath and scorn of the world—the world which cannot give a just cause, a reasonable pretext for the opposition it has ever manifested to the truths of heaven. It is a characteristic of our Father, a principle of His divine economy to exact from every soul a fitting proof of its worthiness to attain the exaltation to which it aspires. There are no heights that may not be surmounted, but they must be reached in the way that God has ordained. Man may think to accomplish his salvation by carrying out the selfish desires of his own heart; but when he fails to take God into consideration, his Creator, and the framer of the laws whereby we mount unto exaltation and eternal life, he knocks the ladder from under him whereby he might climb to that glorious state."

The idea of a ladder of destiny is also expressed by the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  In my opinion, the ladder is grace because you aren't going anywhere without it.  And also, if you have the ladder but you don't climb it, you aren't going anywhere. 

Back to the poem, I love how it gives hope to all of us in our journey to eternal life.

"Saint Augustine! well hast thou said,
      That of our vices we can frame 
A ladder, if we will but tread 
      Beneath our feet each deed of shame! 

All common things, each day's events, 
      That with the hour begin and end, 
Our pleasures and our discontents, 
      Are rounds by which we may ascend. 

The low desire, the base design, 
      That makes another's virtues less; 
The revel of the ruddy wine, 
      And all occasions of excess; 

The longing for ignoble things; 
      The strife for triumph more than truth; 
The hardening of the heart, that brings 
      Irreverence for the dreams of youth; 

All thoughts of ill; all evil deeds, 
      That have their root in thoughts of ill; 
Whatever hinders or impedes 
      The action of the nobler will; — 

All these must first be trampled down 
      Beneath our feet, if we would gain 
In the bright fields of fair renown 
      The right of eminent domain. 

We have not wings, we cannot soar; 
      But we have feet to scale and climb 
By slow degrees, by more and more, 
      The cloudy summits of our time. 

The mighty pyramids of stone 
      That wedge-like cleave the desert airs, 
When nearer seen, and better known, 
      Are but gigantic flights of stairs. 

The distant mountains, that uprear 
      Their solid bastions to the skies, 
Are crossed by pathways, that appear 
      As we to higher levels rise. 

The heights by great men reached and kept 
      Were not attained by sudden flight, 
But they, while their companions slept, 
      Were toiling upward in the night. 

Standing on what too long we bore 
      With shoulders bent and downcast eyes, 
We may discern — unseen before — 
      A path to higher destinies, 

Nor deem the irrevocable Past 
      As wholly wasted, wholly vain, 
If, rising on its wrecks, at last 
      To something nobler we attain.

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If you liked this post you might also like 5 Reasons to Believe in God

Quoted Text Source: Journal of Discourses
Image credit:  Spiral Galaxy M101
Poem Source: The Ladder of St. Augustine

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