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So It Was With Me... Life

Sometimes writers distance themselves from religious subjects. Religion is still taboo to speak about. Read about it instead.

Worth of Souls?

Does life matter if someone's homeless with no attachments? Yes! Each life is important and has value with each individual responsible to find value in his or her life. In a quick answer to the question of the title, the same things in life happen to us that happened to the people who lived millennia ago such as Adam, Eve, Moses, Plato, and others. Writers, I believe, share aspects of our lives to help others find acceptance in life as spectacular and important masterpieces.

All people have stories of faith, no matter their religious affiliations, and struggle that can help enrich and edify if shared. Jesus Christ suffered ridicule for sharing what He (and others) shared about His purpose. Parts of my life I put before the world to view, criticize, love--just like Him. Some of the stories seem as miraculous, and should since those who profess discipleship get that blessing too!

Reading The Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a book of scripture I studied as part of my religious curriculum for 2021, had a side-effect of sharing my life with strangers with the hope that they'd benefit from it the way I benefited from learning about Joseph Smith, a modern prophet of God.

Jesus proclaims to the world, "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." He then explains the value God places on a soul stating, "He suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto Him."Also, Jesus willingly paid the ultimate price for the sins of humankind,"For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh..." (D&C 18:11)

Though I'm no prophet, I feel my testimony of God will help some struggling soul, even if that soul's mine alone! I soberly witness to the value, preciousness of each life on Earth to God, and to all who serve Him in truth and revelation. I'm still figuring out how to demonstrate daily that I agree with God about the value of life, seeking to progress to love my neighbor as I love myself.

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All people have stories of faith... and struggle that can help enrich and edify if shared.

Following is an observation and profession of one of my faith struggles.

The Same, But Different

Mother suffered through and from drug addiction, rest her soul, for my entire childhood.

Why would I share such a horrible part of life for my mother? It's part of what helped me find God.

Pointing out Mother's weakness doesn't make her a terrible person. She, in her later years, committed her life to Jesus Christ. Remarkable is how I describe Mother! While Mother roamed the streets to find her next fix in the dark days of my youth, however, two other women took it upon themselves to bring stability to my life: Auntie, Mother's sister, and Grandma, Mother and Auntie's mother.

(In Moroni Saw Me, I wrote about the influence of these women as a tribute, which started as a therapeutic exercise to deal with a family tragedy.)

Mother being an addict caused me to live with Grandma and Auntie at different times. Grandma was Mama--what my brother and I called her in the beginning. We called Mother, Mommy. During the formative years of my life, Mother, we were told, injured herself and need to go to rehab in New York, the state of my nativity, while I lived in Georgia with Grandma and brother.

Mother finally returned to us, but she did not look like her familiar plump self. She had morphed into a frail and thin woman who used the same voice as Mommy but did not look like her. Grandma told me that the strange woman was our mother. She commanded us to go and give her a hug!

I recall my seven-year-old self lying next to Mother on the couch in my grandmother's home pretending "happy to see her" because Grandma, the person with whom I actually wanted to snuggle, told me that I should.

What does this have to do with Scripture and reading Doctrine and Covenants?

Just like us, the people in the scriptures had lives they lived and associations and trusts they formed. Mormon, the son of Mormon, had to move with his family from their home to the large city of Zarahemla when he was ten years old. That move changed his life in ways that only the Book of Mormon and a personal interview with Mormon could explain.

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That move caused Mormon to meet a man, Amaron, who entrusted him with the records of their people from which he eventually produced what became the modern book of Mormon, and another testament of Jesus Christ.

Joseph Smith moved as a boy from Vermont to New York where he experienced a prophetic mission to restore the Church of Christ. His life as an ordinary laborer significantly changed due to that move.

Eventually, Mother became clean enough to take care of my sibling and me, which was a good thing since two of our houses burned down and my grandmother died. We moved several times before we settled in South Georgia and to a place where I would find God in a most powerful manner.

Mormon and Joseph's moves provided them with the opportunities to serve as prophets. My move served as the impetus for my introduction to a new relationship with God, not as a prophet, but just as relevant in my life as were Mormon and Joseph's experiences.

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I begged Grandma never to die, once--or not before me, at least.

“You being foolish,” she replied. “My death could be the best thang that ever happen to you.”

Hindsight being 20/20 and all, I believe there was some veracity to her contention. Then, my kid-brain could not see the future, nor would have understood if I could. [1]

Just as the Lord works in the lives of His prophets to arrange things for their success, He does in the lives of all people. This knowledge does not mean tragedy strikes everywhere else. Eve ate the fruit so that humankind could exist. Judas betrayed Jesus so that the Romans could get ahold of the Savior. Floods covered the Earth so that humanity could begin again to build a righteous people. Grandma died so that Rodric could find God.

Doctrine and Covenants contains the voice of the Savior speaking directly to us in parts--ninety percent of it is the voice of Jesus Christ warning and beckoning for us to repent and heed His commandments. Another side-effect of reading that book and living my life is knowing that God will speak to us the way He speaks to prophets. He'll lead and guide us if we allow Him to direct us.

The only difference is that when prophets receive revelation it changes the entire world. When those of us who are not prophets listen, it changes the lives of our loved ones. God works on small-scale projects as well as universal-scale ones for our good.

Find out from Him about your life things you can learn to change or accept at the local level?

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Reading the Scriptures, especially Doctrine and Covenants has shown me that God is interested in my life, even the mundane parts. Studying it also lets me know that He's interested in your life. He's truly the Father of us all and wants to reach each of us to provide instruction. We have to willingly allow that to happen because never will He forces. Like any parent, He will do what He can to get our attention. Sometimes that's being swallowed by a great fish for three days or contacted by a friend to go to a church social with them.

As a teenager, I planned to write a book that would depict how I wanted my life to turn out. Of course, that failed. I was a teenager! I knew too little about life to write about how it could turn out. Instead, I wrote a book of fiction called Memory Piece. Thank God my life does not resemble the happenings to those fictional characters with names similar to my best friends--at the time--and mine.

  • Moroni Saw me - Home
    Hitting me like a ton of bricks came this verse by Moroni that reads, “Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.” There as clear as day I was mentioned!
  • Moroni Saw Me
    Getting Personal With Christianity. While doing all that I can, I stand awaiting the grace of Christ to save me. God wants us to be with Him. He has standards we need to keep. Can we be true? YES!

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Rodric Anthony Johnson

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