Search This Blog


Turning Back

We had a great stake conference this morning. Our Stake President gave a good talk about Lot's wife looking back. In Genesis 13 he reviewed the story of Abraham and Lot who had journeyed together to the land and had both grown so prosperous that they were crowding each other. Abraham told Lot to choose which side of the land he would take and then Abraham would take the other. Lot took the side with the water and lush growth and the cities, including Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot was so happy with this that he lived in Sodom and became quite fond of the city life.
Iconic city life
Chapter 14 talks about the kings of the cities who were fighting each other and taking spoils. Lot was kidnapped and all his possessions were taken by one of the kings. When Abraham found out he got up a force and rescued Lot and all his possessions. Abraham went to the one righteous king in the land, Melchizedek and pays tithing and takes the sacrament. It makes no mention of Lot doing the same. Lot goes back to the cities that he loves.  Later in chapter 19 the Lord tells Abraham that he is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham asks him to spare the city if enough righteous can be found. Enough are not found so the Lord sends messengers into the city to warn Lot to leave. Lot believes the messengers and he warns his adult children to leave with him, but they mock him.  Not wanting to leave all his comforts, family and lifestyle, Lot lingers in the city, indecisive for so long that the messengers have to drag Lot, his wife and two daughters out of the city. I wonder if Lot's wife was part of his reluctance to leave. Perhaps she was dragging her feet too. They instruct them not to look back but to flee to the mountains. Lot doesn't like that idea, being a city boy, and asks to be allowed to go to a very small city nearby. It is agreed that that city will be spared. Despite all this, Lot's wife looks back! Whether she actually went back or just turned around, something there caught her eye and turned her away from the advice of the Lord. Was it the lights, the excitement, the parties, the comfort, old relationships, old habits? We don't know. It doesn't matter. We all have our temptations.
Jump ahead to Luke chapter 17, verses 26-32 the Lord is telling his Apostles about the last days. He remarkably accurately describes our conditions and then says we must take a lesson from Lot's wife. He tells them that "whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it! and whosoever shall loose his life shall preserve it."  In the next chapter of Luke we get the story of the young man who asks Jesus what he must do to have eternal life. They go through the commandments and the man reports that he has kept them since his youth. (Sounds like a temple recommend interview!) Then Jesus joyfully tells the man to sell all that he has and give it all to the poor and to follow Him. But tragically the young man could not leave his stuff and he left the Savior sorrowing. Jesus tells us that our possessions will prevent us from entering the celestial kingdom! Even keeping all the commandments since his youth was not enough to get this man to the celestial kingdom!
Verse 29 & 30 are the point. When we leave all for the Lord, we will receive "manifold more" in return. Our Stake President related a story about a couple who had come to him as a Bishop for tithing settlement and had given all that they had in their account to pay their tithing . They told him that they had decided to pay $50 a month in fast offerings that year, and this bag of rolled up quarters was all they had. That next spring the wife, who had been in good health at the end of the year, died suddenly. It brought tears to my eyes and reminded me of my Great Grandma Davies. She had been being cared for at her daughter's home but one day she just wanted to go home. In her last act of faith she walked across the street to pay her tithing to her Bishop and on the way back she fell and as a result she died shortly thereafter. I thought, I want to be like her and die without a tight hold on "stuff".
Before conference I had been fretting about losing all my "stuff" on my computer if it crashed. I do need to take precautions, but I should have been thinking and preparing for worship, not worrying about all my digital "stuff". I like a line from the last conference that went something like this:
A distraction doesn't have to be evil, just effective.
Whatever pulls us away from the Lord is effective, even if it isn't necessarily evil. We are so surrounded by evil influence today that if we take our eye off the Savior- even for a moment- it may be all Satan needs to attack us and we will never know what hit us.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts