Friday, April 11, 2014

Wisdom in the Sight of the Nations


 This is part of some talks Moses gave to the Israelites before he was to be translated.  I ran across these verses and liked them:

5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
 6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
 7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
 8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
 9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;
(Deuteronomy 4:5-9)

I really love that it says keeping the commandments is our wisdom and understanding in the sight of the nations.  It tells us it is possible for other people to understand the wisdom in the commandments, how following them really does make life better.  (The caveat is that those nations have to be honest in heart..)

Interestingly enough, this also implies missionary work.  Other nations will not be impressed with the wisdom of the commandments unless they have them explained to them, and they won’t have them explained unless we talk about the commandments.  And the best time to talk about them is when we are about to do them.  By expressing our joyful anticipation of fulfilling commandments, we may elicit questions from others, which we can answer with explanations, doctrine, testimony, and invitation to experiment upon the word.

When the commandments are explained, the honest in heart can see that they are head and shoulders above the laws of men.  (Just as a single example, Welfare Square in Salt Lake City routinely impresses visiting dignitaries who have the church’s welfare program explained to them.  Explaining that program touches on principles and commandments of tithing, fast offerings, work, and self-reliance, etc.)

I also like this bit—“For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?”   Consider all the ways that we can have God so close to us.  1) Receiving answers to prayers 2) Coming into the presence of God in the temple, which is the house of the Lord 3) Having the gift of the Holy Ghost whereby we can have a member of the Godhead with us always. 

We are soooo blessed!