A witness from God can be relied upon. As you read our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, we invite you to obtain a witness for yourself. If something we say or imply does not ring true, then you should feel no obligation to accept it. Life is an individual and unique journey with God. Although we can help and encourage each other, we need to be careful not to come between God and another person.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Connections in High Places

The other day, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. During the course of our discussion, she almost unknowingly shared a little catchphrase, “It’s so good to have connections in high places.” The words are brilliant and true, but usually misconstrued and applied wrongheaded.

Having connections in high places seems beneficial when you are competing for something that appears to exist in limited supply. Connections may give you the needed edge to acquire something you value. Connections in the world may put you in place of advantage and even eliminate someone more qualified than you. We are familiar with competition, shortage, not enough to spare or share, dog eat dog, and survival of the fittest. Where does all this come from?

Children learn early how connections seem to operate to their advantage here in this telestial world. Here are a few examples of the benefits of being connected with the “important people”:

Parents – I get favored, privileged, and what I want.

Teacher – I can get better grades than what I really deserve.

The "in group" – I have important friends, prestige, success, feel accepted, and fit in.

Spiritual leaders – I rise in the religious hierarchy, obtain influence, demonstrate authority, claim power, and receive praise.

Rich business owner – I get a great job, have more than enough money, and mingle with important people.

It seems like there are extra benefits in knowing or associating with key people who possess power and influence. This notion is taught a lot in this good old world in which we live. Connections are everything, right?

Maybe there’s a higher way to look at this, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:9.

Is there a higher connection? Higher authority? Is there a source “out of this world” where we can receive superior understanding, knowledge, and favor?

Symbolic ordinances are in place inviting us to receive the real thing, connect with heaven, and make binding covenants with God. Christ encourages us to seek eternal treasures that endure “where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal?” Matthew 6:20

Do we have to compete with others for eternal life? Are there a limited number of heavenly seats? Or is there enough and to spare? Do we need to step on each other to reach the top? Or is this a call extended to all?

“Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.” Alma 5:33 There’s not just one place at the top with God.  There is a place reserved for anyone who wants to come.

“Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me” 3 Nephi 9:14.

Everyone who comes is received one by one. He is not a respecter of persons and cannot be tricked or persuaded to act contrary to eternal law. We are all invited to come unto Him under the same terms. He doesn’t play favorites and fully knows the intentions of our hearts.

What do you think it takes to receive eternal life? Is it worth connecting with Heaven? Would you like to connect with and know God? Do you see your eternal potential?

Telestial connections can offer temporary pleasure, satisfaction, reassurance, and success. The pleasures of sin are enjoyed for but a season. After that, they fade away, prove to be disappointing, and cannot save Hebrews 11:25. The telestial approach is vain and unproductive. As time passes, you become worn out, weary, tired, and exhausted having found yourself only running in circles. It’s like running on a useless circular treadmill that takes you nowhere. 

If we fail to build upon the Rock and His gospel and choose to build upon the works of men or the devil, our joy will only be for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and we are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return. 3 Nephi 27:11

We will discover the enticing invitations of the world, the wide gate, and broad ways have drawn us away from God. If our eyes remain blind, ears deaf, and hearts hard, we will find ourselves lost, unredeemed, and still in our fallen condition. Destruction and death awaits many who fail to enter in at the strait gate; “for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it” 3 Nephi 27:33. Fruitless, wasted, and barren are those who are led away into broad roads, and they perish and are lost. 1 Nephi 12:17

Having a connection with the Most High God really does matter. The ways of God are higher, better, and superior to the ways of men.“ Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 God extends mercy, offers redemption from the fall, and bestows the promise of eternal life. He is the only One who can. Alma 38:9

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