Thursday, April 2, 2015

From the Inside Out

It’s Easter this Sunday. The commemoration of the most amazing event in the history of the world. The separation of the body and spirit, which happens at death, was overcome. And the separation of each of us from the presence of God, which happens when we are born into this fallen world, was overcome.
The example and teachings of Jesus Christ are the most civilizing influence in our otherwise troubled world.
Ezra Taft Benson, whom we refer to here occasionally as a prime source for the Proper Role of Government, was also Secretary of Agriculture, and then was the President and Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I was a young mother. He gave a General (worldwide) Conference address entitled “Born of God” back in 1985. A passage from that was brought to my attention this week:
The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.
The way to civilization, along with its accompanying freedom, prosperity—and peace—comes from changing the human heart. One at a time. Starting with our own. Spreading to our family members. Then to our friends and community. Until enough of us live that way that thriving civilization results.
Government simply has no capacity to create civilization. It has a useful role of protecting life, liberty, and property. But government doesn’t create jobs or wealth. It doesn’t “care” for the poor when it takes from some people to give to others. It doesn’t control the climate. It can, however, do great harm when it attempts anything beyond its proper role. Government is a worldly, outside-in entity.
Government isn’t God. Any attempt to replace God decays civilization. Government would do well to respect and honor every person who celebrates Easter by willingly living God’s word as best they individually understand it.
Little Political Spheres 1 and 2
in the Texas bluebonnets, 2013,
adding to word peace
I’m celebrating Easter in some traditional ways this weekend. Spending time with kids and grandkids, maybe including taking some kids-in-the-bluebonnets photos on Saturday—a grand tradition here in Texas. And we’ll be getting together to listen to the word of God on Easter Sunday. Hear some beautiful Easter music. Eat a good meal together. Maybe have an Easter egg hunt for the little ones.
I love Easter. Not the candy and all so much. But I love the way spring reminds us of new life—of resurrection. I love the opportunity to remember, even more especially than we do every Sunday and every day, to remember Christ and His love for us.
In that spirit, I’m sharing this short video, an Easter gift from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reminding us that He Lives.


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