PonderIt

Sunday, June 29, 2008

God's Great Gifts

I set about this evening to write a post about the folly of the "Prosperity Gospel" that is preached in some chapels across the country. I was so bothered by the false God that is set up by those preachers and how they set people up for disappointment.

As I was looking for the articles I'd read on the subject of Dollar, Osteen, and Warren (three prominent preachers of the prosperity gospel) I got bored of the subject.

I started looking for an unrelated story that I remembered hearing at a recent BYU devotional. I couldn't find the story, but as I was browsing through the BYU Speeches site, I found two articles that really touched my heart. They turn out to be the positive version of the message I wanted to share in this post, rather than the negative cast I had started with.

First, I read Ardeth G. Kapp's talk from Women's Conference 2004. The title phrase, "Pray Not for Light Burdens but for Strong Backs," immediately evoked strong emotions for me. I've been pondering recently about the plight of so many poor people in the world, including those here in my own community.

Why does life have to be so hard for them?

Sister Kapp quotes Elder Maxwell,
We can say: “I know that [God] loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things” (1 Nephi 11:17.)

There have been and will be times in each of our lives when such faith must be the bottom line: We don’t know what is happening to us or around us, but we know that God loves us, and knowing that, for the moment, is enough. [Not My Will, But Thine (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 119]
After reading Sister Kapp's beautiful talk, I read a talk from Elder Featherstone (given before I was born.) His sermons have always touched me when I've read them in a reverent mood. He shared the story of a stuttering boy who overcame his obstacle, of a woman who overcame great trials and then lost and regained her faith in God, and of his own very difficult boyhood where he dealt with poverty and a difficult father.
What I am saying is that if the Lord will take a scroungy little kid like that, who had to wear nurses' shoes to church and had to go and beg for groceries, and if he will make him a high councilor or a stake president or the second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, can you believe what he would do for you? Many of you are covenant children. Your parents were married in the temple, and so you are born in the covenant. The rest of you are going to this great institution, BYU, where the greatest learning process in the world can take place. God bless each one of you that you'll feel your sense of worth, that you'll understand who you really are. You are a royal generation. You have a great deal to offer. I don't care what the handicaps are that you think are so severe; you can overcome them. God bless each one of you, I pray from the depths of my soul as I ask a blessing upon you, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
The final conclusion for me? God does want us to prosper. He does want wonderful things for us. He won't always give them to us immediately (the pitfall of the proponents of the prosperity gospel), but he will give them; and the rewards will be greater than we can presently comprehend. God is great. I invite you to share my journey by reading the two talks I've linked above when you have a quiet moment.

4 Comments:

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

  • Absolutely wonderful post. I simply like your wordings. You are poetic!

    By Anonymous Mr. Thoughtskoto, at 6/30/2008 2:44 AM  

  • See http://www.justinpeters.org and watch "demo." I think you will appreciate it. Justin spoke at my church on this and comes highly recommended by my pastor, Dr. John MacArthur.

    By Blogger Caron, at 6/30/2008 2:18 PM  

  • Thanks Mr. Thoughtskoto!

    Caron, that was an interesting video. I found what Brother Peters had to say about the prosperity gospel to be very interesting. I am nervous about the concept of a preacher devoting so much of his ministry to deconstructing other people's religion, but he seems to have some solid arguments.

    By Blogger Bradley Ross, at 7/04/2008 4:58 PM  

  • I found a Wonderful site on Isaiah!
    http://www.isaiahexplained.com/
    The site has free lessons on every chapter.
    Very well done and in the author’s own voice.
    Every Isaiah Chapter has the Analytical Commentary of Isaiah. Enjoy this personable verse-by-verse commentary of Isaiah by well-known Hebrew scholar Avraham Gileadi.

    “Dr. Gileadi is the only LDS scholar I know of who is thoroughly competent to teach the words of Isaiah”—Professor Hugh Nibley, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. (1. 6. 2003)

    “It is my testimony that this man has been brought forward and trained at this time to help those inside the Church into Isaiah, and those outside the Church, Jew and Gentile, through Isaiah into the Church” —Arthur Henry King, author, former BYU professor and London
    Temple President.

    “Dr. Gileadi has achieved a major breakthrough in the investigation of a book of such complexity and importance as the Book of Isaiah”—Professor David Noel Freedman, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    “Dr. Gileadi’s work will render obsolete almost all the speculations of Isaiah scholars over the last one hundred years . . . enabling scholarship to proceed along an entirely new line . . . opening new avenues of approach for others to follow”—Professor Roland K. Harrison, Wycliffe College, Toronto, Canada.

    “Only one who is truly at home not only with the Hebrew but with the ancient manner of biblical thought could have produced such an insightful and ground-breaking book”—Professor S. Douglas Waterhouse, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.

    “Avraham Gileadi’s unsealing of the Book of Isaiah will forever change people’s
    understanding of Judeo-Christian religion, lifting it to heights hitherto known only to prophets and saints”—Arie Noot, corporate executive, Edmond, Oklahoma.

    “Isaiah Decoded is a huge breakthrough for the seeker of truth—Jew, Christian, Moslem, and agnostic. From an ancient writing, Gileadi has brought to light eternal truths about the nature of God and our relationship to him that have lain buried for centuries in the dust of time”—Guy Wins, fifth-generation Jewish diamond dealer from Antwerp, Belgium.

    “Gileadi is the only scholar I know who has been able to express the Jewish expectation of the Messiah in relation to the life and mission of Jesus of Nazareth”—Daniel Rona, Israeli tour guide, Jerusalem, Israel.

    “Dr. Gileadi has clearly demonstrated his mastery of the Book of Isaiah and of the scholarly literature dealing with it”—Professor Ronald Youngblood, Bethel Theological Seminary, San Diego, California.

    “Avraham Gileadi’s books and tapes take the casual observer of Isaiah’s words and transform him into an enlightened and lifelong student of the Word of God”—Allan and Nancy Pratt, LDS mission president, Toulouse, France.

    “Dr. Gileadi has awakened a whole new depth of my understanding of Isaiah’s prophetic message. His books and tapes illuminate the urgent relevance of Isaiah’s writings to our own day”—Becky Douglas, supervisor and sponsor of three orphanages in India, Atlanta, Georgia.

    “Dr. Gileadi’s translation [of the Book of Isaiah] is clear and smooth, allowing the reader to appreciate the power and beauty of Isaiah as conveyed in the Hebrew original”—Professor Herbert M. Wolf, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.

    “Gileadi has uncovered an amazing message written in a divine code by the prophet–poet Isaiah. This will give comfort, hope, and joy to masses of people as they cope with the perplexing events now unfolding before their eyes”—Fenton Tobler, thirty years elementary school principle, Las Vegas, Nevada.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/21/2008 10:40 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home


 
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.