Monday, December 24, 2012

With His Stripes, We are Healed.

I have been thinking a lot about life, freedom, and love over the last week. My heart sank as I heard about the horrific act done to those innocent children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. This week the talk has been about gun control, mental illness, and  video games/movies. While we do need to work on a solution to our issue of violence in our society, I don't think by banning guns, blaming mental illness, or stopping video games/movies is going to solve our real issue. I truly feel that we are a society of spoiled, over indulged creatures. The core issue is the lack of family values, and having parents who teach, love and guide their children.
Parents get divorced and the kids are the ones left holding the bag. I do want to clarify one thing. I think divorce is horrible, but there is a time when it is necessary. My oldest sister was in an emotional abusive marriage. Her then husband lied to her about his sexual orientation, was not faithful, and blamed her for his own faults/mistakes. He would not go to counseling or try to improve the relationship. Divorce was needed in this case, and like in so many other cases when one spouse does not want to work differences out. I do believe that if husbands and wives will find common ground, work together in love. They can stay together. It is hard work, but the benefits will pay off in the end.
I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints or better known as "Mormons". Some of our beliefs include that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father. We are here on earth to show to him that we can be obedient, and keeps his commandments. So we can return to Him and become like Him. He gave us agency and choice so we can chose good or evil. He knew that we would make mistakes, so he provided us with a Savior or Mediator. One would could take upon Himself our sins, so that we might become clean again through His blood if we come unto Him with a contrite spirit and broken heart.
Isaiah 53:2-6

 For he shall grow up before him as a tender aplant, and as abroot out of a cdry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no dbeauty that we should desire him.
 He is adespised and rejected of men; a man of bsorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we cesteemed him not.
 ¶Surely he hath aborne our bgriefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
 But he was awounded for our btransgressionshe was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his cstripes we are dhealed.
 All we like asheep have gone bastray; we have turned every one to his cown way; and the Lord hath laid on him the diniquity of us all.

Through Christ, we can be healed physically, spiritually, and mentally. Because of His atonement, He knows our pain, our grief, sorrow, lost, and our hearts.
I know that I have felt His love in times of loss, and in times or anguish. It is "with his stripes we are healed".
I pray for those who lost their lives on December 14, 2012 in Connecticut. I pray for their loved ones who are still here with us. I also pray for the one who did this horrible act of evil. I don't know why he did what he did. I certainly do not condone the horrific act he committed, but I know that Jesus Christ suffered for him, as well as for you an me.  
In this Christmas season, let us put aside our differences, our politics, and our agendas and focus on being kind to each other. Reach out to a friend or a foe that is in need. 
This is one of my favorite poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that sums up my feelings this Christmas Season.

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and mild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."