Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lessons from China: Move Up a Floor to Expand Your View

There's a simple but beautiful poem from China's Tang Dynasty by the poet Wang Zhuhuan (王之渙) who lived around 700 AD. The poem is entitled 登鹳雀楼 (Dēng Guànquè Lóu) which can be translated as "Climbing the Stork Tower."

白日依山尽,
黄河入海流。
欲穷千里目,
更上一层楼。

A possible translation is:
The sun sets behind the mountains, 
The Yellow Rivers flows into the sea. 
If you wish to add a thousand miles to your perspective 
Climb up another story.
Sometimes when we face trials of our faith that weaken our testimony (apparent clashes of science and religion come to mind, or some of the other challenges raised by critics of the Church), it is because we're viewing the problem before us in the wrong way. Sometimes we need to broaden out perspective by moving up a level and then examining things again. We can make that move through prayer, through humble service and other means of working with the promptings of the Spirit, though scripture study coupled with study of other helpful sources (sure, give my LDSFAQ or Mormon Answers pages a try), and though the patient exercise of faith.

When we are faced with doubts, at least have the faith to turn to the Lord in prayer and ask for guidance. Small miracles can come as we let Him move up a story or two so that when we view the problem again, we can see things a little more as they are. The painful puzzles and frustrations with mortal error may still be there, but from a higher perch we may better appreciate the grand things of the Gospel landscape--sun, mountains, rivers and sea--that remind us of the miracles we have been blessed with and the majesties of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Keeping the big picture in mind can help us not be detoured or overly distracted by the unpleasant bumps in the road. And sometimes we find that problems we saw as gaping flaws and weaknesses can become sources of strength when properly understood.

Climb a story or two and explore those issues again. 

1 comment:

Hunter said...

Nice!