Discussions of Book of Mormon issues and evidences, plus other topics related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Designed for Pain and Beauty

When I snapped this photo of a species of prickly pear in Sedona, Arizona recently, I was focused on the fruit and didn't notice the beauty of the spines until I examined the photo in more detail later. The fruit is nice, but to me the real beauty and elegant design is in the spines. Beautiful as they are, their function is primarily to cause pain. I've had a couple of painful encounters with prickly pears before--including digging into one of the fruits in the wild without noticing that in addition to the big spines, there are lots of very fine ones. A real pleasure to have those in your mouth. It took a day or so for that to go away.

There is a beauty and elegance to this mortal experience we have, but there are plenty of pain points along the way. Sometimes the pain of our journey is malicious and random, but sometimes we may see that the pain we faced was part of a plan with purpose, even beauty in the end. There is no beauty in humans choosing evil and hurting one another, and it's hard to see any purpose in some of the random disasters that we face. But what I have seen is that when we turn to God and seek His help, He can help us to find the path or the approach that makes us more and brings beauty and order to what once seemed like chaos. Mortality often isn't pretty, but when we turn to God, things can get prettier, and in the long run, His goal is ultimate joy and beauty for us through the power of the Atonement.

Nobody understand our pains better than Jesus Christ, the Son of God who took the pain of all of us upon Him. And He knows firsthand what it means to be pierced by spines and worse. His goal is to heal us, wipe away our tears, and bring us back, if we will let Him.


Papa D said...

Thanks, Jeff. There's a very important message in this post, and the picture really is worth a thousand words.

LuckyMatt said...

A thought I needed today. Thanks.

Mateo said...

This is an interesting concept. Awesome picture by the way. Isn't the idea of "pain" and "beauty" pretty subjective though?

Huston said...

Saw the title of this post and thought it was going to be about blonde women. *sigh* :)