Sunday, October 12, 2008

And all these are the beginning of sorrows...

In Matthew 24, Christ prophesies of the terrible things to come in the last days.  He tells of Anti-Christs, wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestileces, earthquakes.  And then he says, "All these are the beginning of sorrows" (24:8).  Holy cow, we're in trouble!  Recently I've been thinking of all the scary things that have gone on in the last couple of months, hurricanes, Russia's war with Geogria, the economic craziness and it is scary.  Yet, this is just the beginning of our sorrows.  But the message of Christ is "Be not afraid, only believe" (Mark 5:36).  Amid his prophecies of fearful things, he also includes hope; "this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world" and "he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved".  It is nice to know that while we are enduring these frightful things that seem to be swirling around us these days, Christ is always there to help us and give us comfort.  He has given us so many things to help us through.  He has given us the scriptures to warn us of these things, living Prophets to warn and guide us in what to do, and the Holy Ghost to comfort us.  All these things together can prepare us for anything, and "when ye are prepared, ye shall not fear" (D&C 38:30).  I'm so glad.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Whose image?

I was reading in Matthew the other night and I came across the famous story of Christ paying taxes.  It goes like this.  Some people come to Christ and ask "What thinkest thou?  It is lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?"  
Jesus answers, "Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?  Shew me the tribute money."  They bring out a coin and he asks, "Whose is this image and superscription?"  
When they answer that it is Caesar's he gives the moral, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things which are God's."  
This got me thinking, what things do we need to render unto God.  I came up with some ideas and then I had a thought.  In this story the people are told to render unto Caesar the things which have Caesar's image ingraven on them.  What bears God's image?
Genesis 1:26-27 says, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."  So that which we should render unto unto God is ourself!  I thought that was really cool.