Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Love, Conduit of Light pt. 2

While rereading this quote I had shared on my cousin's scripture study fb site today, some thoughts begged to be expressed. I realized as I wrote the feelings that came that it was the second part of this previous post about love being a conduit of light that I had not felt ready to write yet. First, the quote:

Faith does not exist by itself. Faith requires an object. It must be faith in something or someone. In that respect, faith is like love. Love cannot exist without an object.... Love is meaningless unless it is directed toward something or someone. We love our parents. We love our brothers and sisters. We love the Lord.
      Faith is the same. If we think we have faith, we should ask, faith in whom or faith in what? For some, faith is nothing more than faith in themselves. That is only self-confidence or self-centeredness. Others have faith in faith, which is something like relying on the power of positive thinking or betting on the proposition that we can get what we want by manipulating the powers within us... faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a conviction and trust that God knows us and loves us and will hear our prayers and answer them with what is best for us.
      In fact, God will do more than what is best for us. He will do what is best for us and for all of our Heavenly Father’s children. The conviction that the Lord knows more than we do and that he will answer our prayers in the way that is best for us and for all of his other children is a vital ingredient of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."   
~ Dallin H. Oaks, April 1994

I have experienced so strongly how important it is to examine what we dominantly have faith in (our self, our culture, another person, an idea etc. OR Christ), because what we have faith in creates a link; a conduit.  

We feel this. It is as real as gravity or any physical force (like the quote from Interstellar expresses), yet it is a spiritual force. Pondering and connecting words we use to describe that link (such as "faith," "love of God," or "covenant") helps me identify and examine the state of this link.  If our connection with Christ is weak, then it (our love or faith etc.) is a weak conductor of his Light; his healing, creating, strengthening power. 

The more I learn of my Savior, the more sincerely I want to ponder (and realize often by the Spirit's nudges) what is causing the link to weaken or erode. Taking time to remember when I have been nourished by this "spiritual umbilical cord" before, my desire increases (and I feel direction from the Spirit how) to act in ways that can repair the gap--such a conduit is alive and fluid, strengthening or weakening in every moment. 

("Forgiven" by Greg Olsen). I've always loved this painting for how it symbolizes that link between me and Christ with the clasped hands, between his purity, power and glory (white robe), and my mortal state (blood red robe); for its visual reminder that such a link is the most beautiful and nourishing thing I can experience in this life--worth every effort to seek and sustain. 

With my eyes opened, I now have a choice: I can choose things that feel they increase light--strengthen that link with the Source of Light--and with that added light, I have more power to chase away darkness (resolve the gap in the link). Or I can ignore the gap and receive less light; understand less truth; experience more darkness. Because Christ is the Source of all Light and life, I have experienced that distancing myself from him is like a plant hiding from the Sun (isn't it interesting, the plants that produce edible fruit that is most nourishing are never shade plants).

Examining, assessing, feeling out this link, acting to strengthen it, and feeling love, power, healing, and peace increase from that relationship with Christ is what I feel is expressed and envision with the word: atonement. The atonement was not an event. The at-one-ment is now. It is a process of the at-one-ment between my Savior and I in each present moment. 

So in this moment, I choose to love, to bind, to connect, to commune: To have faith in Christ.


    ... each of you needs to build a reservoir of faith so you can draw upon it when someone you love or respect betrays you, when some scientific discovery seems to cast doubt on a gospel principle... You need to draw on your reservoir of faith when you are weak or when someone else calls on you to strengthen them. You also need to draw on your reservoir of faith when some requirement of Church membership or service interferes with your personal preferences....

     Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ prepares you for whatever life brings. This kind of faith prepares you to deal with life’s opportunities—to take advantage of those that are received and to persist through the disappointments of those that are lost.  ~Ibid.