Monday, June 28, 2010

First draft of the book is DONE!

Late, late Saturday night I finished the first draft of "The Meaning of Virtue". There have been too many interruptions to count, but progress is happening!

And since I am a bit excited by this, here is the beginning of the current draft of chapter 6. Enjoy!

Thus far, we have spoken in bits and pieces about what is virtuous and what is not. Here, however, we are going directly to the root of the matter.

So often we Chastity and virtue are spoke of in church, is it usually in the context of what should not be done. Yet, while it is not often enunciated as virtue per se, the General Authorities have spent a lot of time discussing what we should do. If Faith is believing and acting on what we know, then virtue is entering into and honoring covenant relationships. And the most sacred of relationships, other than that between self and God, is between husband and wife (and God). The plan of salvation is a great cycle that begins and ends with a married couple.

The crux of Virtue is Family. Virtue is what sustains and establishes the family both now, and in eternity.

Christ does not save us as a “lone wolf”. He is marvelously emphatic when he says, “If ye are not one, ye are not mine.” Likewise, it is with startling emphasis that He says “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matt. 18:20, see also D&C 6:32)

Christ's great (and profound) Intercessory Prayer in John, prior to his arrest and crucifixion talks much about the disciples becoming one with the Father, as Christ is one with Him.

Perfect unity, and organization is a defining characteristic of both the Father and the Son, and all the society of angels.

As the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “The greatest temporal and spiritual blessings which always come from faithfulness and concerted effort, never attended individual exertion or enterprise.”. To receive these greatest blessings, we must have, as Stephen Covey would put it, synergy and interdependence. This is in stark contrast to co-dependence that is the mark of a bad relationship, or to the much lauded independence of those unburdened with spouse or children. This synergy between differing natures is a necessary and essential part of our exaltation.

When the Earth was created, Adam was placed in the midst of all God's creations. Adam was given the task of naming each animal, but it is telling that none of them could work as his counterpart. Even among all the vast creations of the Almighty on this sphere, Adam could find none that were comparable to him. In a very real sense, Adam was alone.

Once Adam had the opportunity to come to this realization, God said, “It is not good that man should be alone”. This line alone, is difficult to over-emphasize. Indeed, Adam was alone, and no other thing, animal, job, hobby could alleviate that loneliness, and none are meant to. Notwithstanding the presence of angels and being in the presence of God himself, yet God declared that was “not good”.

“It is not good that man should be alone. I will make a help meet for him”. First, let me clarify, there is no such word as 'helpmeet'. The NIV phrases that line, “I will make a helper suitable for him”. Young's Literal Translation put it, “Not good for the man to be alone, I do make to him an helper -- as his counterpart.”

Lest I be unclear, God created Eve as a counterpart, an equal companion to Adam. The word used is literally, 'corresponding to'. The Hebrew phrasing is in some ways reminiscent of yin and yang - opposites which complement and enhance instead of oppose each other. This is likewise reminiscent of 1 Cor. 11:11, “neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord”.

1 comment:

  1. I remember reading someone saying that a better interpretation of that word "helpmeet" was "facing from the opposite direction."

    I see the wisdom in that as if you have two people facing each other then together you get a full 360 degree view of the world.