A remarkable phrase shows up a number of times in the Book of Mormon. It involves “looking forward” with an “eye of faith” to a desired result in the future. The idea is that if there is something that you sincerely desire, you should use your inner “eye,” or your imagination, and picture yourself as already being there or having what you want. Through your faith that it is possible, you can begin to see yourself as having already reached your goal.
In the book of Alma 5:15-16, Alma preaches to the people about the goal of being received into heaven when their life on Earth is over. In order to direct them toward that goal, he asks them if they can imagine how things will be at that future time when they finally get there. As they “look forward with an eye of faith,” what kind of outcome do they see? He asks:
15 Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality … to stand before God …?
16 I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?
What Alma is trying to have his audience do is to visualize their own future in minute detail. They are to imagine being resurrected and raised to stand before God. They are to imagine themselves hearing the approving voice of the Lord accepting them into heaven — reaching their ultimate goal. He suggests that if they try to visualize this scene and what they envision is only negative, then perhaps they need to find that balance in their lives so that the way they are living is in alignment with a positive outcome and then exercise their faith so that they are now headed in this more desirable direction.
Page 19 -21. It’s part of a larger article (that starts on page 18_, but his anecdote about high school wrestling and promptings from the spirit can be found on those pages. Though the artists rendering on page 20 is all wrong. It looks nothing like my father and the school color and logo in the picture aren’t of any high school I’ve ever seen.
Though my reading matter currently focuses on my dissertation, occasionally I read something not at all related, just to keep myself sane and my mind from becoming too specialized (although it’s interesting how often this “extracurricular” reading works its way into my dissertation).
Though I am not much of a sports guy, I do exercise regularly (specifically, I do CrossFit) – so, when I saw this book, I thought it looked interesting enough to read. Steroid Nation: Juiced Home Run Totals, Anti-aging Miracles, and a Hercules in Every High School: The Secret History of America’s True Drug Addiction by Shaun Assael is an interesting, well written book that deals with the use and abuse of steroids and other drugs in America. Full of lots of interesting anecdotes, salacious scandals, and depressing stories, overall I enjoyed it.
Except for the part about Mormons. Because, according to this author, Mormonism is partly to blame for steroid abuse in America.
The football committee of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which governs high school sports, is adopting a “score management” policy that will suspend coaches whose teams win by more than 50 points.
This reminded me of two experiences in High School (one of which was a major life lesson to me), and got me thinking about the uses and abuses of competition.