This I Believe

Charles - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on November 30, 2007

Life is eternal. It neither begins with birth nor ends at death. If we could see the whole spectrum of our existence, we would see that the transitions of birth and death are merely steps in an eternal progression.

Imagine a thread of string, extending infinitely through space. There is no beginning of it and no end. Now imagine a tiny knot in that string. That knot is like this life, a mere bump in an infinite, eternal span. But with that knot is an endless array of possibilities. What we choose and do in this life will effect the direction we face for the rest of eternity.

There are absolute, eternal laws. God knows these laws, and lives them perfectly. These laws are as unbreakable as gravity. You cannot defy the law of gravity, you can only hurt yourself in the attempt. Some would try to claim gravity has exceptions, or that it no longer applies because we can make airplanes and space shuttles fly. But a clearer understanding of the principles behind airplanes and shuttles reveals that even these obey the law of gravity, and that there are other laws that allow gravity to appear to be defied. Even a shuttle, orbiting the earth, is using the principle of gravity – a sort of constant falling, to give the appearance of zero gravity. A fuller understanding of the laws of nature demonstrate that even planes and shuttles do not and cannot defy the eternal law of gravity.

So it is with the laws of God. God does not teach us these laws in order to show how much better He is than us. He gives us these laws so we can know what it takes to obtain the same level of joy and fulfillment He experiences. However, it does pain Him to see us attempt to break these eternal laws, because we are His children, and He wants us to be happy.

Every action has a consequence. Actions cannot be separated from their consequences. God cannot remove the consequences of our choices without severely damaging our opportunity to learn and grow. When we see life in its eternal perspective, we recognize that suffering, as painful as is now, is extremely temporary, and our reaction to it can alter the direction we face for the rest of eternity. If we use suffering to learn and demonstrate compassion and love, we come to know God better, and our suffering becomes bearable. If we resent Him for allowing us to suffer so, we miss a grand opportunity to come to know Him better. When we disobey the laws of God, we point ourselves in a direction that will lead us to a place we find we don’t want to be.

God lives. We are His children. He sent Jesus Christ to the world to suffer the atonement – the means by which we can overcome sin, suffering, and even our stupid mistakes. We can know Him, personally and intimately. This I know.