Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Thoughts on President Hinckley, part 4 --

Well, this isn't actually about President Hinckley, but I'm still going through old conference talks as a memorial, so he gets the credit/blame either way.

I listened to this one today:


There was something about it that bugged me, so rather than continuing with another conference talk I listened to a sermon from one of the Protestant pastors I follow.

The difference jumped out at me immediately.

His latest sermon series is on the book of Collossians, and in summary the Collossians are overwhelmed by Roman culture and the messages of "Caesar is Lord". Paul preaches the contrary message that "Jesus is Lord". The pastor's premise is that our society is just not that much different culturally from the Collossians. Nike is Lord. Cadillac is Lord. Microsoft is Lord. Etc.. We're bombarded with messages from people demanding to be our Lord, yet there is only one Lord who will save, redeem, and satisfy, and that is Jesus.

Considering President Faust's talk, who is Lord?

I think he sums up his opinion in this kind of weird quote of "Invictus":

"I am the master of my fate:I am the captain of my soul"

Why, we are, of course. The important thing is self-mastery. We are the masters of our fate. We are the captains of our souls. We are in control. We are in charge.

I guess I no longer suffer under the illusion that I am the master of my fate or the captain of my soul. I tried that for a long time, and it didn't work. I think Jesus is a better Lord and master than I am.

As a complete aside I thought this was a particularly unusual thing to quote, for a special witness of Jesus Christ:

"I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul."

Invictus strikes me as vaguely Deist and not very Christian, but I'm no English major.


Former Hometeachoid said...


And, thus: Unhappy In Utah

BourneFree said...

Great point. Thanks for that insight. After trying to reconcile the Christ of the New Testament with the Christ of the Book of Mormon, I've realized they just simply aren't the same.

This scripture in John 3 was kind of inspiring to me last night.

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."

It's hard to reconcile the idea that "Whoever believes in Christ is not condemned" with "I am in charge here and completely in control of my salvation."

ChristFollower said...

To be fair you could make the case that the Christ of the BOM shouldn't be the same. Nephi and Lehi would have lived 600 years before Christ, and the Christ of 3d Nephi would have been the risen Christ rather than the mortal one occupied with teaching the disciples right in front of him.

For these reasons you just wouldn't expect the nuanced portrayal of Christ from the New Testament to surface in the BOM. I think the primacy of the BOM in the LDS church tells us that the most important thing to church leaders is not teaching about Christ, but supporting the authority of the church and church leaders.

Even as kind of a heretic I find a lot to like about the BOM, even though I don't think it's actual history. The BOM has value in the shadow of the Bible, though, and not the other way around as we do in the church.

If only the modern-day church was based on the principles from the BOM . . .

ChristFollower said...

As an interesting postscript, I was listening to a Baptist preacher this morning, and Timothy McVeigh (the Oklahoma City bomber) left "Invictus" as his last words. He described it as being an "atheist" poem.