A Tennesse Ward and the Lord

I have a friend in Tennessee who emailed me this week about a Latter-day Saint congregation he visited a few Sunday’s ago.  The congregation was of mixed races, and the meetings were louder, more animated and lively than the “typical” ward.  He quite enjoyed it.  His description of the visit made me long for the mission field again. In the mission field there are widely divergent congregations.  But the Wasatch Front is far different in texture and tone than anywhere else.  I think there are people here who believe a stoic face is required to be reverent.

My impression of the mortal Lord is that He was gregarious, lively, filled with life, and given to smiling often.  He surely was challenged by serious men involved in conspiracies to have Him killed, and for them His responses were serious.  But He was filled with life, and love and humor.  His many analogies drew from the common man’s experience to teach with simplicity the deepest of ideas.  I think He would have fit into the Tennessee ward my friend told me about.

I think when the scriptures note “He wept” it was because His normal demeanor was so upbeat, so positive and hope-filled that weeping stood out by contrast.

I’ve only sensed that I genuinely offended Him once.  All other errors and mistakes have merely “bemused” Him, even though I have felt terrible from my end.  He is a patient Teacher.  Who knows exactly when you are ready and then how best to teach.

4 Responses to “A Tennesse Ward and the Lord

  • I love it! I often find myself looking up toward Heaven saying, “Ok, Ok…I get it!” and then picture Him chuckling at me.

    I am happy to have found your blog. I have read one of your books, The Second Comforter, and am saving up to get the rest of your books. I appreciate all that you share! Thanks! Kathi

  • I actually got to hear the Lord laugh once. It really was a funny thing too. I had been absolutely dying emotionally over a problem in my life to the point that I had become almost totally dysfunctional. One night I cried out in my pain, “Please send help!” (Now remember, this was over an emotional struggle.)

    The next morning I awoke to the sound of loud buzzing out my bedroom window. I looked out and saw 5 city power employees with chain saws topping my neighbor’s cherry trees that were under their power lines. I went outside and talked to the leader and he said, “Do you have a tree you’re needing help with?” And I said, “Well, yes, we have this enormous 30′ cherry tree that died and we’ve been working on cutting it down for 2 weeks and it still looks like we haven’t even touched it — but it’s no where near the power lines.” He said, “That’s OK. We’ll be right over.”

    Within 5 minutes, the 5 men were over in my yard and worked for 2 hours like maniacs with their chain saws cutting down and cutting up my dead cherry tree, stacking the wood for me, and even stumping the tree too! And they did it all FOR FREE!

    I stood there watching this in utter shock and amazement, when I HEARD THE LORD CHUCKLE! He hadn’t sent the help I THOUGHT I needed, but instead He sent me a message that told me He had heard me and was totally aware of me and my struggle and obviously loves me. To know that WAS the help I ACTUALLY needed. It came through 5 city power workers, and the tree was a bonus.

  • I love this post as well, and identify with your experiences. I once had a dream in which I was walking with the Lord and He was pointing out a talent that I had buried, a particular gift He wanted me to use more. But He was not stern or upset in any way. I did not feel the least offended or rebuked. His tone was like (as best as I can describe) He was referring to an inside joke between the two of us.

  • I’m sure the Lord is patient in teaching…. and must have a sense of humor too.

    When I was in college many years ago, I was working on a degree in Math and Physics. My wife was also working on a math degree too and we have conversations about what we were learning. I’d share with here all the great things I was learning about the cosmos and the structure of the universe as our 2 year old son Joshua would listen with curiosity. One night I remember talking to my wife about metric tensors and the mathematics of general relativity.

    Late one night, after a great deal of study and what I thought was “brain sweat” I went out onto our porch and began praying to Heavenly Father (while standing gazing into the stary night) to reveal the mysteries and the structure of the universe. I pleaded with him that I had “studied it out in my mind” and was now ready to know the truth.

    I was surprised as I prayed and prayed and only found silence. I began pleading the the Lord “why the silence?” I could handle it…. I was ready to understand….so I thought… at some point late into my prayers my little two year old son started tugging at my pant leg saying “Daddy daddy, what’s a metric tensor?” I turned to him and looking down said “Not now Joshua, I’m praying”…. then again I heard him say “Daddy daddy, what’s a metric tensor?”

    At this point I looked down at him…. and remember my total silence as I looked at him wondering how in the world I was going to explain what a metric tensor was to a two year old… I stood for several moments in total silence looking and smiling at my curious little son….when the light finally went on in my mind, I chuckled a little…. heavenly Father must be looking at me with the same silence (and maybe even an little smile) wondering how He could explain the structure of the universe to this man child praying to Him….. I remember finishing my prayer with “oh……thank you Heavenly Father for being patient and helping me better understand.”

    I still think about those questions after many years of study and prayer….I hope to be ready for those answers (Heaven willing) in 30,000 years-If I’m lucky… :)

    By the way, my son Joshua is now 38… I don’t he really cares what a metric tensor is these days. :)