The Poetic Corner: The Keeper and the Ocean

The Keeper and the Ocean

take every word you sputter out
and every word received
the things you thought but couldn’t shout
the hate you couldn’t see
in all these things we’re not alone
we feel collectively, you’ll see
it’s the air we all must breathe
it’s the air we all must breathe

your mind is a pool of water
sending ripples to another
what you imagine up is falling in
you can create, you can destroy
you can end or begin again

but why is it we’ve lost control?
the evil we’ve let slide
the keeper of our conscious mind
too often letting go
an open doorway cannot stop
and cannot even slow
the fight of forces we don’t know
these are forces we don’t know

your mind is a pool of water
sending ripples to another
what you imagine up is falling in
you can create, you can destroy
you can end or begin again

you think you know what you perceive
but your gate-keeper is fast asleep
allowing wolves to kill the sheep
but it’s never enough
just to wake your keeper up

’cause your mind is an ocean
turning tidal waves into emotions
what you think inside is never safe
these tidal waves are sending commotion

your mind is an ocean
turning tidal waves into emotions
the storm inside is nothing fake
it’s what you create
that controls the motions

so calm the storm above the ocean
take the winds and waves and make devotion
calm the storm above the ocean
take your sin and hate and make devotion

 

We are in control of our thoughts and actions. God gave us agency to choose how we react to things around us, as well as agency to choose what we put out to others. What opinions to become words. What ideas to result in actions. Unfortunately, a lot of us have let our filters go unused, and let the keepers of our subconscious minds fall asleep, unable to keep track of things going in and out. This is honestly as much for me as anyone else. Please don’t think I’m trying to be “preachy”, I’m just saying what I believe to be true.

Christ taught the apostles that after He was gone they would eventually be killed and hated among all nations, and that men will betray one another and hate one another, and “the love of many shall wax cold.” We can see this in the world today. It’s becoming more apparent every passing year. As Satan gains greater hold upon mankind, he is trying in every possible way to destroy the filters God gave us. We are desensitized. Evil is more readily accepted and considered normal, whereas goodness and traditional values are being deemed as old-fashioned, close-minded, etc.

The Book of Mormon teaches us,

Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

Our minds are pools of water. In many cases they are oceans. They can be beautiful, inspiring, and calming, or they can destroy and level the progress of those around us. When we think something, it generates itself as an object within our mind and is dropped into this subconscious pool. A positive object will ripple out a positive wave, and a negative object will ripple out a negative wave. So what will you choose? Will you let your keeper sleep, and allow the crashing waves of negative thoughts destroy those around you? Or will you wake your keeper from his sleep, stand him up straight, and then strive to give him less tidal waves to stop?

James, in the New Testament, focused most of his writings on the “doing” aspect of the gospel. He spoke of the great destruction the words from our mouths can create.

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. (James 3:6)

Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (verse 10)

The thoughts in our minds create positive and negative consequences, both with an enormous power behind them. But the same mouth that compliments should not be the same mouth that tears down and defames.

King Benjamin, in the Book of Mormon, put it plainly,

But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.

 

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Make It Happen

We know that by small and simple things God performs miracles. These small and simple things are often us. By using the free will that God has given us, we can be instruments in His hands to carry out His plans for us. This, of course, requires action. It means we need to get ourselves out there and make something happen. A prayer said without a willingness to help that prayer be answered is a prayer said in vain. God will not simply wave a magic wand and make the world a better place. He expects us to do our part. We are His tools, and He has given us the gift of agency for a reason.

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma taught,

Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.

And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith. (Alma 34:27-28)

If we have the means to assist others, we need to do so. If we don’t, we are nothing more than hypocrites. Jesus Christ was all about serving others. Nothing He did was for Himself. He rendered all his energy to Heavenly Father’s will, and undoubtedly was and forever will be the greatest instrument in the hands of God. If we profess to be followers of the Savior, we must do as He did.

The surest way for a prayer to come true is to do our part to make it happen. Our Father in Heaven will do the rest. We are the instruments He uses to make miracles happen.

The Broken Bow

In the beginning of the Book of Mormon, the prophet Lehi takes his family and friends and journeys into the wilderness out of Jerusalem. Life is good. They feed themselves well upon the beasts of the land… until Lehi’s son, Nephi, breaks his bow. Fail.

And it came to pass that as I, Nephi, went forth to slay food, behold, I did break my bow, which was made of fine steel; and after I did break my bow, behold, my brethren were angry with me because of the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food. (1 Nephi 16:18)

Not only his brothers, but his entire family becomes angry at him and also God. Even Lehi complains against God. So what does Nephi do? What would you do?

Well, Nephi didn’t want to just sit around and be mad at God. Instead, he took action. Verse 23 of that same chapter says,

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?

Nephi gets to work and makes himself a new bow. After Lehi repents of his anger against God, he inquires of God where Nephi should go to get food. Nephi obeys and is able to slay animals for them to eat. Rejoice! Everyone is happy, and probably feeling like a bunch of fools for sittin’ around and doing nothing.

Nephi was part of the solution, not the problem. This is a prime example of doing our own part.

So, although we may not be out in the desert hunting beasts, we all have our own problems that come up, our own broken bows, if you will. They can be pretty much anything. Small or big, temporal or spiritual. They all must be solved the same way, however. If we expect a problem to be solved, we must take action and be part of the solution, like Nephi.

I know that if we do our part, God will cover the rest and provide a way to overcome our obstacles.

God is Love

Why did God create us? Why did He create this earth? Why did Christ give His life for us? The purpose of this life is to return to live with God as eternal families, but again, why? The answer is profound, yet simple. Love.

Christ gave us a commandment to love one another,

John 13:34-35

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Showing love to others is how others can know that we are disciples of Christ, and that He has wrought a change in our hearts through His atoning sacrifice. So how do we show forth this love?

1 John 3:16-18 reads,

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Showing love in word, or in tongue, is not a bad thing, but we all know that actions speak louder than words. In addition to showing our love through kind words, we show it best through our actions. In the next chapter, we read in verses 7 and 8,

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Everything that God and Jesus Christ have done for us is out of love. We have this earth because They love us. We have family and friends because They love us. We have the Atonement because They love us. We have the opportunity to live with Them again eternally and with our families because They love us. If we desire to understand our Heavenly Father, we must first understand love.

I testify that our Father in Heaven is a God of love. I know that He loves us. I know that our Savior Jesus Christ loves us too. I know that to grow closer to God and Christ is to grow closer to each other.