Temptation and Turkish Delight

InThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Edmund manages to stumble into Narnia by himself after Lucy had previously done so. Upon entering the wintery world, the White Witch finds him. She knew very well who Edmund was. She knew he was a Son of Adam, as the human race is known by in Narnia. She also knew that he was part one of the four rulers prophecied to destroy her and restore Narnia back to its original state. Unfortunately, Edmund did not know who she was. She beguiled him and gained his trust through satisfying his physical appetite for food. For the sake of turkish delight, Edmund allied himself with her.

When all four children came to Narnia, Edmund was a hinderance to their cause and instead aided the White Witch, once again to satisfy his sweet tooth. The “friendship” he shared with the witch quickly turned sour as her true motives became more evident. Edmund soon found himself a prisoner, his agency taken away, and perhaps worst of all… no turkish delight.

As Isaiah wrote, “for your iniquities ye have sold yourselves.” How often do we sell ourselves for things that do not matter? How often do we indulge our physical appetities, whether hunger, lust, or otherwise, while spiritually we starve? I’m certainly not perfect, and I can easily admit that I’ve forfeited a lot of blessings from the Lord that I would’ve received had I cared more about what was most important eternally, instead of what I had wanted in the moment. Edmund made the same mistake and chose a temporary satisfaction, even though he knew that there was going to be consequences later.

By giving in to temptation, he slowly gave up his agency until he was literally bound as a prisoner, his freedom granted only when he was rescued and Aslan stepped in to sacrifice himself on his behalf. In the same way, the devil desires to enslave us. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi tells us of some ways in which Satan tries to trick us,

And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance. (2 Nephi 28:21-22)

Let’s not make the same mistake as Edmund. In the end, everything was made right and he was crowned as a ruler over Narnia, yet it came through hardship. He suffered sorrow, enslavement, and then remorse when he was finally freed from the witch’s control. Satan desires to enslave us as well, but if we say no to his temptations we won’t fall into his grasp. We each have individual weaknesses. Edmund’s was turkish delight. So what’s your turkish delight? And are you willing to lay aside the things you want right now for the things that will matter eternally?

Deeper Magic and the Wisdom of God

In the book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the character Edmund betrays Aslan’s trust and joins himself with the White Witch. He eventually realizes his mistake and comes back to the Narnian side, but this was done at a price.

Aslan offered to sacrifice himself to the White Witch to allow Edmund to go free. During the night, Aslan arrived at the Table where he was to be killed. The White Witch and her group were waiting for him. Though he was stronger than them all, Aslan allowed them to cut off his mane, mock him, tie him to the stone Table and kill him.

Unbeknownst to the White Witch, Susan and Lucy had followed Aslan and had witnessed the awful scene. In the morning, when everyone had left, they approached Aslan’s lifeless body. Their despair over his death was only felt for a short time though, as the Table cracked and Aslan appeared to them, brought back to life, vibrant, and his mane restored.

Confused, Lucy asks Aslan if what happened was magic. Aslan said that it was indeed magic, and that there was Deeper Magic that the White Witch wasn’t aware of. If she had read the inscriptions on the Table with the wisdom that comes from the Deeper Magic, she would have known that a willing sacrifice on the Table, in place of a traitor, could not actually be killed. The Table would crack and the victim instead of rise, fully restored.

This, of course, is an allusion to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. What I like about the event, though, is the fact that Aslan’s wisdom and knowledge far surpassed that of the witch. She thought she had won, but she had only delayed her defeat.

I take comfort in the fact that God is all-wise and all-powerful. Although Satan may have great manipulation over the fallen world that we live in, he cannot know the mind of God. God’s wisdom and greatness are too awesome, too superior for Satan to comprehend.

One example of this is the Fall of Adam and Eve. Satan tempted Eve, thinking to destroy the plan of God by making them fall from their state of being. Instead, he was only progressing our Heavenly Father’s plan, by being the catalyst for the mortal existence of mankind, necessary for us to gain the experience we need and progress on to the next stage in our existence.

And Satan put it into the heart of the serpent, (for he had drawn away many after him,) and he sought also to beguile Eve, for he knew not the mind of God, wherefore he sought to destroy the world. (Moses 4:6)

The White Witch sought to destroy Aslan, but she didn’t know the Deeper Magic that came from Aslan’s father, therefore she failed in her attempt. Satan sought to destroy God’ work, but he as well did not have the wisdom to comprehend God’s  great plan of salvation for His children, therefore he also failed in his attempt.

We can trust that God knows all, and that all things that seem wrong will be made right by His power and His wisdom. Satan truly has no power, but what we give him. He may think himself intelligent, but God is infinitely greater. So when things become rough, and perhaps all seems lost, remember that God has it covered. Aslan knew what he was doing, and so does our Heavenly Father.

Our Father, the Emperor-Over-the-Sea

I’m really surprised I haven’t made a lot of blog posts about the Chronicles of Narnia. Maybe I’ve been afraid it would be too cliche. Whatever the reason, I’ve gotten over it. C. S. Lewis was most definitely an inspired man, and his works can teach us a lot of good principles. The Chronicles of Narnia is a profound series, in my opinion, because it takes those wonderful principles and presents them in a way that even a child can understand.Thatis the true mark of genius.

The first principle in the first lesson Mormon missionaries teach is this: God is our loving Heavenly Father. The concept of the Trinity for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differs from most mainstream Christians. We do not believe they are literally one personage, but three separate beings with one purpose in mind.

Lewis actually teaches this principle quite well in the world of Narnia. Aslan, of course, is a symbol, or perhaps incarnation, of the Savior Jesus Christ. Just as Christ is our King, Aslan is the king of Narnia. He rules over the Narnians and they love and respect him. Jesus Christ is also the Son of God, one of His many titles. This isn’t just a title though. Christ is literally the Only Begotten of the Father, meaning that He is the only one who was, is, and ever will be phyiscally related to God as well as spiritually. Although Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He is still subject to the Father. He stated often, even when He was a child, that His purpose was to do the will of the Father and not His own will. Therefore, the Father is the Ultimate King and Ultimate Creator.

Under the direction of the Father, Christ created the world. In that way, Christ can also be referred to as the “Father” because He is the Creator of our physical bodies and the world we live in.

Aslan also has a father, the Emperor-Over-the-Sea. Although Aslan is the king of Narnia, his father is still superior to him. With a song, Aslan created the physical world of Narnia, yet the powers of Deep Magic (the laws by which Narnia is governed) come from the Emperor-Over-the-Sea. Aslan’s father is the ultimate steward over Narnia, and Aslan acts in proxy to him, just as Christ acts in proxy to the Father.

Aslan is not the Emperor-Over-the-Sea, and vice versa. They are clearly separate beings in the novels, and so are the Father and the Son if we read the scriptures.

I know that God the Father truly is our Father in Heaven, the Father of our spirits. I know Jesus Christ is His Only Begotten Son in the flesh, and the Savior of mankind. He is the Lion of Judah.

Time Is Short… Welcome to Narnia

In the book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, part of the book series known as the Chronicles of Narnia, four siblings discover the world known as Narnia while stumbling through a portal in a wardrobe. While there in Narnia, they find out the White Witch is in control, and the fantasy world is stuck in a constant winter. The children embark on an adventure that eventually destroys the White Witch, saving Narnia and bringing spring to the world. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are crowned as kings and queens and remain in Narnia for a long time, until they’re adults.

On a hunt for the White Stag, the four siblings accidentally come across the same portal they had originally entered and return to the ‘real’ world. Citing the movie, they fall out of the wardrobe, again as children, and find the owner of the house, Professor Kirke, in the room as well. We soon discover that their many years spent in the world of Narnia were only a couple minutes back in their world.

We are in our own Narnia. We existed before this life with our Father in Heaven and made the decision to come down to this earth and be tested, but we are here for only a short time. It may seem like a long time to us, but only because our perspective is limited. Our Heavenly Father has an eternal perspective. To Him, we are away for only a couple hours. We must make the most of what time we have. It is short, but it is the most important time among our entire eternal existence.