Aren’t the blessings we receive from obedience blessings of character and changed nature? I think they are more immediate than we think.
I think the consequences of our actions, both positive and negative are always immediate, in a spiritual sense. We are not blinded to spiritual things, they are just, by nature, harder to see and appreciate unless we know what to look for.
Our actions usually have other, more physical consequences too. But since we are notoriously poor at sorting out cause and effect, especially because the physical effect of our actions is not usually immediate, we often fail to appreciate it.
This reminds me of the story of Elijah and the Rabbi Jachanan, told by Merlyn from TH White’s The Once and Future King:
“The Rabbi Jachanan went on a journey with the prophet Elijah. They walked all day and at night they came to the humble cottage of a poor man, whose only treasure was a cow. The poor man ran out of his cottage and his wife ran too, to welcome the strangers for the night and to offer them all the simple hospitality which they were able to give in straightened circumstances. Elijah and the Rabbi were entertained with plenty of cow’s milk, sustained by home-made bread and butter, and they were put to sleep in the best bed while their kindly hosts lay down before the kitchen fire. But in the morning, the poor man’s cow was dead.
They walked all the next day and came that night to the house of a very wealthy merchant, whose hospitality they craved. The mercahnst was cold and proud and rich, and all that he would do for the prophet and his companion was to lodge them in a cowshed and feed them on bread and water. In the morning however, Elijah thanked him very much for what he had done and sent for a mason to repair one of his walls, which happened to be falling down, as a return for his kindness.
The Rabbi Jachanan, unable to keep silence any longer, begged the holy man to explain his dealings with the human beings.
He replied, ‘In regard to the poor man who recieved us so hospitably, it was decreed that his wife was to die that night, but in reward for his goodness, God took the cow instead of his wife. I repaired the wall of the rich miser because a chest of gold was concealed near the place, and if the miser had repaired the wall himself, he would have discovered the treasure.
SAY NOT THEREFORE TO THE LORD, ‘WHAT DOEST THOU?’ BUT SAY IN THY HEART, ‘MUST NOT THE LORD OF ALL THE EARTH DO RIGHT?’”
So let me get this straight. I’m blinded as to being aware as to the blessing that come from keeping the commandments because of my sinfulness. The more sinful the less I can see the blessing. But as I keep the commandments I can better see the blessings and the more I keep the commandments the better I see. Now I see better that I should keep the commandments so I can see and not be blinded.]]>
aquinas, here are my thoughts: God immediately blesses us with His Spirit, etc. when we obey. The Atonement kicks in as it grants us peace and changes our natures, line upon line. But that doesn’t mean that we will receive all that He has to give us immediately. The fulness of His blessings will come only after we are resurrected. Again, Elder Condie gets to the breadth of the blessings that can come through faith, but reminds us that some will only come eternally.]]>
Thanks for that scripture, I had forgotten it. Now I wonder if / since He immediately blesses us for keeping the commandment, then why does He keep it a secret. Why don’t we connect the two? Why are we more aware of that and the connection?]]>
“And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?” Mosiah 2:24.]]>
If we are waiting around for God to give us better life situations, more money, better health, less adversity maybe we are missing the point of this life. We are here to develop Christlike character and that only happens with struggle, faith, and then the greatest blessing; divine grace. As we are patient in adversity we become more as Christ was in his adversity. As we pay our tithes and offerings and don’t expect cash blessings in return we are less selfish and worldly and more like Jesus. As we serve others we come to love them just like our Savior.
Of course we are not expected to pick ourselves up by our own bootstraps. We cannot fundamentally change our character and nature without the grace and power of God. And as we grow from grace to grace, just like Jesus, the blessings of God for our obedience will be seen as a transforming layer of dew from heaven, distilling upon our souls.
The blessings of “heavenly reward” don’t really come later, because eventually we’ll just go where our character has led us—with God if we have become godly or away from him if we haven’t.]]>
I’m with Eric–I’ll be satisfied with God not striking me dead or blind or halt or maimed for any one of the reasons I deserve it, and be grateful for the grace and mercy that I receive although I don’t deserve them.]]>