This week’s svithe: “The City of Enoch”

The Enoch Letters, image from Amazon.

I imagine Elder Maxwell didn't view his little book as a proselytory text to be sent out into the world to convert souls unacquainted with Mormonism. Yet the bulk of the book consists of just such letters: Mahijah is writing his friend Omner about the glorious new religion he has discovered that makes all things clear and fills his heart with love.

Maxwell, as Mahijah, is not writing my neighbor, he is writing me.

I am a Saint, or should be. I know what is expected of a Christian, or I should know. I am living a life informed by gospel truths. Right?

Sure. You bet.

But as I read Mahijah's descriptions of Zion and how the people eschew self-agrandizement, I hang my head and realize I want praise. As I read Mahijah's descriptions of Zion and how the people work hard all day every day for the glory of God, I realize I am yet lazy. As I read Mahijah's descriptions of Zion and how the people care more for the fullness of their neighbor's plate than their own, I realize I am still greedy and selfish. If a visitor to town steals my cloak, I probably won't chase him down to give him my coat also lest he be cold. I am much to attached to my material goods.

I doubt Elder Maxwell was trying to make me feel inadequate, but this book provided a needed wake-up call to me. Granted, I'm still not awake--I'm not ready to give away all I own that another may be comfortable and I may see the face of Christ, but at least I can realistically appraise how far I've yet to go.

The hypothetical concept of giving away all my goods because it is more important to me that we have no poor than that I keep my precious doodads has always seemed pretty easy to me. This book made me recognize how difficult it was. I dreaded the day Mahijah would have to give up his beloved ruby--I knew it was coming and he didn't and I felt his pending pain.

But there was no pain. It was just a little rock to him and he was prepared to give it away.

I am not prepared today to give up my sense of thgenius or my hours spent reading worldly tomes. But perhaps if I am willing to take the baby steps the lord provides me, perhaps then I too can be like Mahijah and give up even my ruby.

It only took him 300 years.

I think I should be able to match that.

this svithe on thmusings
last week's svithe

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