Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Pearl of Great Price

     The gospel is referred to as a pearl of great price and it left me to wonder just what does that mean. Why does the savior compare the kingdom of heaven to a pearl as in Matt 13
 45 ¶ Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

  46 Who, when he had found one apearl of great price, went and sold ball that he had, and bought it
         What exactly is this pearl of great price? The other day I learned how a pearl is made, Within a mollusk a pearl is formed as a defense mechanism against a possible irritant such as a parasite. In order to protect itself the mollusk creates a protective barrior around this "parasite" or "irritant" and in time this forms a pearl.
 I found this process by which a pearl is created to be very interesting and I wondered how often we look at the kingdom of god as an irritant. How often we look at the commandments as an irritant when by keeping this commandments we are creating a protective barrier around ourselves and thereby become a pearl of great price!
      God gives us commandments out of love because Our Heavenly Father knows all things and therefore he does know how we can protect ourselves from the deadening affects of sin. A mother or father will give certain rules or restrictions to their children because they have experience regarding those things they are restricting. For example a mother tells her son not to play in the street because of the danger of getting hit by a car. A father does not allow his daughter to date until she is of age. These so called "restrictions" are quite liberating. We must abandon this notion of a harsh unloving god who gives us rule after rule.
         One of these commandments that many people often misunderstand is the word of wisdom. Many people know that we as mormons do not drink coffee, alcohol, tea, and we wont smoke. Many look at this commandment as a huge restriction but actually by not using those substances we liberate ourselves from the deadening effects of addiction and many other dangers from this unwise decision. The reason why the lord calls this commandment or revelation "the word of wisdom" is because our all knowing heavenly father has given us this commandment out of wisdom just as a wise mother or father gives the rule to "not play in the street" out of wisdom.
       This commandment and other commandments are not restrictions but tools to sanctify and perfect us. We are on this journey to become more like our savior and God has given us ways to do so, by keeping these commandments we of ourselves become this "pearl of great price". The savior speaks of a man who sold EVERYTHING he had to obtain this "pearl of great price" in the parable listed above. Now obviously the lord does not expect us to sell our home and car and all our "worldly" items, but he does expect us to sacrifice our sins and forsake them. "Sell our sins" in a sense that through our forsaking of our sins we lay hold upon the great gift of the grace of Jesus Christ. By  forsaking our sins we obtain this pearl of great price or rather we become a pearl of great price.
       I think this principle of becoming a pearl of great price is beautifully illustrated within the Book of Mormon: Moroni 10:
 32 Yea, acome unto Christ, and be bperfected in him, and cdeny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and dlove God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be eperfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
     To become perfect in Christ! Now that is your pearl that is created over a period of time by surrounding what appears to you to be an "irritant"(The commandments) with your obedience and this obedience creates this feild around you, sanctifying you day by day and protecting you until you emerge in the kingdom of god as a pearl of great price.
        I hope you can all continue to become a pearl and continue to be perfected in Christ so that you too may one day be at rest and have a fulness of joy in the kingdom of our father!
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