Sunday, August 31, 2014

I Have Value

Recently I have been thinking of why God would care enough to know me or hear and answer my prayers. There are so many more important things going on in the world that he has to deal with, does he really care about me? Moses when he was shown the creation of this earth said: “Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing..” (Moses 1:10) William Lund spoke to the students at BYU about the number of galaxies that the Hubble telescope has captured:

“The Pinwheel Galaxy, which is 25 million light years from us, contains 100 billion stars, smaller than the 300 billion of our own galaxy. Pointing Hubble Telescope to what seemed to be a minuscule vacant region of the sky it captured 5,500 galaxies that are about 3.2 billion light years from us. We imagine that these images are similar to what we can see from any other view of the universe, the number of galaxies and the number of stars in those galaxies. I feel very small.  How is it that a planet as small as ours orbiting a single star orbiting among billions of galaxies that seem endless can attract the attention of the creator?” (“For God So Loved You”, William B. Lund, BYU Devotional, August 05, 2014)
In the vision Moses saw of the creation the Lord said to him:

And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.
And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.

For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:33, 38-39)

Back to Bro. Lund’s question: “How is it that a planet as small as ours orbiting a single star orbiting among billions of galaxies that seem endless can attract the attention of the creator?” We lean in the last verse of the scripture above that our Heavenly Father’s work is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. The world we live on and the entire universe was created for us.  President Uchtdorf speaking in a General Conference address talked about how much we matter to our creator:

“But even though man is nothing, it fills me with wonder and awe to think that “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.”

“And while we may look at the vast expanse of the universe and say, “What is man in comparison to the glory of creation?” God Himself said we are the reason He created the universe! His work and glory—the purpose for this magnificent universe—is to save and exalt mankind.8 In other words, the vast expanse of eternity, the glories and mysteries of infinite space and time are all built for the benefit of ordinary mortals like you and me. Our Heavenly Father created the universe that we might reach our potential as His sons and daughters.

“This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God. While against the backdrop of infinite creation we may appear to be nothing, we have a spark of eternal fire burning within our breast. We have the incomprehensible promise of exaltation—worlds without end—within our grasp. And it is God’s great desire to help us reach it.” (“You Matter to Him”, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, General Conference, October 2011)
Former President of the Logan Utah Married Student 1st Stake, Ray Reutzel, shared his thoughts about how God is involved in the intimate details of our lives:

“How is it that the God of Heaven who is without sin has set his heart on something as menial as us. He has graven our image on the palm of his hand and weeps for us. What does that tell us of our God? Does he live in a realm that is untouched and unblemished to our suffering and pain? Is his willingness to weep for us evidence of his love and the nature of being a God?

He is involved in the intimate details of our lives and he makes himself vulnerable to those things that hurt us and make themselves vulnerable to pain because they love us.” (President D. Ray Reutzel to Logan Utah Married 1st Stake Council, November 28, 2012)

I have had many experiences that have taught me that my Heavenly Father knows me and is there to help me when needed.  I shared one example at the beginning of this blog on July 7th, 2013. It was titled “TheTender Mercies of the Lord”. I related how I was struck with pancreatitis and was very ill for some time. I was given a blessing by my bishop at the time and was told that it was not my time to depart this life that the Lord had other things for me to do.  That bishop is now the stake president of the student stake that I serve in and he is the one that called me to be the bishop. I asked him when he extended the call to me if he knew when he gave me that blessing 10 years ago that serving as a bishop to the students of Utah State University was what the Lord had in mind. He said: “Not only did I not know that, but that I would be the person to call you to be a bishop”.  I know that call came from God and that he extended my life to be able to serve at this time. There have been many other reasons that I was not taken at the time of my illness, but serving as a bishop has been a great blessing to my family and me.

In another one of our stake council meetings, President Reutzel spoke about the how the Savior’s Atonement though infinite and eternal is also a personal atonement. He taught that somehow the Savior was able to step out of time and space and have each one of us personally come to him and allow him to take all of our sins from us and free us from those sins. What a wonderful concept; the Savior was able to make the atonement a personal thing for each one of us and we are all able to be clean before our Heavenly Father because of the love that our Savior has for each one of us.

Bro. Lund shared with the BYU students that one the members of his ward speaking in sacrament meeting said that we all know that we call 911 when we need help in an emergency. She said that we should remember the number 991 as it relates to service. The Savior spoke of leaving the 99 to go rescue the one lost. In those parables, the Savior has extended the challenge to us to leave the 99 and go in search of those who are lost.

Sometimes as we wander in the chaos and storms that rage around us, we get lost and think we have little or no value. Even though Moses said that “man was nothing” he also learned that to God we mean everything. The Apostle John wrote:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

God loves me (and you) enough to send his only begotten Son so that I (and you) could have everlasting life. That is the greatest of all the gift of God and that is worth giving up all my sins for.

Your comments and questions are welcome.

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