Here follows the weekly (as promised) lyrics/poem from the Fearless Path, this time from early LDS poet and songwriter, Eliza R. Snow, from one of my favorite hymns:
Truth reflects upon our senses;
Gospel light reveals to some.
If there still should be offenses,
Woe to them by whom they come!
Judge not, that ye be not judged,
Was the counsel Jesus gave;
Measure given, large or grudged,
Just the same you must receive.
Blessed Savior, thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore
Where the angels wait to join us
In thy praise forevermore.
Jesus said, “Be meek and lowly,”
For ’tis high to be a judge;
If I would be pure and holy,
I must love without a grudge.
It requires a constant labor
All his precepts to obey.
If I truly love my neighbor,
I am in the narrow way.
Once I said unto another,
“In thine eye there is a mote;
If thou art a friend, a brother,
Hold, and let me pull it out.”
But I could not see it fairly,
For my sight was very dim.
When I came to search more clearly,
In mine eye there was a beam.
If I love my brother dearer,
And his mote I would erase,
Then the light should shine the clearer,
For the eye’s a tender place.
Others I have oft reproved
For an object like a mote;
Now I wish this beam removed;
Oh, that tears would wash it out!
Charity and love are healing;
These will give the clearest sight;
When I saw my brother’s failing,
I was not exactly right.
Now I’ll take no further trouble;
Jesus’ love is all my theme;
Little motes are but a bubble
When I think upon the beam.
Only through the pure love that Christ demonstrated, taught, and can give to us are we able to judge rightly. It is the only thing that heals, the only thing that changes. “Charity never faileth.” To judge without that “charity” is to judge unrighteously and hypocritically, injuring others and ourselves. The fearless path is to withhold condemning judgment of others, recognizing that the only method to change others is to change ourselves.
I know this is an incredibly easy target, but I’m going to take a shot. With the recent publicizing of the CIA and White House memos regarding torture, part of the conversation has been whether torture works or doesn’t. Another aspect of the question has been whether it was legal or not. These shouldn’t even be the questions we ask about torture.
Every other week or so, I will post lyrics to a song or words to a poem that exemplify the ideas of the fearless path. One of the most out-spoken Christian songwriters of the last half of the 20th century was Johnny Cash. His life story is fascinating, demonstrating weaknesses, wild success, failure, loss, and most importantly, redemption. His anthem of “why” is found in the following words:
In Mormon scripture is found the story of a group of four brothers and their friends who decide (after a shocking conversion experience by which they are born again in Christ) to go preach the word among the “idolatrous” and “wicked” Lamanites.
When they make this desire known among their own people, the Nephites, their decision is met with derision and scorn as depicted in the following words:
“Turn the other cheek.” How many times do we hear the phrase? So often, I would say, that it has lost its meaning. But what does it really mean? And more importantly—was He serious?
“Love thy neighbor.” OK, that’s not easy, but not impossible, either. But was Jesus serious when He said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”? Was He being idealistic or did He just not understand “the real world”? Continue reading “The Fearless Path”