What do these have in common?
- Come, Let Us Adore Him, Chapter 6, Bookends, Denver Snuffer
- The Chosen, Episode 5
- Psalm 37
- D&C 121, 122, 123
- All relate to submitting to God’s timetable.
- All were stumbled/reflected upon two weeks ago within a 48 hour period and resolved many months of frustrations, reflections, yearnings, strivings, ponderings and prayers.
Perhaps slowly losing one’s mental acuity and physical ability is similar to a woman who wants children, but whose biological clock relentlessly marches forward. There is great angst when one realizes the gravity that the fulfillment of their hope and desire stands in jeopardy.
In Bookends and Episode 5, we see Christ appearing intellectually capable at age 12 to get on with His mission. His mother chooses the timetable and He submits and waits for 18 years. In The Chosen, this 18 year period is rather brilliantly bookended with the lines, “if not now, when?” Melodramatic? Sure, but nicely done nevertheless. In Bookends, the author draws the point further by adding to the idea that the temptations at the beginning and end of Christ’s ministry — beyond the commonly understood challenge to His belief in His identity and mission — also imply a challenge to “do it now, what are You waiting for?” Answer: God. In all cases, He is waiting on God.
During 5 months in that pit called Liberty Jail, Joseph penned D&C 121-123 (in each case you can get better context reading the complete documents in the Joseph Smith Papers Project). In each letter you almost hear him screaming at God: “what are you waiting for, have you not read 1 Kings 18:27?”
And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
Perhaps a little melodramic? Sure, but still, have you never felt that God was trying your patience? And, by the way, where does that line originate? King David expresses this feeling (worth reading all of Psalm 42):
12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.Psalms 40:12–13 (Messianic?)
13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord, make haste to help me.
Which brings us to Psalm 37 (again, worth reading in its entirety).
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;Psalms 37:3–11
so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4 Delight thyself also in the Lord;
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the Lord;
trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light,
and thy judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:
fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way,
because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath:
fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off:
but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be:
yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth;
and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Okay, perhaps the prior use of the word resolved is a bit of a reach. There remains impatience (The Princess Bride, Waiting Scene), doubts about faith (as in, “where are the promised fruits?” See Moroni 10:8–19), questions about why this grade (rung) seems so much more of a spiritual challenge.
And yet, there is now a greater willingness to try to simply do what is requested and to quit trying to push the agenda. More work required. Can it be accomplished in 18 years? Will the biological clock wait that long?