Monday, October 1, 2007

The Seed of Faith

In Jewish Mysticism and LDS thinking there is a Tree of Life motif that is played-out in the macro, meaning the creations of the heavens and earth, along with the rest of the Plan of Salvation.

In the micro, the same principles are applied to each man and woman. Each person is thought of as having the same principles at play within him, each person is a small Tree of Life microcosm.

Alma was playing on this theme in Alma 32 where he compares the words of angels to a seed that is planted in the hearts of men and women. This "seed" is for a tree, and this tree is none other than a Tree of Life:

“And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life. But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.”[Alma 32:40&41]

Within each of us are the three pillars, on one side the principles of law, and justice. On the other side within us is choice and mercy. Who we are is how these forces are played-out, because we largely have control over that theater. Nephi said:

“Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.”

The Zohar clearly teaches that ideas generate within us from various places. From one side stimulated by the principles or forces of law and justice, or from the other side stimulated by agency, and mercy.

But, beyond what side our thoughts and ideas come from, the degree or elevation of the tree within us is also important. Do our thoughts generate from lower spheres, or higher spheres?

We can examine our thoughts and determine where we live, which kingdom we currently belong to. The Zohar calls this which rung we “cling” to.

Happy climbing.

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