Monday, May 6, 2013

Let them go for something better

4 Let them repent of all their sins, and of all their covetous desires, before me, saith the Lord; for what is property unto me? saith the Lord.
  5 Let the properties of Kirtland be turned out for debts, saith the Lord. Let them go, saith the Lord, and whatsoever remaineth, let it remain in your hands, saith the Lord.
  6 For have I not the fowls of heaven, and also the fish of the sea, and the beasts of the mountains? Have I not made the earth? Do I not hold the destinies of all the armies of the nations of the earth?
  7 Therefore, will I not make solitary places to bud and to blossom, and to bring forth in abundance? saith the Lord.
  8 Is there not room enough on the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and on the plains of Olaha Shinehah, or the land where Adam dwelt, that you should covet that which is but the drop, and neglect the more weighty matters?
  9 Therefore, come up hither unto the land of my people, even Zion. (D&C 117:4-9)

It is interesting to read this block of verses from the perspective of decluttering and organizing because they point out an important principle that can help us deal with feelings of loss.

Some people are hesitant to let go of what they don’t need because they argue, “They don’t make things like that anymore.”  The implication is that craftsmanship has degenerated since the making of that object, and its like will never been seen again.  Therefore, the reasoning goes, I must hang on to this last vestige of excellence even though I have no real use for it. 

I saw this attitude for the first time in an older woman who was determined to keep a broken plastic serving platter—she pledged to glue it back together—because, as she said, “They don’t make them like that any more.”  To my eye, the platter deserved to be discontinued, but I did not say so; after all, she was allowed to have her opinion as well as I, and she owned it, not I.  But I tried to tell her that there are so many platters that have been made in this world and surely there would be something out there she’d like as well if not better.  She was not convinced.  I suppose she never frequented eBay and the variety of styles, ages, colors, and designs that are represented for sale there. 

In the above block of verses, the Lord was trying to get the Saints to let go of their lands in Kirtland in 1838 and move to Zion.  No doubt the Saints were convinced it would be impossible to find a situation of property so advantageous as the place they lived.  The Lord’s words in verse 6 and 8 are a reminder that the earth is a very big place with plenty of space, far bigger than they realize, so the chances of finding other advantageous places to settle is high.   And, in verse 7, He even offers the comfort of miraculous transformations—even if the place they end up is solitary and desolate, the Lord can make it blossom, bloom, and bring forth in abundance so that it becomes advantageous. 

These same reasons can help us today let go of what we don’t need.  What does it matter if we decide we need it again in the future?   The Lord can bring something just as good if not better into our lives.  Or, if we can’t find what we need, He can help us make something that is just what we need.  The principle the Lord wants us to learn is letting go with the faith that there is something just as good if not better that will come to us. 

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