Saturday, June 27, 2015

Russell M. Nelson on sharing the Lord's perspective

Elder Russell M. Nelson (1924- ) was an internationally-renowned heart surgeon when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984.
"Imagine, if you will, a pair of powerful binoculars. Two separate optical systems are joined together with a gear to focus two independent images into one three-dimensional view. To apply this analogy, let the scene on the left side of your binoculars represent your perception of your task. Let the picture on the right side represent the Lord's perspective of your task—the portion of His plan He has entrusted to you. Now, connect your system to His. By mental adjustment, fuse your focus. Something wonderful happens. Your vision and His are now the same. You have developed an 'eye single to the glory of God' (D&C 4:5; see also Morm. 8:15). With that perspective, look upward—above and beyond mundane things about you. The Lord said, 'Look unto me in every thought' (D&C 6:36). That special vision will also help clarify your wishes when they may be a bit fuzzy and out of focus with God's hopes for your divine destiny. Indeed, the precise challenge you regard now as 'impossible' may be the very refinement you need, in His eye."
- Russell M. Nelson, "With God Nothing Shall Be Impossible", Ensign, May 1988, pp. 33-35
Click here to read the full talk
This is a wonderful, useful analogy. We are familiar with the concept of binoculars, and most of us have used them on various occasions. The two lenses function together, but can be adjusted independently to form a unified whole.  The whole unit bends to fit different spacing between eyes, in order to facilitate bringing the two separated discs of vision into a single view.

Most of us have eyes that see slightly differently. On the binoculars I have seen, the general focusing mechanism (usually a center dial or wheel) affects both lenses, but then one of the eyepieces can be fine-tuned to synchronize with the other. So once the best possible focus has been obtained in the left eye, the right eye is then brought into sharp and matching focus.

Both the bending of the unit to form a single field of view, and the focusing to join in a unified sharpness, support Elder Nelson's analogy.

This reminds me of the insightful description of prayer in the Bible Dictionary:
"Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings."
(Bible Dictionary, s.v. "Prayer")
When we pray, we bring our "will" into correspondence with that of the Father. The goal is not to change His will (a mistake we sometimes make); but to try to make sure our vision comes into alignment with His.

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15