The Consistency of Change
This blog is part of my ZionBound series. The full series can be read in post order here.
God transforms people for the better. When you consider what transpires in the scriptures, or when you consider the history of our own church, you can see that what is happening, all the time, over and over, is God working in the hearts of people to transform them, by giving them hope.
God’s prophets, forged in the wilderness by encounters with the divine, were transformed. It was the transformation that these people experienced that enabled them to do what they did, to become what they became. Moses was not simply sent back to Egypt. First, he was forged by God in the wilderness. Joseph Smith Jr. was not simply told one day to go dig up the buried plates. He was spiritually prepared over many years via angelic visitations, and his experience in the grove. Both men were transformed by God.
Here is another thought. Transformation is what we offer to the world. Our goal as disciples of Jesus Christ is to help bring people into a closer relationship with God. Sometimes that means to help establish a relationship where none previously existed.
That is a transformation. We talk, all the time, about how people have had their lives transformed in wonderful ways by the church.
When people are baptized, or confirmed, they are transformed. So you see, we are in the business of transforming people.
Even Jesus Christ experienced transformation. We call it the Transfiguration; and let us not forget, like Moses, he also had his time in the wilderness.
Transformation is what John the Baptist offered. He preached repentance and baptized people for the remission of sins. That is one form of transformation. Through this remission, people learned to forgive themselves, to release themselves from their own guilt. That is a second transformation and no doubt such transformations would result in developing new outlooks regarding how a person should live, treat one another, worship God, and so forth.
After John, Jesus Christ also preached repentance. He preached about the Kingdom of God. He challenged how people understood the Law and the Prophets; he encouraged people to totally transform their lives.
He sought to turn people away from wickedness, replacing it with peace, mercy, love, compassion, and charity, once again, just to name a few.
What we learn from all of this is that transformation is at the heart of our purpose. It is at the heart of responding to God’s call.
It is at the heart of every aspect of existence. The world continually transforms itself with the passing of each season.
The people called into the wilderness were transformed by God’s guidance. The messiah himself was transformed through the Transfiguration. Transformation is everywhere. It permeates everything, and everyone throughout all creation.
The people who enter into a covenant with Jesus Christ are transformed; and like I said a few moments ago, we are, essentially, in the business of transforming lives.
And we do this, because the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. Its all about Transformation. That is the message of Hope that John the Baptist brought to a nation, and the message of Hope that Jesus Christ brings to the world.
Understanding this, is it not folly to suggest that God does not change from time to time? Not himself, but what he made, including his priesthood. If God does not change things from time to time, he would not be consistent with his own creation.
Questions to Ponder
1. In what way was Christ changed in the wilderness & during the Transfiguration?
2. What positive impact might there be in our attempts to bring about positive transformation if we understand that God himself is open to change?
3. What is the purpose of change?