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The Visitor--an inspirational short story series

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For The Strength of Youth

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    Ch. 44 The Wisdom of the Wise
Submitted by Steven ODell on 9 April 2009 - 12:26pm. | | | |

In The Beginning
--Steven G. O'Dell © 2009

No story is complete without a beginning. This is ours.

In the beginning there were but three things. There was unorganized matter, spread throughout endless space and there were countless pure intelligences. Only these three things existed and nothing more. They were endless and eternal in nature. As yet, there was no such thing as time.

It came to pass that, among the unembodied intelligences, there were those who became self-aware and also aware of the other intelligences about them. These greater intelligences began to counsel one with another as to the nature of their being and also of the unorganized matter and space that surrounded them. Their counsels brought forth greater knowledge concerning such things.

As this knowledge increased and was shared amongst the willing intelligences, a plan began to take form that would properly organize the matter about them and cause it to be made to do the bidding of those intelligences endowed with sufficient knowledge. And it came to pass that, through many counsels and much effort, spirit bodies were fashioned for many of the intelligences, which allowed those spirits to further interact with the matter which existed about them.

As these plans were employed, it became apparent to the greatest of these spirits that not all intelligences had the purest or wisest of motives in their progression; nor should they all be entrusted with greater powers, except they first be tested. Thus, plans were begun in a Great Counsel of those spirits and intelligences, that they might provide a way for their testing, lest they receive powers beyond their wisdom and the peace of the heavens be destroyed.

In this time, worlds were also formed for the spirits that existed, where they might live together and learn further the ways by which they might fashion and control the elements at their disposal and learn to live with one another in peace and harmony. Yet it was during this time that the jealousies and rivalries of certain spirits became clear before the Counsel.

The greatest among the intelligences who shared knowledge for the greater good, had learned the concept of beauty, as well as utility, and had fashioned many things that were not only useful, but pleasing. During this period the wisest also succeeded in fashioning bodies to house the spirits they had formerly made. These spirits, when endowed with such bodies, were then able to experience greater joy in the other creations that were becoming abundant. However, with these blessings came greater troubles.

If the newly formed heavens were to be a place of common joy and contentment, a plan and test must be perfected and implemented. Therefore, the Counsels met often to see to this need. Among these were many wise and great ones, having developed their skills and having served the common good. Also among them were those easily swayed by fears and flatteries, unable or unwilling to think for themselves. As there must be opposition in all things, the good and the evil amongst those gathered in counsel became more apparent with each passing meeting.

The general Counsel had agreed that at some point all spirits must be tested and proven before being allowed to receive greater knowledge and powers, and this to ensure peace in the heavens and amongst their race forever. Those who resisted testing or could not pass the test would have provided for them a place of beauty to share with those of like mind and spirit. They would be well cared for, but for the benefit of all, would not be allowed eternal progression in power and glory. There was One recognized as greater than all; wise, unselfish and full of love. It was He who at last called for the plans to be presented and voted upon.

Once the general structure of the plan was agreed upon, there remained but one question. All had recognized that there would be few who could avoid mistake while they learned and were tested. While only the most pure and worthy could achieve the greatest degree of power and glory, a way must be provided for continued growth amongst those willing to admit fault and overcome their weaknesses. Providing for this would show compassion, wisdom and serve the greater good, for none were anxious that any should be lost or deprived of opportunity.

It was determined that many would obey only through fear of loss or of being punished, were it known to them that they were being observed and tested; therefore, it became necessary to temporarily cover the memory of who they were and from whence they had come while their test ensued. After this trial would come the restoring of their memories, in bright recollection, and the judgment of their deeds in temporal life. All cheered this plan as great wisdom.

Among those gathered was one of magnificent beauty, who had served well in the forming of worlds and stars. This one now spoke.

“My Father, the plan is indeed a marvelous and wise one. Certainly no better plan could be offered. And yet it pains me to see how many might be prevented eternal growth because they are not to be allowed certain guidance as needed to ensure their safe and successful return. Although it has been agreed upon that they should be prevented from openly knowing that they are being observed and tried by the counsels of the heavens, shall we not allow for certain reminders that might encourage their return to paths of righteous behavior?”

A flurry of discussion and agreement among the Counsel members indicated approval and the greatest among them, the Father, who sat in the presiding seat, now spoke.

“This would be reasonable. We do not wish to hinder the progress of any who are willing and determined to do only good in their mortal probation. How do you propose to remind them without defeating the intent of the plan?”

At this point, the son who had spoken began to stride about the floor before the presiding seat, tall and regal in his bearing, proud and confident of his position and of his suggestion.

“In this mortal life they are to go through, all will become a complete soul, having gained a physical body to house their spirit being. That body will one day be perfected as they rise to be judged of their deeds in life. I propose that you let me go among them with an immortal body of my own. I will be there from start to finish, to rule over them and govern their ways. In this manner, none shall be lost, for I shall cause them to do only that which is right. Therefore, send me and I will not fail you, but will save them all, that not one shall be lost.” He then waited for an approving response from the Father, amidst the commotion that now began to rise increasingly amongst the Counsel members.

The rumbling and flurry of words spread quickly in the Counsel chambers. Many looked concerned, while some smiled and proclaimed The Plan complete. The Presiding One raised His hand for silence and order, then asked simply, “And how shall this be a fair and proper test if we allow the destruction of their moral agency to take place?”

Again the commotion in the Counsel. Heads nodded in agreement, while others showed signs of fear that the suggestion made previously would now be discarded. Nevertheless, the son continued confidently.

“Wise Father, do you not see that much suffering will be avoided by this means? Surely you have no desire for these, thy children and brethren, to suffer needlessly in their attempt to return to thy presence and be proclaimed pure and worthy to become like unto thee in all ways. Therefore, send me among them. I will not fail you, but will ensure that all are saved.”

The Father again raised His hand for silence. He looked about the halls of the Counsel and then spoke quietly, that all had to pay close attention in order to catch all of his words.

“Of course I have no desire for needless suffering, my son. However, I fail to see how removing moral agency should prove a proper test of true intent.”

“I will ensure that not one shall be lost. Is this not the wisest thing to do? Then send me.” When reason and logic had been questioned and had failed to show promise, there was nothing left to this one but to become more insistent. His resolve bore a disturbing aura. Where once he had suggested, he now seemed on the verge of command. He stood tall and threatening. None doubted his previous shows of valiance and worth in carrying out his duties. He had been diligent and faithful, but now he stood on the edge of uncharted and possibly dangerous territory.

The general disturbance throughout the chamber came to silence as another voice cut through.

“Father, if I might speak....”

The Great One signaled for this Son to approach and be heard. He smiled as He saw that it was His first created in the spirit, a loving Son who was most dear to Him and who had many times proven his love for all of his brothers and sisters. None doubted the purity of his spirit nor the depth of his wisdom.

“Father, I have sought always to do Thy will. My brother has proposed that there should be a means to redeem and forgive those who might stray while in mortality. This is wisdom, certainly.”

The first son who had spoken stood silently, arms crossed in defense and defiance. It was easily seen by the wise that pride was his motivation. The most beloved Son now continued.

“And yet, it is wisdom, too, that no man be forced to accept redemption against his will, for this would not prove his heart-felt motive. To allow a man to choose freely would indeed be to allow pain and suffering to enter into the world. There seems no way to avoid this end, while maintaining choice. Mistakes will be made and poor choices will result in suffering. Nevertheless, I believe that the pain and suffering will serve as a learning tool and a reminder for those who seek true wisdom.”

The Father leaned forward in his chair and smiled. “You have both shown the desire to help your brothers and sisters to return to their heavenly home, but this second proposal is wisdom and the greater truth. By removing choice and consequence of action, nothing favorable is gained. Hearts will not be properly tested, nor will men grow in wisdom by such means.”

A dark scowl crossed the face of the one who had proposed his plan first. He glared with anger and jealousy at the Father and the Beloved Son, who again began to speak.

“Father, thou hast always shown great wisdom. Therefore, let thy will be done in all things.” He bowed his head in humility before the Great One and waited for the answer that would come.

“I have another way that will require great strength of spirit and a great sacrifice if it is to be accomplished.” He looked sadly upon both of the sons who had spoken. “It will mean the loss of many who will not choose to follow the paths of truth which shall be taught them in life. And it will mean the loss of life for a blameless and perfect redeemer who shall stand in place of the guilty who have sinned.”

An inaudible wave of surprise shot throughout the assembly. The first son who had spoken now registered shock and disbelief, then anger and indignation, while the Beloved Son again bowed his head in humility before his Father and said simply, “Here am I. Send me.”

“Then it is decided. I shall send my firstborn to redeem those who will accept in their place the sacrifice of One who is spotless and without guilt. Justice shall be served and mercy shall have claim.”

“Wait!” shouted the other son. “Have I ever failed to do thy will? Have I not excelled in carrying out all I've been asked to do? Have you now lost faith that I will accomplish what I am asked?” Anger was still written upon his countenance.

“My son, you have never failed me and have always carried out all you have been asked to accomplish. No task has gone incomplete or been less than admirable. I have not lost faith in your abilities, but I have great concern for your willfulness. You seem to put your desire for personal glory above the needs of your brothers and sisters. Tell me...were you in my place, who would you send?”

The anger now boiled over. You must send me! If you do not, you will regret it. Only I can save them all. Your plan will result in suffering for all. Then all thy children will blame you for your foolishness! How will you face them then? How will you justify your actions to those who are lost? And those who are saved will always look upon you with pity. You must send me or fail!”

The Father now rose from his seat and it was obvious to all that He was not pleased; nevertheless, He did not lose control of his temper. Looking straight into the eyes of the rebel and usurper of power, he proclaimed quietly, “Do well and you shall be rewarded. Do evil and it will bring only pain.” He maintained eye contact for some time and waited, bathed in great light that seemed to emanate from Him as a mantle witnessing His authority.

The objector turned to those gathered and announced, “We do not have to accept this. He will soon come to his senses or we shall assume his authority and control. I, for one, will listen no more to this foolishness.” And with that, he turned to leave the Counsel Hall. Those who remained reflected anguish, pity and shock. There were few words spoken amongst the congregation.

The Great Father now shook His head slowly and sadly, then quietly said, “The sifting has begun.” His face, too, showed sorrow, but His resolve was firm and the work would now begin to redeem mankind from the inevitable fall from grace that would come for those who chose to go through mortal probation.

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