Sunday, September 15, 2013

Analogies, Parables, and Teaching Stories- Part 8

I've always had a thing for analogies, parables, and the like. As teaching tools, they use every-day situations and ideas to explain complex principles, making those complex ideas a whole lot easier to understand. Often, they can explain ideas that would otherwise be nigh impossible to explain accurately.

Jesus Himself used parables all the time in His teaching. Sometimes this was to make the teaching of a certain principle easier. But often He didn't give an explanation. He simply allowed people to take from the "nice story" what they would- an act of mercy, given that we are each held accountable for following the doctrines we understand.

The first in this series was about ducks. The second one was about medicine.. and salvation. The third was about math class. The fourth was about engines and society. The fifth was about dirt. Number six was about my grandma's puzzles. The most recent, seven was about light- lightning vs. a flashlight.

Today, I'm gonna talk about butterflies!
A butterfly has four stages in his life cycle: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and full grown butterfly.

The egg doesn't do much beyond sitting still and growing from a fertilized egg cell into a squished-up tiny caterpillar.  And to be fair, that's all he can do... and all he needs to be able to do. But there comes a point where he has to hatch and continue his progress or he dies.

So he hatches and is freed from the confines of his egg. He has legs and a mouth! And he uses both! He walks around and eats and eats and walks around... and gets bigger and fatter.

Eating and eating and eating!
Then he hangs upside down and... just hangs there. From all appearances he's dead. But really, inside there is something marvelous happening. His whole form is changing: he is losing nearly all those legs, he is slimming down, his ravenous mouth is changing shape and function... and he is growing wings!!

A minute or two after breaking out of the confinement of the chrysalis, he is something entirely different from what he was at the beginning. He has (nearly) complete freedom of movement with those beautiful glorious wings. Instead of crunching leaves, he drinks nectar from flowers with a delicate built-in straw. He isn't even the same color anymore! He's downright amazing!

And its not offensive to the beautiful butterfly momma  when that little green  caterpillar declared that someday, he could be a butterfly.

So it is with us. We also have four stages to our divine life cycle- there was a stage where all we did was learn. But there came a point where we had to leave the confines of our heavenly home to continue that development.

So we came to earth. We walk around consuming information and knowledge, hopefully growing fat in wisdom.

Then one day we die. But that's when the magic happens! Our physical bodies are dead but what was inside of us making us alive becomes something so wonderful. We lose all those physical problems we had (mental illness, physical shortcomings, physical and emotional scars). Our minds are enlightened with the knowledge of who and what we really are. We are preparing to BECOME who and what we really are.

And its not blasphemy to our glorious Father when we as his mortal children declare that some day, we can be like Him!

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