First, please forgive me for the mine craft allegory that will follow… all things technology always make me think of the scripture in Jacob:
…the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls.
Electronics have their place, but the fact remains that any game or movie you play or watch just isn’t real.
So for those who need a two second introduction to the computer game called Mine Craft, during the day you walk around a world and mine stuff to make into other stuff and at night you bunker inside your house that you made to stay safe from the creatures who want to eat you. Even if your person ‘dies’ you can regenerate and return to your home which you’ve filled with your boxes full of stuff you’ve crafted and collected. For the lesson below, it is important to note that when you ‘die,’ anything your guy is holding is lost.
Mine Craft is a fabulous incentive for my boys right now to do all the stuff I want them to, so they get to play the pocket version sometimes. (#ibelieveinbribery…ahem. I mean, #ibelieveinincentives)
Last week we had a traumatic incident. My son lost all the things he had just gathered because he fell into the lava while mining in a cave. (Did I mention mine craft has underground lava lakes?) The afternoon was filled with sobbing, wailing and cursing lava lakes.
That night, when I put my son to bed, he asked me, “When we die is it like mine craft and we loose all our stuff from Earth?”
“Even our house? Even our legos?”
He sighed. I could feel his disappointment. Losing his minecraft supplies and finding out that he can’t take his real stuff to heaven was too much.
I told him something like this:
“Heavenly Father loves you so much. He wants you to be happy. Do you think He would make it so all our stuff can’t go to heaven with us just to make us mad? No, He has something better for us. I believe God has wonderful surprises for us.”
I was thinking of this scripture:
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. (John 14:2)
Believing these words from the Lord means that we can let go of our stuff. I’m not suggesting a monastic life with no belongings (though it is thought-provoking that Jesus suggested that to the young, rich man). But I am saying that solid faith in the “many mansions” of the Father will weaken our grasp on the slippery mansions of the world.
My son’s dramatic concern over leaving behind all the things he worked so hard to accumulate in his little Mine Craft game is funny until we look at the care and concern we put into out own little collection of stuff on Earth. We will leave it all behind.
Thanks for studying with me today!
S: (Prayer/Ask) How is my faith in the “many mansions” of the Father over the treasures of this world?
- Read these words from the Savior:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
- Watch this three minute bible video of the Jesus and the Rich, young man
- Consider these words from a modern apostle of the Savior, from October General Conference:
From the beginning of His ministry, Jesus loved the impoverished and the disadvantaged in an extraordinary way. He was born into the home of two of them and grew up among many more of them. We don’t know all the details of His temporal life, but He once said, “Foxes have holes, and … birds … have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”2 Apparently the Creator of heaven and earth “and all things that in them are”3 was, at least in His adult life, homeless. (Elder Jeffery R. Holland)
- Think about your short-term to-do list. Do most of your action items have to do with taking care of the people in your life or more to do with taking care of the stuff in your life?
- Imagine yourself as the rich, young ruler who expressed interest in following Christ. How would you react if He asked you to sell your house, your wardrobe, your toys, and your electronics?
- There must be a balance the Lord expects us to have. It would be difficult in modern times to raise a family without a house- not to mention they won’t let your kid go out to recess unless he has a coat, snow pants, boots, mittens, a hat and wool socks. Times that by a couple of kids and-like it or not- you have a pile of stuff. What is the Lord trying to teach us about stuff? About how we should feel about our stuff?
R: (Write) your thoughts, what you learned, impressions you received, and anything else in your scripture journal (include your thoughts on the study session question: How is my faith in the “many mansions” of the Father over the treasures of this world?)
- Write a list of things you really care about…things you really wish you could take to heaven.
- Copy down the words from Matthew 6:19-21 into your scripture journal.
E: (Prayer/Thank)- thank God for what you’ve learned and ask if there is anymore.
The Challenge: Next time you find yourself caring a lot about an item you own (or want to own!) say a prayer for perspective to have faith in the things of a better world.
click here for more information on s’more scripture study method