Sunday, February 23, 2014

From December 30, 2013: Such Language

Hello all.  I loved, loved, loved talking to you guys.  I loved family prayer.  I love you all.  I am so grateful for all you do and for the many thoughtful gifts and notes I received from you.  You guys are awesome.  Today's letter is a dive into my head.  So be forewarned, not sure it makes sense.    Love to all!  Had a good week.  People are still out of town.  30-40 people total at sacrament meeting haha  It's pretty funny.  

Reflections for the new year. . . 

Well Everyone, hello.  I wonder how many people read these.  It's a fascinating experience, sending the thoughts, ponderings, and meanderings of my head out into an abyss full of unknown spectators.  Some of you may be very close to me and some more distant.  Who knows why you read.  Perhaps out of loyalty to our past selves and perhaps out of some desire to have a meeting of the minds across the broad expanse of a world wide web that somehow does not extend to this world in which I find myself.  For assuredly we live in different worlds.  
But follow me, for a moment, as I expose you to the tiniest moment of my world, a world that I am only beginning to understand.  

I am beginning to believe that worlds are the summations of language.  And language is the best reflection we have of our SELVES.  Each person has their own unique language.  There are seriously scientists and mathematicians who get together and do word print analysis that shows that each person's written language is different.  Their flow of language, their diction, the very structure in which they form communication differs as much as one fingerprint differs from another.
Language has become one of the most fascinating subjects to me.  The more I study the scriptures, the more Portuguese I try to take in, and the more fluent I become in the language of the Spirit, the more I come to understand that the very world in which I live is constructed of language that I have, before now, been entirely unaware of.  Names, for instance.  We are given a name when we are born and it sticks with us throughout our lives.  It is an inherent part of our identity, a piece of the very fabric of who we are, and a piece of identity that is shared on almost everything we do.  At the top of every homework assignment, every official document, every license and passport and plate and contract, we affix a seal of our self.  And why?  Because it's a designation, an identifier, a mark.  And also because it makes that THING a part of who we are, claims it as part of our world. 
The same, too, with titles we assume.  Last names tell us where we came from and titles tell us what we have achieved.  Names are part of our language and therefore part of ourselves.  And what we choose to do with our names is a reflection of who we are and who we can potentially become.  This thinking bleeds over into the baptismal covenant, which we make again and again and again when we partake of the sacrament, in which we promise that we are willing to take the NAME of Christ and always remember Him.  This means that we attach His name to us and partake of His identity and therefore make ourselves a part of His world, include ourselves in the effects of His atonement, and thereby become clean. 
In my world, I have no name.  I have only a title and a lineage.  Fascinating, isn't it?  Elder.  Molinaro.  It is a cause for reflection that we keep our last names and substitute a title for our first name so that we may more fully take upon ourselves the name, and therefore the world and character, of Christ. 
But I was actually going to talk about language, not names, though names clearly are an essential part of our individual language.  When we meet a new person, we get to know them through speech.  We mirror and repeat and as we talk we get to know them.  One because of what they are saying, but also because of how they are saying it.  The people who we are closest to actually begin to change our lexicon and patterns of speech as we are around them.  And we become language as our language becomes us.  Let's examine, for a moment, what we should be doing in terms of language then.  
We should be striving for fluency in the best forms of language.  Hence Doctrine and Covenants (a book of modern-day revelations to the prophets) tells us to seek learning out of the best books.  These best books are such because of the language in which they speak and not necessarily their content.  Now do not misunderstand.  I am not saying we should all read things with elevated language and thereby become better disciples of Christ.  What I am saying is that seeking out of the best books, which are almost always the scriptures, teaches us fluency in the only language that matters in the end -- the language of the Spirit.  If we can become fully fluent in that language (the language of the Spirit), then we recognize promptings, understand their importance, follow those promptings, and therefore receive more.  We also are instructed as to what to say, how to say it, what to pray for, and how to fully reconcile the name, identity, and character of Christ with our selves.  
There are two extremes in language presented in the scriptures.  First, the Adamic language, which the bible dictionary informs us was perfect, pure, and uncorrupted. which I tend to think has something to do with the sinless state in which Adam and eve lived for so long (feel free to edit this part out guys haha) If you are looking for it in the book of Mormon, you will find themes (threads I call them) of language, which are just about ALWAYS related to the keeping and reading of records, which then become scriptures.  It is a thread that begins on the first page of the book of Mormon, with Nephi talking of the language he was instructed in and mentioning that that is the way whereby he can even begin to write on the plates.  Mosiah 1:2 also talks of language and it's importance in enabling people to understand spiritual things.  but perhaps the most striking example of how language affects everything is found in Omni 1:17, wherein it talks about a people discovered who have no records and therefore no language and therefore deny the existence of their creator and cannot be understood.  
That was a very roundabout way to get to the point.  Read the scriptures!  Scriptures introduce into our personal lexicons the language of the Spirit, which allows us to:

1. Be understood of God in prayer as we pray by the Spirit
2. See with spiritual eyes
3. Organize our priorities
4. Receive and follow promptings.
So in the new year, make it a goal to understand and speak the language of the Spirit, which you can do by searching the scriptures, which have been prepared for you by those who ARE fluent in the language of the Spirit.  Make yourself their student that you may speak and be heard and hear and therefore understand.  Heed Christ's invitation: he who hath ears to hear, let him hear.  Oh.  And there's also the matter of praying IN the name of Christ, which means in the attitude, identity, and world of Christ, for which you must  speak the language of the Spirit.  
Sorry if that was abstract but I had to write it down in some form.  Search, ponder, and pray all.  It makes such a difference it makes in what you see.  
Love and Happy New Year!
Elder Molinaro

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