02 September 2010

"Exceedingly Tender and Chaste and Delicate before God," Jacob 2

Jacob 2

The full passage referenced in the title reads like so: "And also it grieveth me that I must use so much boldness of speech concerning you, before your wives and children, many of whose feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto God;" (vs. 7).

As I read through this chapter, I am brought to consider the burden of a prophet in telling people of their sins, and having to dwell upon that which is unpleasant. This is in the same vein as talks that I've heard President Hinckley and other members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles give over the years about pornography and sexual immorality. They are uncomfortable and unpleasent topics. They are not particularly inspiring, but they are necessary in keeping us on the safe course. They are a sobering, constant reminder of the condition of the world in which we live and problems that plague the lives of our people. If among the church we were free from divorce and every other form of immorality, then perhaps such discussion would be deemed irrelevant. As a people, we are not yet as we ought to be.

The experiences that the world would offer in sin, suffering, and transgression, seem to have almost no relevance in preparation to return home to God. If they serve any purpose in the great plan of God, it is as it was decreed in the beginning-- to provide opposition in all things. Yet there is a very unproductive opinion that roams abroad that experience with sin offers some sort of perspective or preparation for Christian discipleship.

It is not good that a marriage end in divorce. My thoughts are drawn to this particular example, as it it seems to frequently also have at its root sins of immoral conduct from one party or the other. In Jacob's day, it was the men who were guilty of such crimes.  That brings me to the second point that I am drawn to consider: those whose feelings are exceedingly tender, chaste, and delicate before God. There are few devices that are more effective at ravaging and destroying those tender, chaste, and delicate feelings of the heart than is divorce. It reaches into the very core of the family unit, and rips out the heart -- the binding covenant of salvation for those that have entered into it and their posterity-- and vanquishes forever the possibility of loving family ties that will last throughout life and all eternity. (The Spirit of the Lord bodes strongly upon this point in my mind this morning.)

Then what of its victims? What of the wives and children whose fathers have left them? What of the perpetrators themselves? It's all so common place now, but I am grateful this morning for the instruction on the way things really are.