Monday, April 10, 2017

All Things Point to Christ

Elder Burt, members of his zone, and friends
Hello, world! This week I received changes and will be going to Cerro de Pasco! That's the highest city in the world, which means I'll get lungs of steel. I hear you can drink blended frog there! This was a solid week where we got to do some divisions. I enjoyed feeling the excitement new missionaries have to work and the faith that it will have results. I love talking to people...really, the key of the mission is to speak with the world. That's what we're here to do, and it affects so many parts of your mind. For instance...

I've been sharing with my companion my theories of how Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings is about the Gospel. I've enjoyed it sufficiently that perhaps I can leave it as my spiritual thought this week. I'll warn you, it will all be **spoilers**.

Harry Potter is a series about death...his parents die, Cedric dies, Sirius dies, Dumbledore dies, and about ten other people in the last book. Harry has to grow more and more each time because he has to deal with such a heavy burden. As he reads on his parents' gravestone, 1 Corinthians 15 teaches us that the last enemy to be destroyed is death. So in the end...he has to conquer death. He himself dies to save his people. Being the master of the Deathly Hallows, he's permitted to rob Voldemort of his power over death and have power over it himself. He resurrects. By dying for his people, he creates what is called a love shield around all those he saved. Dark magic has no power over them. Do you see it? Jesus Christ had to die for us, thus creating a love shield to protect us from Satan's power. Though Death was Satan's tool, Jesus became the master by sacrificing himself and now uses it to complete with God's Plan of Salvation. All things point to Christ.

Lord of the Rings has some apparent faults that frustrates people. For instance, why couldn't they just take the eagles to Mt. Doom? Let's start there. The eagles represent a literary device called Deus Ex Machina....or, godlike intervention when the characters do not have the power to overcome a situation. It appears cheap, unless it's literally representing the concept of grace. We cannot overcome all of our problems, so we will inevitably have to rely on the grace of Jesus Christ. That's the concept Gandalf explained when Frodo said frustratedly at the beginning, "It's a pity Bilbo didn't stab Gollum when he had the chance."

"Pity! It was pity that stayed his hand. Pity and mercy...not to take a life without need." Gandalf explains they will have to rely on this mercy to save the day in the end. Throughout the series, Frodo appears stupid for trusting Gollum over and over when it's obvious he intends to kill them. Yet that mercy is exactly what very nearly changes Gollum as a person. Even though in the end his efforts fail, that mercy was what brought the mercy of God upon him. In the end, Frodo himself fails, which, again, can appear like a frustrating ending...why have our hero fail in the end? It can only be to demonstrate that we all fail. Yet by being merciful with Gollum, God intervened and ensured the day was saved anyway. Gollum falling into the lava with the ring wasn't an "accident" at all, but rather evidence that someone was watching over them. Lord of the Rings is a story about grace. All things point to Christ.

Well I hope you enjoyed my analysis. I love you all. The church is true.

Elder Burt with recent convert