Thursday, December 2, 2010

"You are not a billiard ball"

I first came across the delightful work "Eternal Man" (by Truman G. Madsen) on my mission. Unfortunately, in the intervening seven years (really ... seven?!), I've had little opportunity to revisit this excellent volume.

Until now.

Thanks to the ever-so-convenient Kindle, I recently rediscovered the magic of this booklet, which is chock full of delightful lessons and thought-provoking commentary.

Take, for instance, the following excerpt:
Freedom was not created. You are, and always will be, independent in that stage of development to which your voluntary decisions and divine powers have led. There are limits all along the way to what you can be and do. But you are not a billiard ball. No power in the universe can coerce your complete assent or dissent.

And another (just for good measure):
There is no creation 'from nothing.' There is ordering of elements: movement from simple to complex; growth from one degree to a greater degree, and from part to whole.

You are not just a product; you are an originator. In space you are coexistent with God. In time, you are coeternal with God.

Essentially, this little publication takes the Prophet Joseph Smith's teachings on premortal existence and applies them to (and uses them to answer) numerous problems posed by religion and philosophy over the last few thousand years.

For anyone interested in a better understanding of what it means to be an eternal being, I couldn't recommend the book enough. After all, where else would you find a host of well-reasoned arguments allowing you to stand up, face this crazy world and yell, "I am NOT a billiard ball!"?