Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Devil and Forgiveness

The Devil and Forgiveness

I just want make a point before I start this article. If at times it seems like I reference material from various contrasting religions, I do. I believe one should look closely at the all the options of any choice. These articles are intended to provoke thought and do not, unless otherwise specified, represent my opinion(s) on any religious group or subject. This particular article makes reference to items which have neither been proven to be fact, fiction, or myth…namely the Bible, God and the Devil. (In this scenario, I do believe in one supreme being, YHWH. That is not to say that I do not believe that there are other spirit creatures, some with ill intents). I will also be discussing the grey area of dreams (no pun inteneded).

The Book of Mormon says this about dreams:

1 Nephi 1:16 : “And now I, Nephi, do not make a full account of the things which my father hath written, for he hath written many things which he saw in visions and in dreams; and he also hath written many things which he prophesied and spake unto his children, of which I shall not make a full account.”

Ether 9:3: “And the Lord warned Omer in a dream that he should depart out of the land…”

The Mormon “Guide to the Scriptures” offers this of the keyword “dreams” and offers the included verses:

One way that God reveals his will to men and women on earth. Not all dreams are revelations, however. Inspired dreams are the fruit of faith.

He dreamed, and behold a ladder reached to heaven, Gen. 28: 12. Joseph dreamed a dream, Gen. 37: 5. The Lord will speak to him in a dream, Num. 12: 6. Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, Dan. 2: 1-3. Old men shall dream dreams, Joel 2: 28 (Acts 2: 17). The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, Matt. 1: 20 (Matt. 2: 19). Lehi wrote many things he had seen in dreams, 1 Ne. 1: 16. Lehi dreamed a dream, 1 Ne. 8.

Other Bible verses on dreaming / dreams include:

Gen. 40: 8: “And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.”

Num. 12: 6: “And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream”

Joel 2: 28: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions”

Jer. 23:28: “The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.”

According to these and countless other Biblical references, dreams are one of the ways God communicates with humanity. Prophets are identified by having these dreams/ visions. Keeping all of this in mind, I would like to relay a dream I had. I would almost be inclined to take advantage of readers and convey two dreams but I will stick to the subject of the title. In my dream, the devil approached me. He was trying to tempt (scare) me with different things. I kept warding him off by telling him he was powerless over me, that I was God’s. He came back for more, but again I got rid of him. The next time he came back I befriended him. I was hugging him and patting him on the chest. I forgave him for his repetitive attempts at persuading me to do the things I did not want to. I woke up realizing that this is the ultimate forgiveness – to forgive the Devil for all of the bad things he has done. If I can forgive these things, I can forgive any man of his errors. What is forgiveness anyway? To humans, it is our seeking a peace of mind be it through an internal or an external source.

The Bible tells us this of forgiveness:

Matthew 18:21-22 (NKJV): Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. “

Luke 23:34 “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do...”

Perhaps the Devil did not know the full ramifications for his actions. I, for one, forgive the Devil
 of his wrong doings. After all, I would not be following my dreams if I did not.