Sunday, January 29, 2012

no false doctrine

so we're sitting there in the combined priesthood and relief society meeting today as my bishop is giving a rather good lesson about the "butterfly effect" and how our choices can affect our lives for years to come. and then he says something you usually don't hear a bishop say: "it's like in the episode of the simpsons...."

and he begins by playing like he's not too familiar with it ("what's the guy's name...? bart, no... the dad?") and references the episode where homer travels through time (he's referring to the second part of the halloween episode in season six, for those of you who are curious). and he says how homer goes back in time and accidentally steps on a dragonfly, and then when he returns home, everyone has turned into dragonflies.

that is not how the episode goes.

thankfully, one of the guys in the back raised his hand to correct the bishop. "actually, when he comes back, everything in his life has become perfect."

no. it. hasn't.
so, i blurted out, "that's a different part!"

look, when homer first travels back to pre-history, he reminds himself of the advice his dad gave him on his wedding day: "if you ever travel back in time, don't step on anything. because even the slightest change can alter the future in ways you can't imagine." even still, he accidentally steps on a dragonfly but tells himself that such a little thing couldn't make a difference. when he returns to his own time, the world has now become an orwellian dystopia.
on a subsequent trip to the past to make things right, he accidentally sneezes on a dinosaur, which kills that dinosaur and sets off a domino effect that ends up killing several prehistoric animals. "this is gonna cost me," he laments. but when he returns to his home time, that is when his house is beautiful, his family is wealthy, his children are well-behaved, and his despised sisters-in-law are dead. the horror, of course, is that no one knows what a "donut" is. he leaves in immediate panic, right before the world begins to rain donuts.
got it?

anyway, so the bishop said, "well, stand up, jeff, and tell us what happened."

obviously i was not planning on having to explain an old simpsons episode to the ward and i tried to be brief. i knew this was frivolous and didn't mean to make such a big deal of it at all.
when i sat down, my face felt very warm, a fact which several friends confirmed to me throughout the day. still, i felt good in knowing that i had had the courage to do the right thing.

that aside, it was actually a really great day at church. one of the benefits to teaching sunday school is that my lessons can be exactly what i need to hear.

we talked about the liahona and about the liahona's that we have in our own lives; about how they work only according to our faith and diligence to their guidance. we talked nephi building a boat, and how the Lord gave him the things that nephi didn't have--a place to find ore, the knowledge of how to make a boat--but that he had to do all that he could do himself--make tools, the actual labor in building the boat. and about how we all have boats in our own lives that we're trying to build. we may not know how to do them, but the Lord will help us build them as we follow the guidance and direction that He's given us.

john bytheway talks about a girl going to e.f.y. and feeling great there but wanting to keep that feeling with her when she goes back to her crazy home and rough school life. i don't have a crazy home or a rough school life, but i had that same feeling today: i want to keep this peace and confidence that i felt today at church with me throughout the week.

church is awesome.


Anonymous said...

Jeff, YOU are awesome and wonderful!

The Former 786 said...

It really is sometimes, isn't it?

I'm glad to get the full story. I was curious.

And doesn't it end up with his family being lizard-people and he's ok with that?