Atonement - Love and the Law

The Talk Assignment

Starting off a new week to give a talk at Church on Sunday 29 April 2018. A phone call came from Brother Reed a week earlier, a counselor in the KL branch presidency, asking if I could prepare a talk on the topic of Atonement. Despite being busy,  I responded positively to accept the assignment.

I've been extra busy since the start of the year of the Dog and have been "..working like a "Dog" as the song goes. The main preoccupation was to finish my book but this dog is a multi-tasker. In reality, I focus only in doing one task at a time through batch processing of breaking up time in segments of a day to fulfill the needs of each of my physical, mental and spiritual needs

Despite being busy I still took on the assignment as I seldom refuse a Church assignment. Furthermore, the subject of Atonement is quite straightforward as it is a key feature of the Gospel of Jesus Christ or purpose for the Savior to be born in the Meridian of time. Little did I know that I would follow up with a whole blog post about this topic! Why? The simple answer is it stirred up My Consciousness which in simple terms means my awareness.

Recent events of my life that influence my Consciousness

Now I have discovered my awareness revolves around 3 domains of life I've grouped under Body Mind Spirit(BMS) where I later learned Plato, the famous philosopher of ancient Greece, identified the tripartite soul of Man as one with Appetites, Reason & Spirit. I was just a Chinaman from the East who named the domains BMS in relationship to my 3 journal blogs I had started : Familylane(Body), Fastlane(Mind) and Spiritlane(Spirit). I was inspired to draw 3 columns with brief word descriptions in each column on a napkin while I was in a New York City cafe with a friend in the year 2005 journalized here.

So what are my Body Mind Spirit activities that have kept me extra busy since the start of the year? Fortunately, I learned how to use a camera from my youth to produce photos which previously were on paper and are digital today. They are fast visual reminders of the myriad of activities that I find myself involved in to be able to recall them later without having need of any written notes nor a proper camera too! A picture indeed paints a thousand words and my journals link events with themes adding a sharing of my feelings and thoughts from my Heart and Mind as well. It is my world of Perception, Action & Reflection, a way to achieve PAR Excellence whenever possible through what is called our Consciousness.

So here are some examples with snapshots of the activities of my life under the 3 domains during the recent past months prior to starting this blog post and hence it's potential influence on my Consciousness revealed in what I write in my journals.

Body can mean...

Sweating it out in physical work or that stretches my physical self. I have been doing minor renovations and clearing/organizing stuff in the apartment to get it ready when all my children will gather in KL for a family reunion this October month.



Going out to do some physical exercises like cycling at the same time meeting the needs of upkeeping good relationships with other physical beings close to me like my son, creating positive emotions, which is kind of a multitasking activity in itself besides the exercise for health.



It can also be just going out to meet people or friends for real physically instead of doing it online in cyberspace alone that is popular today. An old friend and mother came to visit all the way from Washington DC where my late wife and I had visited them previously.



Mind can mean...

Writing my thoughts in my journals and developing my creative mind to connect with others using latest social media technology



Keeping up my reading of the volumes of books in my personal library of all kinds of topics and book sizes and the unlimited library of online books and latest researched information.



Taking the challenge to write a book on Human Conciousness based on my wide personal experiences and researched knowledge of history, religion, philosophy, the sciences and even technology from the time of the "Abacus to the Cloud" computing era of today. 


Spirit can mean...

Fulfilling church callings like missionary work for the Church or teaching a class to help share the Gospel with others, following the laws of the land, to non-Muslims only. (From our 12th Articles of Faith)



Accepting an invitation from a Muslim organization building inter-faith relationships in the country by attending a dinner and talk session on the Miracles of the Koran.



Paying respect to those who have passed away and doing family history research



Influences from my Consciousness that includes other experiences this year

The need to give a talk at Church always causes me to pray and read scriptures to give me the Spirit to cover the topic of Atonement I was to speak on. I try to make it a unique presentation in sharing the same Gospel principles already taught often at Church. I would remind myself not to be stuck with routines but follow the Savior's teaching in the story of Martha being too busy with her routine in the kitchen of preparing meals instead of spending precious time with the Savior when he was in their home as her sister Mary was doing whom the Savior praised.

At the start of the year, after President Monson passed away, when President Nelson was called as the new Prophet, I watched the live press conference held for the media to meet the new First Presidency of the Church and to allow them to ask questions. This was extraordinary as no Prophet of our Church had done this before when newly called to this sacred position of leadership for the world as a representative of the Savior Jesus Christ! It was astounding to hear the first question of a reporter from the Associated Press thrown to the President Nelson that was related to the standing of the Church on LGBT issues meaning the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders collectively.

One can view the recorded live press conference especially on this part when this first question was asked as I have a timed video to start just before the question was asked. President Nelson gave a good response followed by his counselor President Oaks but when President Nelson put out his two hands to symbolize the need to balance the love and the law, it created an impression in me not to forget these two words of the "Love and Law" of God. For clarity, I even searched the Church lds.org website with those two words to find President Oaks article in Nov 2009 on the topic including this video published in Oct 2016.


In clearing house in the apartment, I opened a drawer that had my wife's old documents to find the two larger envelopes containing the old letters we had exchanged frequently early in our courtship, seen as the stack of smaller envelopes above, that started when we first met in Singapore again after my mission in June 1982. My letters to her are on the left pile while hers to me are on the right distinguished by the different national stamps on the envelopes.

I was aware that she had kept all our letters as shared in the year 2005 when I started recording our courtship experience in this same blog found in the following relevant posts: My post with copies of the first page of our letters to each other with her response in her own blog at Retro 1 and Retro 2.

Here is my spiritual experience to share from the letter :


With the stack of our correspondence letters of ours that discovered, I also found her paper note journals dated 16 June 1982 which I was never aware of as they were not shown to me. It did help me realize why she had so quickly fallen in love with me! She was depressed for not being able to qualify to enter the school of architecture at the prestigious National University of Singapore (NUS) which was her dream career/work for herself. The letter explained that she had slacked in her studies due to a puppy love relationship with a non-member named Jeff who didn't go to Church nor liked her for doing so. Now she did mention to me the name of Jeff as a past boyfriend but I didn't realize it caused her so much stress and when she didn't qualify for her dream opportunity of the future, she felt she was a failure, having never failed to achieve all the things she would target and work hard to achieve.

She got depressed and wrote to her brother Roy already gone to the US to study, to her other brother Clayton in Australia and even to her Branch President named Mark Israelson to share her disappointment at herself, saying she had never failed before to achieve anything she had aimed and worked hard for in the past. I didn't read the actual letters she had sent off but she was diligent to write in English a draft of what she was going to write in each letter later. This was probably due to the fact that she was being more a Chinese educated student of the school of Hwa Chung with less proficiency or confidence in the English language I suppose. Maybe it was just her meticulousness like I am too in keeping documents for future references to write my Chronicles of Life!

The keyword that I marked in her writings was the word "repent" in the sentence saying "I didn't truly and sincerely repent of my sins, serious or minor alike."  To clarify, I know she didn't really commit serious sins and the context of the rest of the paragraph makes it clearer...."The Spirit of my heavenly father has slowly crept out of my heart. I didn't feel the love and peace in me while I'm performing my duties in my callings."

She was indeed depressed, not for a real failure in life that most of us would regard as a 'failure' as she did qualify to study in NUS for a social science course but not in architecture that was the desire of her heart and mind. She had also expressed in her writings to both her brothers overseas that she felt family and friends treated her negatively. In her own words, "When they asked me if I was making any plans for my studies, I felt that they were being insincere in asking and they were trying to insult me! That's why I thought of leaving Singapore for my studies in order to run away from all these problems, of course not forgetting the other reason was that I wasn't granted what I wanted in N.U.S.

Deep inside me, there was a voice which constantly whispered to me that God would never forsake me during my hours of adversity. And sure enough, I slowly got over with the whole thing and was able to regain my hope of living which was almost lost at one stage....... Perhaps all those trials and tribulations I've been through were meant to teach me humility and courage to accept failures and oppositions. If on the other hand, if things did not happen the way it had, I might not be able to meet this man whom I love so dearly.

I'm pretty positive this time this time that I'm loving the right man. His name is Chong Sun Fu and he's a returned missionary. Mom and Dad had met him before and they both liked him. We first met about two years back when he was about to go on a mission. Of course, I didn't fall for him then but I had a strange feeling in me when I first saw him outside the chapel door. I thought I met him somewhere before but I couldn't recall. And it wasn't quite possible that we had met before since he's a Malaysian and had then just returned from Australia after his tertiary education. In fact, this 'strange' familiarity he brought was kept a secret ever since then until now I reveal it to you. Could it be possible that I knew him before I came to earth? Anyway, I don't think it is necessary for me to find out the answer now, for time and the future will tell it. "     (Letter dated 13 July 1982)

The Spirit is taking me away from preparing a standard routine talk!

In preparing my talk and writing this journal post, I am grateful for the spirit of God that was promised to me when I was baptized and made the promise to keep his commandments : "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26)

Indeed I am grateful for this spiritual being that helps me remember all things that help me stay close to the Savior and be careful of the idolatry and temptations of various forms in our modern world. I am humbled by the Savior's perfect love and sacrifice to feel that I must constantly be willing to repent of my mistakes and sins throughout my life as I know I am far from being perfect.

Finding the letters of my wife in Love with me and reading her expressions of the need to repent for little imperfections in her life humbled me. I had always known and had a personal testimony of the Savior's Love for us in his sacrificial act of Atonement in the Garden of Gethsemane that would enable Man's sins to be forgiven if only we are humble enough to repent of our sins.

I was given 15 to 20 mins maximum for my talk. I actually brought with me the two large envelopes and showed it to the congregation to give a show and tell introduction. It was to highlight how much love we had for each other in our short long distance courtship expressed in our snail mails of old.




I stated the basics of why an Atonement is necessary which is that the Love of Our Heavenly Father provided us a Savior, his only begotten Son, to suffer for our sins to enable us to return to live with him.

I also mentioned



The Follow Up and more Revelations

Mark 14:36

Matt 26:39

Luke 22:43

Luke 22:44

Matt 26:42

D&C 19:15-19

Act 4:12

2 Nephi 2:14

D&C 93:30

D&C 93:29-30

Abr 3:19-23

Documentary History of the Church DHC Vol 4 Pg 519

D&C 93:33

Journal of Discourses JD Vol 7 Pg 2

Abr 4:9,10,12,18

Helaman 12:3-18

Jacob 4:6

1 Nephi 20:13

D&C 88:38-42

D&C 29:36

Alma 42:13,22,25

Mormon 9:19

Alma 34:9

2 Nephi 9:7-9

Alma 34:11

Alma 34:15-16

D&C 19:15-16

D&C 45:3

Alma 34:14





How it applies to issues of the demands of the LGBT Community in the Western world










To be continued....



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