Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Elephant Sanctuary

Once upon a time there was an elephant sanctuary.  Within it were baby elephants and grown up elephants, maimed elephants and whole elephants, sick elephants and healthy elephants.  And each elephant had an individual diet according to its individual needs.  The owner of the elephant sanctuary would go on long trips, searching for injured or needy elephants.  Before a particularly long trip, he left his employees with specific instructions about caring for and feeding each elephant. 
In the heat of the day, the employees trudged away.  Suddenly, one came to a halt.  “I have a better idea,” he declared. 
“Let’s feed these animals only in the morning.”  Another naysayer jumped in saying “or open the gates and let the creature find their own food.” 
“No,” said a third employee, “we should feed them as instructed.”
“Why?” Chorused the others.
“Why don’t we feed them all the same amount of food?”
“Better yet, why not dump the food in the open area, and let the elephants divvy it up on a first come first serve bases?”
“Survival of the fittest.”
And on the employees went.  They crafted a circle of hay bales and sat upon them to discuss the issues further.  For days they went on debating which method of feeding the animals would be the most efficient, and how they could save money for other luxuries.  On they continued until the owner returned and found all the elephants uncared for and dead.

This parable was inspired by Doctrine and Covenants 101:43-62.  I do not share it to suggest that we should not have or ask questions.  No.  The quotation to the right by President Uchtdorf clearly states otherwise.  We shouldn’t stop asking questions, but we must keep working.  The issue here is expressed clearly in verse 50, “And while they were at variance one with another they became very slothful, and they hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord.”  We won’t always understand.  There will always be elephants.  We shouldn’t pretend they don’t exist, rather, we should press forward in the work to which the Lord has called us, and as we put our shoulder to the wheel we can ask the questions.  Hopefully the answers we receive will deepen our understanding of Heavenly Father and his desires for us.

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