Thursday, April 21, 2011

Seeing Through A Glass Darkly

Dearest Family All:

I recently learned a valuable lesson as I read the other day, I believe it was Daniel Peterson in the Mormon Times. I have often pondered the scripture involved, (Corinthians 13) but it has stayed with me more forcefully because of Bro. Peterson’s treatise of the meaning of verse 12 in that chapter. My perception of what he was trying to say was this:

When Paul talks of "seeing through a glass darkly", most of us think of just not having the understanding we need in order to see things clearly. But Bro. Peterson explained that he thinks it is pretty plain that there is more to it than that. The whole of chapter 13 is devoted to the superiority of charity above all other gifts; indeed it makes it clear that if we have ALL those other great, great gifts named there, but do NOT have charity, we are nothing at all! Then, in verse 11, he moves to the contrast between childish understanding and mature understanding.....then comes verse 12:

"For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face:
now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I also am known."

He then closes the chapter by referring once again to the greatest

Bro. Peterson says that in the Hebrew language, the word they used for 'glass' actually meant closer to mirror. That made very good sense to me when finishing the sentence..."then shall I know even as I also am known"! For me, that changes the focus of the whole idea; now I understand that I am not seeing through a glass darkly pertaining to knowledge in general, but rather I am seeing through a mirror darkly -- in other words, I do not see myself accurately -- however, THEN shall I know myself even as I am known!

My thoughts continued on to connect the subject of the whole chapter, charity, in correlation to knowing myself as I am known. I can't really even explain exactly how I got there, but my conclusion was (and I believe Bro. Peterson indicated this also) that I desire to obtain the gift of charity AND use that gift to help others to know fully who they really are, as they are known by their Heavenly Father.

It has truly given me a much more meaningful perception of charity itself, as well as greater understanding of how well our Heavenly Father knows each one of us.

Love to all, forever.