Truth and False Expectations

christ-healing-the-blind-man-carl-heinrich-blochOne of the things the Messiah was prophesied to do when He came was to give sight to the blind, as Isaiah said:

To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. I am the Lord: that is my name (Isaiah 42:7-8).

Jesus Christ would perform this miracle frequently throughout His mortal ministry. As recorded in the gospel of John:

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from birth…he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing (John 9:1, 6-7).

As this man’s neighbors saw the results of the miracles, they wondered, eventually getting the Pharisees involved. Surely this miracle, along with so many others, should be enough evidence that the Messiah had truly come. But they got hung up on one small detail in His miracle.

And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.

Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.

Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them (John 9:14-16).

The way many of these Pharisees contented themselves with rejecting the Savior and ignoring His miracles was by using their own made-up standards of righteousness by which to measure Him. Never mind that He consistently fulfilled the Messiahnic prophesies. Never mind that the Pharisaical standards imposed on Him were not scriptural but from tradition. In this story, the real blindness was caused by false expectations.

What does this look like today? It’s easy to reject the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon or the Church of Jesus Christ when they all fail the man made standards the world puts upon them. Joseph Smith made mistakes. A true prophet would never have suffered a bank failure, or trust a scoundrel who would end up betraying him, or struggle to implement the strict commandments of God.  The Book of Mormon can’t be true because American Indians genetically came from Asia, and everyone knows horses were brought to the Americas by Europeans. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can’t be true because it invested in a billion dollar mall in downtown Salt Lake City, or it won’t allow women to be ordained priests, or it won’t sanction same-sex marriages.

The truth is that Jesus wasn’t a sinner in the eyes of God. The Sabbath day standards of the Pharisees were not God’s standards. Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God despite his weaknesses and mistakes, just as was Moses, Abraham and Noah (all of whom had personal weaknesses and mistakes recorded in the scriptural records). The Book of Mormon is true despite the limited human perception of anachronisms (all of which have plausible explanations though that’s not the point). And the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true despite societal norms and political correctness which assumes it’s own standards take the moral high ground.  Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear will seek God’s expectations both in scripture and in personal revelation. Any honest seeker may discover the truth of God by the power of the Holy Ghost, otherwise, blindness prevails.