Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Gospel and the Ring

So, what does the ring represent? I think the description of the history of the ring in the book sheds a little light on the ring. It says:

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

This ring was different. it was not like the others. it had more power. It took the agency of the people who bore it. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the ring it the pride and vain imaginations of the world. i also think of peer pressure and of the captive powers and addictive habits that they are.  These deadly poisons corrupted the people who bore them slowly. There are multiple times in the books that you see the bearer succomb to the nature the ring creates. Think about Bilbo in Rivendale. Frodo is still recovering from the stab of the ringwraith, and bilbo comes bearing gifts to him. He asks if he can see the ring. Even after being away from the ring for a while, it still has a hold on him. In 1 Nephi 8, the prophet Lehi describes a vision he had of the plan of salvation. He talks of the tree of life, or eternal life with our Father, and about 4 types of people. We will focus on one by startting out the story at verse 24:

"And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree. And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed. And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth. And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit. And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost" (1 Ne. 8:24-28).

Pride is a menace. it is the one sin that everyone struggles with. but the key is to put off the natural, prideful man and become like Christ, "submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things whatsoever the father seeth to inflict upon him" (Mosiah 3:19)

Similar to the story the ring cannot be rooted out of our lives until we destroy it. 

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