Why These Mortal Bodies?

[ 6 ] Comments

by jendoop

As I get older my aches and pains increase (I sound like a popcorn popper when I sit down) I wonder what this mortal body is supposed to be teaching me. We’re told from a very young age that we’re privileged to have bodies, because 1/3 of premortal heaven did not get this opportunity. Gaining a body is one of the reasons we are sent to mortality, in preparation for eternity.

Still, it leaves me wondering what 70 years (give or take) in this failing, imperfect, crotchety body will teach my spirit. After this life will my spirit will be twisted and bent from spending so long in this mortal sphere in a less than celestial body?

  • How does this telestial world teach us how to live in the celestial world?
  • What have you learned from your body?

About jendoop

Jen writes, reads, paints, walks, prays, eats and sleeps. Paul is her co-conspirator in teaching these skills to 4 children.

6 Responses to Why These Mortal Bodies?

  1. Cheryl says:

    I wrote an entire post once about my glorious mortal body that actually answers some of your questions: http://cherylthoughts.blogspot.com/2012/08/my-glorious-body.html

    My body has taught me compassion and power, connection to my parents and ancestors, and at the very least, opposition in all things. 😉

  2. readermom says:

    Watching my toddler, I think bodies teach us joy and wonder. In the middle of a city, with lights and noise and smells, our bodies teach us to filter and focus. They give us comfort and an intensity of experience that I think we never could get without them. And since we share the family body wierdness, I also think bodies are an essential part of that whole “endure to the end thing”.

  3. Bonnie says:

    With an avid interest for many years in natural healthcare and good practices, I used to think I was here to take care of my body like the gift it is. I still do, but I’ve also thought often of the encouragement to “waste and wear out our lives” in the service of God. I always thought waste was a bad word, but it means (in this context) to use up. We are meant to be used up doing good, not deliver our body at the end of our lives perfectly preserved. I still think some of my practices lately are more wasteful than using my gift for good, like too little activity and my insane refusal to drink enough water. But some things – like a sore back from helping someone else – I feel okay about those. They teach me that there needs to be an eternal component to my activity, my intentions, and reasonings to not do something as well as to do something. What will I do with my well-preserved body and energies if I die still with them? That would be a waste. We have so little time here. Our bodies will be used up, either by time, misuse, disuse, or good use.

  4. Michelle says:

    My body is teaching me patience, submission, trust, and did I mention patience?

    Elder Bednar’s recent CES talk really hit home for me in this regard.

    Another awesome talk that has been an anchor for me is by Elder Bateman. He has two sections of his talk that address these questions directly. The chart he shared was so humbling to me.

  5. templegoer says:

    I think that our spirits can be twisted and bent by our pain, but I also do not doubt the power of the Atonement to correct those contortions.
    I’m certainly increasingly inclined to forgiveness as I struggle with my own body.
    We focus a great deal on the temptations of the flesh as being associated with youth and sexual activity. The temptations of bitterness and withdrawal are equally enticing as we experience repeated physical anguish, and the isolation that often accompanies it.
    Compassion is the consequence though, and I’m guessing that this is an attribute that is essential for godhood. We are acquainted with justice, but the extent to which it is tempered by mercy often evades us.

  6. Julia says:

    I have been housebound (and more often than not bedridden) for more than 6 months now. There is incredible physical pain, and while surgery will be one part of fixing my body, after that, it will be up to me whether I have the drive and commitment to gain back most of my previous function. If I focus on that too much though, right now, it could easily lead to deep depression, isolation and giving up.

    Instead, I have used this time to make my home a place that everyone who comes in the door will be able to feel the peace and love of our Heavenly Parents and the Holy Ghost. While it is a fairly straightforward goal, it has taken me and my husband in directions we might not have predicted. We have both become even more willing to follow promptings, even when those promptings seem random to us at the time.

    Physically we made radical changes in our lives. We left the five acres halfway up the mountain, which we loved, for 1000 square foot apartment in a high rise with an elevator. We chose our apartment carefully so that we could have our bed in our main living space. We did this so that I did not have to be isolated from friends who visit, and so that I would be able to be part of any time that our family has together. If I occasionally fall asleep from exhaustion, it doesn’t force a change of venue that might make people think they needed to leave to be polite.

    We also chose an apartment that is on the 14th floor, with a view that can see all of downtown and six mountains on a clear day. We can close our blinds, but rarely do, so I have a chance to see the world, even when I have a week where I only get out of bed to go to the bathroom. Even on sleepless nights (often filled with pain) I can see the world outside, and I can commune with my Heavenly Parents while staring out into the night sky. We chose to embrace life outside our apartment, even if I rarely leave it.

    I have every hope that after having my next surgery, that I will have more mobility options, and can start the process to join full activity with the outside world. I don’t know if there will be other medical issues to address, we can’t even guess until the next surgery is recovered from. In whatever time elapses between now and when my body is fully functional, we will continue to make choices to be as spiritually and socially active. Our goal, that anyone walking into our home can feel the peace and love of our Heavenly Parents and the Holy Ghost, is a goal that will never leave us. This time where we have focused less on other things, has given us many chances to increase our ability to feel that peace and love, and pass it on to others.

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