Hello again everyone! Elder Manciati has once more kindly allowed me to share his blog-space for a day. I hope you all won’t mind.
Way back in the day, I considered myself something of a “hippie”. I come from a family of intellectuals and teachers, and my own personality and interests sometimes felt several decades out of date. I used to long for a time where free love was the war cry and music was undergoing a revolution, becoming something wild and fierce and new. How unfair, I would think, that a soul as old as mine should be forced to live in such a conforming world, where the individual was suppressed under the weight of society; where greed and corruption rule rather than peace and love. I considered myself among the “dreamers” in John Lennon’s “Imagine”. I wasn’t sure how such a world could be, but for a time, I was quite sure Mr. Lennon was correct in his opinion that possessions, politics, and piety were the source of mankind’s trials. For those who are not quite as familiar with the music of your parent’s generation, let me share with you the lyrics of Lennon’s “Imagine”:
Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try.
No hell below us, above us, only sky.
Imagine there’s no country; it isn’t hard to do.
Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too.
Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can;
no need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man.
Imagine all the people living life in peace.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. Perhaps someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.
I’ve learned a lot since those days. I’ve grown and matured, I’ve seen more of the world and I’ve learned much more of the gospel. I can still understand the underlying hope in those lyrics; it’s a message of peace and unity.
But what I didn’t understand, and neither did Mr. Lennon, is that we aren’t capable of such a utopian society. Man will always fall short of perfection alone, which is what such a dream would require. It necessitates a world of selfless, hopeful, virtuous, kind, charitable people.
A world our Savior died to create.
Nobody is perfect, and unless I’m much mistaken, nobody will be, either. We seem, as a species, incapable of going any amount of time without strife or contention. Christ knew that, and He provides the answer. He left us a handbook for world peace; we don’t have to dream of it! If there is anyone who was, or is, an advocate for world peace, it is Jesus Christ.
So let us continue to respect the great men of the past, like Ghandi, who sought that we “be the change we want to see in the world.” Let us not lose hope of the dream that “the world can live as one.” And my prayer is that we will all remember the very Prince of Peace, who is the only way such a dream can be achieved.