Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I recently re-watched the Last Samurai and it reminded me of an ad hoc lesson that I put together once for my young men. It was based around one of the many analogies of dubious distinction that emerge around the periphery of Mormonism, we like those, but if the shoe fits, that means you get to marry Cinderella.

Eastern culture has always fascinated me, I think early exposure to really badly dubbed Kung Fu movies is where the love affair began. Ever since I can remember I've wanted to be a Buddhist monk at Shaolin Temple, and later, after I discovered Akira Kurosawa, I thought I could have been a passable Samurai in feudal Japan. Fate had other plans, sanity prevailed, and I ended up here, a denizen of the 21st century.

As I reflect on what could have been, I'm reminded of the old Samurai ways and see certain parallels to gospel living. I wont expand on them too much, but here's a little sample, I'll leave the rest to your imagination. A Samurai dedicated himself totally to his training, the alternative was death (usually at the hands of another swordsman) which is always a good motivator. We are engaged in a battle with spiritual death on the line, in order to be victorious we would do well to emulate the discipline of these ancient warriors.

The piety of the Samurai toward his master was above reproach. The life of a retainer was typified by absolute loyalty and service to their master. The Bushi would literally give their lives in defence of their lords (or end them if they failed to do so). Now that's what I call commitment. Am I endorsing oibara or seppuku? No, but if you want a measure of dedication, this one's hard to beat.


Further The Kingdom said...

Here’s a million dollar question – If you were to die right now, would you qualify for the celestial kingdom? If you’re like most Mormons, you’re not sure. You try hard to be as good as possible, but you still don’t know if you’ve done enough. If the Book of Mormon is really scripture, this hope will always elude you. Alma 11:37 says God cannot save you in your sins. Are all of your sins forgiven? Moroni 10:32 says you must be perfected in Christ, which can only be done by denying yourself of “all ungodliness”. Have you done that? Do you repent on a regular basis? Is so, then it is clear that you sin on a regular basis, since only those who break the commandments need to repent. 1 Nephi 3:7 states that you are able to keep His commandments. In fact according to D&C 25:15, you are required to keep them continually! Since you haven’t done this so far, why assume you will in the future? Of course, we should all try to be holy; but if you think that sinning less will qualify you to live in God’s presence, you are mistaken (Gal 3:1-11). The assumption that good works are required for forgiveness only cheapens Christ’s atonement, making it nothing more than a partial payment. God chooses to justify us by faith. Jesus alone does the “perfecting” (Heb 10:14). God gives peace to those who trust in Him alone. If you don’t have this peace, it’s probably because at least a part of you trusts in yourself. Questions? Visit us at

Loren said...

ah a comment that's equal parts troll and spam, this must be my lucky day.