Elder Ephraim, writing in his powerful book The Art of Salvation admonishes us:
Wretched souls, know thyself. Realize how nobly you were created by God! Understand that you are eternal, that you will never die, that you have the privilege of immortality……..My soul, you are something heavenly…Man will become a citizen of and inherit this homeland above…..only when he has sorted things out with God down here, while still on earth.
Famous actor Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World) had an opportunity to speak to young people at an MTV awards show. He chose to use this opportunity to mix in a positive message of faith along with silly remarks and it was interesting to see how the listeners responded.
What do you think a bunch of MTV fans would say they heard these truths?
“You have a soul, be careful with it.”
“God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you. Believe that. I do,”
“Learn to pray. It’s easy and it’s so good for your soul.”
“Nobody is perfect. People are going to tell you you’re perfect just the way you are—you’re not! You are imperfect. You always will be. But, there is a powerful force that designed you that way. And if you’re willing to accept that, you will have grace. And grace is a gift. And like the freedom we enjoy in this country that grace was paid for with someone else’s blood. Do not forget it. Do not take it for granted.”
Photo credit: Actor Chris Pratt accepts the Generation Award at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif., June 16, 2018. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)
After Mr. Pratt said each of these beautiful things, the televised audience burst into wild applause. People know they have souls. They want to hear that God loves them. Surprisingly, they also were happy to have in acknowledged that we’re not perfect (even though they’ve been told since childhood that they kind of are) and that grace works through our imperfections, through the sacrifice Jesus made for us.
The silly and gross things Mr. Pratt peppered among the profound advice seemed to get a more confused response; the audience was most receptive to his spiritual message.
Maybe there’s a message for us here too. So much of what we hear in most forms of media is negative, divisive, and alarming. Anxiety and depression are serious problems in our modern world. Simply being reminded that God is real, He loves us and wants what’s best for us, that prayer is simple and healthy for us, and that accepting our imperfections opens the door for God’s grace to flow are all things we all need to hear.
Our souls feel wretched, we forget that we were created nobly, to live forever, to be loved by our Creator and that our purpose here and now is to simply sort things out with Him- with grace and love through Jesus Christ our Lord. Simple, timely messages bring that grace and truth home for us- soothing our souls.
Thank you, Mr. Pratt, for bringing something beautiful and inspiring to the MTV Generations, because our generations are parched for these truths.