Wednesday, June 15, 2016

True Love and the Reformation

by Talmage Cromar

Anais mi amor,

I know how much you dislike studying history and reading about dead people who lived long ago because you feel that it has no relevance in your life. I feel differently and wanted to write and tell you why I love history and why I feel that it is relevant to our lives.

Specifically I wanted to talk about the Reformation. On the surface it may sound boring but hold on, it is really important. Before the 1500's, very few people knew what was in the scriptures, specifically the Bible. Literacy was low and the church's stranglehold on its canonical documents was firm. The very concept of religious freedom did not exist yet. Everyone was a member of the state church and had to believe what the priests told them.

All of this changed though when brave men, rebelled against authority to follow their consciences. Men like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wycliffe and others protested against immoral church practices and sought to translate and disseminate the scriptures to the common people. Gutenburg assembled and invented the printing press and these scriptures were then spread among the people, elevating literacy and personal worship.

Today we enjoy religious freedom and thought and especially religious scholarship that would not have existed without these brave men in the Reformation. I have personally benefited from this as I have the scriptures in my language and additional resources to understand them and have received spiritual answers when I needed them. My personal worship is more sincere because I have studied the foundation of my faith. I am free to believe and exercise my religious beliefs as I choose because the reformation influenced the founders of our nation who established freedom of religion as a right for all people. My life is deeply enriched from all this.

So why does this matter to you? Because you are a deeply religious person and without these men doing incredibly daring things at a dangerous time, you would be unable to express your beliefs. You probably would not even have those beliefs as they would have remained inaccessible to you.

The Reformation was a critical period of time in our world's history. It opened up freedom of belief and thought. With this freedom of religion and thought, we were able to be sealed together in one of God's temples for time and all eternity. A blessing that wouldn't have existed otherwise. So, while you may feel that history has no relevence in your life, think again. Think about our little family and you will remember that we stand on the shoulders of giants.

With love from your husband,

Talmage Cromar

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