Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World

“We believe… that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.” -Tenth Article of Faith

When we come to Christ, we’re Born Again. Our broken hearts, and contrite spirits recreate us into new spiritual beings. As we know, the changes of teshuvah are about returning to who we truly are. Thus, we are reborn in Christ as our true selves. This leads to obedience to God. Our hearts are pierced, the kli (vessel) within is filled, and the light of God’s Love pours from us though altruism. This outward expression of our inner change is known as tikkun olam.

Building Eternity

Tikkun olam is Hebrew for “repair of the world,” literally translated. It’s also understood to mean “construction for eternity.” This refers to the teshuvah construction of the world, where we are “created” in seven days. While in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were commanded by God to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

“To replenish,” as stated in the passage of scripture, is מָלֵא, or mala, meaning to finish or to complete. This means that we are to bring Heaven to Earth through the correction of teshuvah (Hebrew, “return”). This sounds like an impossible task, but nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). Man brought sin upon ourselves via the fall, and we’ll return to our, and the world’s, true state through Christ (1 Corinthians 15:22).

Radah, רָדָה, is a verb translated as “rule” or “dominate;” here “dominion,” meaning “chastise; Arabic tread, trample; Syriac chastise, also (and so Assyrian radû) go, flow” (Strong). Remembering that ours is a God of love, we must understand that radah here doesn’t require force. By correcting ourselves, the light flowing from our kli will change the world. And this is tikkun olam.

As Above, So Below

There is an ancient maxim, “As above, so below, as below, so above” (Matthew 16:19). Tikkun olam is about fulfilling this mandate, as commanded by the Lord. Remember, every man is Adam and every woman is Eve. This is the first commandment he has given to all of us when bringing us, symbolically, into Eden.

How do we fulfill tikkun olam? We live our lives with tikkun olam in our prayers and rituals. We let the light of Christ fill and flow from our kli. We love and help our neighbors. This brings the light of Christ into their lives, giving them the opportunity to taste God’s fruits and be born again. We care for the earth and all its creatures. This means we use resources responsibly and support persons, companies, and governments that do so, peaceably requesting that those that do not change their ways. We do this both by making use of the sealing power of the priesthood, and by preparing the earth for Christ’s return, which began about 200 years ago.

An Overwhelming Task

I’m sure there are those reading this thinking, “it’s too much, how can I do this?” The first step is not to be overwhelmed. Remember, the Savior taught us:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30

Faith moves mountains (Matthew 17:20-21, Ether 5:30b-31a RAV, 12:30 OPV). Prayer, meditation, fasting; these will be the vehicle used by Mormon Kabbalists to bring about the will of the Lord. Let the Spirit guide us. Again, the Lord is on our side; how can we fail? Ego tells us both that we are great and can do anything when it comes to sin, but makes us feel weak and powerless in doing God’s will. As we reject Ego and embrace altruism the world is being corrected because as God’s creation we too are a part of the world.

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