Have you ever seen a show or read a book where the main character could control the elements?
X-Men's Storm controls the weather. There's that show Avatar where the people "bend" air or whatever elements. I suddenly can't think of other examples. But I know I have seen and read SO many things where characters could influence the elements!
There is something deeply primal about the connection between humanity and earth, air, water, fire. The elements enable us to survive--but they can also kill us. Humankind has always yearned for control over the external world. Native Americans do rain dances for water; farmers pray for their crops; your taxes go in part to firefighters. Nature is beautiful and terrible, and we long to have it under control.
Faith and the Elements
I find it fascinating, then, that this is in the Bible Dictionary entry on Faith (which, PS, is one of my favorite things! The whole entry is amazing. I have it highlighted in my scriptures). Emphasis mine:
Faith is a principle of action and of power, and by it one can command the elements, heal the sick, and influence any number of circumstances when occasion warrants (Jacob 4:4–7). Even more important, by faith one obtains a remission of sins and eventually can stand in the presence of God.
This is an excerpt from Apostle Bruce R. McConkie's book, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p.367-377 (emphasis mine):
8. The Working of MiraclesWe see these abilities play out over and over again in the scriptures--Jesus and Peter walking on water; Moses making that rock spout water; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego withstanding the fire.
Healing and being healed and raising the dead are only the beginning of miracles. Properly gifted persons control the elements, move mountains, turn rivers out of their course, walk on water, quench the violence of fire, are carried by the power of the Spirit from one congregation to another, are translated and taken up into heaven, or-and this above all-gain for themselves an eternal inheritance in the presence of Him who is Eternal. Miracles are now, have always been, and always will be part and portion of the true gospel of that God who is a God of miracles. They are gifts of the Spirit. (D&C 46:21; Moroni 10:12; 1 Corinthians 12:10.)
It would seem that there is a Gospel precedent for influencing the elements through the sheer power of faith--which is just incredible to me.
Elements and Chi
I was thinking about all this today because this morning I stumbled across this page, which has a video in which a healer demonstrates the power of chi by setting newspaper on fire with his bare hands. Incredible!
In the video it points out that we all have the power of life force energy within us--the thing that makes this guy special is his training.
Consider that: consider that we are all capable of controlling the elements with the essences that are already within us. This is amazing. It just astonishes me.
Want to become the REAL Last Airbender? Develop your faith! Study the scriptures and put your faith into practice--faith is a principle of action (go read the Bible Dictionary definition again!). Exercise your faith until it is strong enough to literally move mountains. And take up some meditation--why not? Learn to master your own life force.
Our bodies are incredible.