What Is Behind Curtain Number 1?

I could be a game-show junkie. Fortunately, I don’t very often take time to watch game shows. I fear though that if I ever receive the “Game Show Network” on my TV, I’d become hooked.

One recent morning, I had some extra time and so I picked up the remote control and a copy of The Book of Mormon. My goal was to do some reading for about 10 minutes while I waited for “Let’s Make A Deal” to begin. I tuned into my local CBS station and waited with the volume muted, as I read a little from the book.

I was reading The Book of Ether, Chapter 12, verses 3-4, just about the time that the show began:

… by faith all things are fulfilled – Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

On the show, people dress in elaborate costumes, hoping to be noticed and chosen by Wayne Brady, the game show host. If picked, they are generally offered a secret prize – a small box, or an envelope. They can then choose to trade that prize away for something else (a larger box, or “what is behind curtain number 1, 2, or 3”), in the hopes that the next prize is better than the first.

What a contrast to what I was reading. “Whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world.” Not vie for the attention of the host in hopes of being a handful of people noticed and picked to play along. If lucky enough to be chosen, not to then rest on the hope that they won’t get a worthless “Zonk” prize behind the curtain. Certainly not betting on the slim chance that you’ll be the one person in the auditorium able to trade away everything you have been given for a possibility of picking the “big deal of the day” worth even more (or even less, if chance is not in your favor).

Once you have that belief, faith, and hope that God has provided some better thing for you (see New Testament | Hebrews 11:40), you gain “an anchor to the souls of men” – your own soul. That understanding works within you, and the Spirit of the Lord begins to swell within your breasts (see The Book of Mormon | Alma 32:28). With that anchor mooring your life firmly, you find that your behavior changes. You gain the realization that you don’t need to act out in competition for the attention of the world. Instead, your own inclinations change to be “always abounding in good works” – not of a desire to “level up” to a better prize, but because you feel the love of Jesus Christ and desire to “glorify God” in thanks for the gift of His atonement. You hope to reflect that love to others in your influence and bring them to the same prize.

The love and blessings of God grow and increase. There is plenty of it to share, and everyone in the auditorium can enjoy it. When that faith and hope is placed correctly, you recognize that you don’t need to attract the attention of the host. Instead, He already sees you, knows you, and hopes that you will choose to come unto Him.

Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen…

Because of the faith of men

He has shown himself unto the world,

and glorified the name of the Father,

and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.

Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.

The Book of Mormon | Ether 12:6, 8 – 9 (paragraphing and punctuation altered for better emphasis)

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