We have had such a great week here in New Hope! It was crazy busy with exchanges and zone meetings and all of that fun stuff, but I have learned so, so much and most importantly, I have felt the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Their love is so real. I wanted to share from my notebook on Gospel Library what I've been studying this week. I chose the scripture Helaman to ponderize this past week, kind of in a whim. But as I actually turned back to it and really read it, I realized that it contains what we need to do to love the Lord first and truly progress in this life. Too often we feel stuck in one place and like we can't move forward, but God sees the greet potential in each of us. As we rely on Him and our Savior, we are able to overcome the setbacks, to develop a deep love for God, ourselves, and others, and we are able to progress toward eternal life. I have loved starting this study and seeing the things we should always be doing in order to grow and align our will with a God's will. Here are my thoughts so far
How Do We Progress And Put God First?
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22)
When we want to put the Lord first and love Him above all else, we need to turn to Him, be humble, and give ourselves to Him through the Atonement. That is how we progress and draw nearer to God and become who He intends us to be. We learn how to do this in the Book of
Mormon, in Helaman chapter 3.
34 And they were lifted up in pride, even to the persecution of many
of their brethren. Now this was a great evil, which did cause the more
humble part of the people to suffer great persecutions, and to wade
through much affliction. (Helaman 3)
35 Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and
stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of
Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea,
even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which
sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.
1. "Suffer great persecutions and wade through much affliction"
We suffer through the challenges life throws at us and realize that we cannot make it through alone. It is not easy, we need help, but we keep going knowing that God is the one who can help.
2. "Fast and pray oft"
God cannot help us unless we out our trust in Him and act. We must pray with faith and with the spirit, and we must do it often. 2 Nephi 33:3 "But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry."We understand what prayer really is from the Bible Dictionary:"As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt.7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings."Praying with faith is knowing and believing that God hears you and that He will listen and answer your prayers when He know it is right. We share with Him our will, and more fully come to understand His will as well.
3. "Wax stronger and stronger in their humility"
'Wax' means to increase. 'Strong' means determined, self controlled, and firmly held and established So we need to increase our humility and make it firmly held. We need to get to the depths of humility and be willing to act on what we receive from the Lord. We need to be teachable, and we need to ask "What lack I yet?"
4. "Wax firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ"
'Firm' means strongly felt and unlikely to change, steadfast and constant, decided/fixed upon, and definite. Our faith needs to be unshaken. We need to be fixed upon Christ, and willing to give it all away to follow Him.Faith in Christ is built through prayer, through studying the word of God, and through attaining Christlike attributes."We do not know Him until we become like Him."
5. "Fill your soul with joy and consolation"
'Consolation' means giving comfort to someone who has suffered. Christ fills us with joy, he is our Consolation. When we are filled with that joy, it is because we are allowing Christ and the Atonement to change us. We read in 2 Nephi 2 that agency is essential to progression, and we choose whether or not we will be comforted by Him. We suffer every single day, and He is there to comfort and heal, and to allow us to be free of the scars. Through Him, our souls will be filled with joy.
6. "Yield your heart unto God"
We need to give up our heart to the Lord through loving Him, trusting Him, and doing His will above our own. We do this through prayer and humility, and acting upon the promptings of the Spirit. We are constant and definite in our Savior, and we allow Him to comfort us and bring us joy.
7. "The purifying and sanctification of our hearts"
"The pure in heart shall see God" -Matthew 5:8 'Pure' means free from guilt or sin, blameless. Being pure comes from clean actions and thoughts in every way. Zion=the pure in heart. 'Sanctified' is the process of being free from sin, being pure, and clean and holy THROUGH THE ATONEMENT. "Sanctify yourselves, that your minds become single to God." -D&C 88:68 "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do MIRACLES among you." -Joshua 3:5 We are sanctified by the blood of Christ. We are sanctified through the Atonement and the love of our Savior.
God's love is so real. It changes us and it allows us to be who we are
meant to be.
I love y'all so much and hope you have a wonderful week!
Today while we were down in Austin :)