Hello blogger friends. How are you? It's been almost 6 months since I've posted. I'm not sure what happened.
The last six months have been heavenly.
I was called as the Gospel Doctrine Teacher this fall. What a wonderful experience. I thought I spent a lot of time in the scriptures before, but that has accelerated. What can be better than that?
Some of the thoughts I've had from my studies are:
James 1:8;4:8 "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways....Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded."
I have been pondering the concept of duplicity. I of course don't want to be double minded. How am I? What am I doing, thinking, saying that causes me to be a different person in different situations around different people? I am striving to strip out the hypocrite in me. What do I really believe?
1 Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
Peter was writing to the Saints of Asia Minor "who were in danger of being terrified into a denial of their Lord." (Bible Dictionary: Peter, Epistles of) Peter was writing them to give them hope and courage in the face of their adversity.
I don't face this kind of adversity. I do have opportunities to testify to others and have an answer always. One day a friend called me who is not LDS. She asked what I was doing. Usually I say something general. On this occasion I answered her very specifically. "I am reading my Bible." She responded that she didn't know that "Mormons read the Bible." We were able to have a nice conversation because I answered specifically instead of generally.
Revelation 12: 10 (from Joseph Smith Translation) "For the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."
This one was a lightning bolt for me. The verse is talking about Satan in the War in Heaven. Before he was cast out. Apparently he was constantly -day and night- accusing everyone to God. I have always associated Satan as the great deceiver, but now also I see another of his traits- "the accuser." Again I do not want to be like that either. What is the opposite of accusing?
I read this in one of my favorite books this week, "Pharisees might be the type who, when they go to worship, criticize the sermon, the song leaders, the people in the choir, the elders, the ministries, and the number of contributions. They have forgotten that the whole idea behind the Sunday morning gathering is self-examination. As I spend more more time examining myself, I feel better and happier. My job description is not to help God fix other people, but to work on myself with the help of God."
Over the last several months I have been focusing on striving to put on my divine nature. (see Elder Johnson's April talk here). To strip myself of all the gunk, bad habits, vanity, pride, anger.... and the lust. Lust is a big one. Thanks to the apostles Paul and Peter I have come to see how much lust is in my life. The more I learn the more I realize how much farther I have to go.
I hope someday that the attributes necessary will some day "abound" in my me that I shall "neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:8)
So to sum up the last six months of my life would be to say that I have been striving to bring about the prophecy of Ezekiel. "And I will give them one heart and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesth and will give them an heart of flesh:" (Ezekiel 11:19)