Stephenson Family Ties The Barn Burnt Down
And Now I See The Moon

Divine Nature con't Part 2

But the Hebrew word, the word timshel-
'Thou mayest'-that gives a choice. It might
be the most important word in the world.
That says the way is open. That throws
it right back on a man. For if "Thou mayest'-
it is also true that "Thou mayest not."
from: East of Eden
by: John Steinbeck

And we're back...

Remember that divine virtue of long-suffering that I didnt know enough about?
I've learned a few things.
A common topic of discourse in our church is being admonished to 'endure to the end.'
Enduring to the end is a big deal.
Im going to endure, to be sure, but I plan on being happy about it. Im enjoying the journey, and I pray that I will continue to enjoy the journey, no matter where it takes me.
The best quote I found on the subject:

Enduring to the end implies “patient continuance in well doing” (Romans 2:7), striving to keep the commandments (see 2 Nephi 31:10), and doing the works of righteousness (see D&C 59:23). It requires sacrifice and hard work. To endure to the end, we need to trust our Father in Heaven and make wise choices, including paying our tithes and offerings, honoring our temple covenants, and serving the Lord and one another willingly and faithfully in our Church callings and responsibilities. It means strength of character, selflessness, and humility; it means integrity and honesty to the Lord and our fellowmen. It means making our homes strong places of defense and a refuge against worldly evils; it means loving and honoring our spouses and children. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

(oops, the list of things I gotta do just got longer...ah well...I'll try and endure it well)

The whole talk can be found HERE.
I should be good at this. Long-suffering implies patience. Dont you remember...I OWN patience!! Clearly Im not at the 'end' yet!!

Then there is temperance:
I have learned that being temperate is to use moderation in all things...or to exercise self-control. Being temperate also means to carefully examine our expectations and desires, and to be diligent and patient in seeking our righteous goals.

another great quote on the subject:
"Likewise, a temperate soul—one who is humble and full of love—is also a person of increased spiritual strength. With increased spiritual strength, we are able to develop self-mastery and to live with moderation. We learn to control, or temper, our anger, vanity, and pride. With increased spiritual strength, we can protect ourselves from the dangerous excesses and destructive addictions of today’s world."Elder Kent D. Watson Of the Seventy

Do you see a pattern forming here? The attributes that I knew little about , happen to be the ones that I need to work on the most.


Next, is to be easily entreated.
This is so nebulous to me. Im not sure I 'get it.'
I looked it up.
to entreat: to ask earnestly; beseech; implore; beg. to make an earnest request or petition.

My stream of consciousnesses goes like this: I dont WANT to easily anything!!! My rebelliousness is rearing its ever-present head again. Seriously, we Mormons are often accused of being 'sheep.' I have made a concerted effort to not fall under that category. Someone help me with this one!!! I entreat you!!!

Virtue #8 on my list is to let virtue garnish my thoughts.
My favorite garnish is the dill pickle.
I wonder how virtue goes with hamburgers and fries?
Im sure being virtuous would greatly enhance all flavors and sensations. (Maybe, just maybe it could even magically flush alway all those naughty trans fats while its at it??!!)
But all kidding aside-

Who can find a virtuous women? for her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:10

Rubies and virtue are hard to find these days. Imagine being a teenager in this day and age. Imagine trying to stay virtuous in school, at work and at play.
Sure, being virtuous is all about remaining clean and pure in action and deed...but it also has a lot to do with not letting un-virtuous things clutter our minds. For what we put in our minds, remains in our heads..FOREVER!!!

Faith is the next quality in seeking a divine nature.
We all can quote by rote that 'definition' of what faith is: Faith is things hoped for but not seen.
For years now I've been carrying around a favorite thought in my scriptures, tucked away with Alma 32. Its a quote from Elder Boyd K Packer.
"There are two kinds of faith. One of them functions ordinarily in the life of every soul. It is the kind of faith born by experience; it gives us certainty that a new day will dawn, that spring will come, that growth will take place. It is the kind of faith that relates us with confidence to that which is scheduled to happen... There is another kind of faith, rare indeed. This is the kind of faith that causes things to happen. It is the kind of faith that is worthy and prepared and unyielding, and it calls forth things that otherwise would not be. It is the kind of faith that sometimes moves things. Few men posses it. It comes by gradual growth. It is a marvelous, even a transcendent, power, a power as real and as invisible as electricity. Directed and channeled, it has great effect. But faith must be faith. One man tried 'experimenting' with faith. He had spoken of his certainty that an event would transpire, and his desires were not brought to pass; the event he so much yearned for did not happen. Afterwards, his bitter comment was, "well, you see, it didnt happen. I didnt think it would." In a world filled with skepticismm and doubt, the expression, 'seeing is believing' promotes the attitude, 'you show me, and I will believe.' We want all the proof and all the evidence first. It seems hard to take things on faith. When will we learn that in spiritual things it works the other way about- that believing is seeing? Spiritual belief preedes spiritual knowledge. When we believe in things that are not seen but are nevertheless true, then we have faith."


Next comes hope.
Hope is the confident expectation of and longing for the promised blessings of righteousness.
What things do you hope for?
A peek at my list would revel an interesting conglomerate of items:
*more travel
*extended health
* lots of grandkids.
*a Lexus
* unconditional love in the world
*missionary service
*feet that carry me to my grave
*success returning to my Builder
*happy children
*world peace!!
Most of these are righteous desires...right???
Im trying to be good!!!

Now pardon me please for using an example here from the 'world.' But the other day I was watching an episode of Glee. I was extremely touched by the theme of that evening's show.
One of the members of the Glee club- Kurt's- father suffered a catastrophic heart attack, and was near death. Poor Kurt was beside himself with grief. And he confessed to his peers that he didnt believe in God. He had no hope. His devastation was complete as he contemplated the possibility of his father dying. And though this is not really the time or place for me to step up on my soap box about 'gay rights'...lets just say that Kurt had been treated cruelly for all of his life. He had no hope in a God whos churches seemed to ostracize people such as himself. In the end, maybe a glimmer of hope glowed in Kurt as his friends who had faith, rallied around him and prayed for him and did all they could to bouy him up.
I'll end this by saying- may we all live in a manner that would cultivate hope in all that we meet, know and love!!!
Hope for something and in the hereafter!!!

And the last quality of divine nature that Im going to touch on is charity.
Trying to explain charity is like trying to eat an elephant with a shrimp fork.
Charity is the pure love of Christ. It has everything to do with "going about doing good."

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another"

Amen and Amen!!!

1 comment:

Kim said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this post this morning! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I'll say it again... Those are some lucky girls who will be learning from you. I LOVE YOU! (When I read your comments about being easily entreated, I took it to mean when people ask you for help or for favors say "YES!" as much as possible. Be agreeable and open. Is that right to think of it that way or have I misunderstood the meaning?)