Posts tagged ‘Moroni’

Knock on Wood

Walking down a quiet street, Sister Weir and I were discussing thankfully how a certain event hadn’t taken place…yet. “KNOCK ON WOOD,” Sister Weir chimed. We continued our trek on 1st Ave SE in silence for maybe ten seconds. I looked at her with raised brows and inquired, “aren’t you gonna knock on some wood? You’ve cursed us if you don’t. It doesn’t accomplish anything by just saying it.” She finished that thought with a profound statement, “like people who accept Christ into their hearts as their Savior but don’t do anything about it?”

Admitting that Jesus is the Christ isn’t enough. Our actions have to equal our profession. Elder James E. Talmage in his book, Articles of Faith, gives a great explanation of the problem with mere confession. Referring to James 2:19, Talmage says, “You do well to so profess and so believe; but, remember others do likewise; even the devils believe…so firmly that they tremble at the thought of the fate which that belief makes sure. Those confessions of the devils, that Christ was the Son of God, were founded on knowledge; yet their knowledge of the great truth did not change their evil natures.”

Talmage continues by comparing the devils confession with Peter’s similar confession, ” Peter’s faith had already shown its vital power; it had caused him to forsake much that had been dear, to follow his Lord through persecution and suffering, and to put away the worldliness with all its fascinations…His knowledge of God as the Father, and of the Son as the Redeemer, was perhaps no greater than that of the unclean spirits; but while to them that knowledge was but an added cause of condemnation, to him it was a means of salvation” (abridged from Articles of Faith, 5:97-99).

It comes down to a familiar phrase found in the next verse of James, “…faith without works is dead.” By our fruits, God will know us. He will know of our true conviction to Him, our true desire to follow Him. This life is all about what we can become! We show our faith by living the gospel. Faith is the first step because if we have true faith, it will lead us to some kind of action: repentance. We are to follow Christ and do the things which we have “seen” Him do. By doing so, we become more like Him “…that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (Moroni 7:48 & 1 John 3:2). Or as President Henry B. Eyring states, “And when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear.” Rather than merely declaring “knock on wood,” lets actually knock some wood so that our banners will be clear!

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One day to be weak.

Haley seems to have it all together from the outside. Friendly and talkative to those she firsts meets as well as those she’s been long acquainted with. Many praise her for the accomplishments of what appears to be hard work and dedication. Generally a happy, easy-going brunette, Haley continues day to day with the same facade and typical results. All is well in the life of Haley Stevenson. Of course, she isn’t as confident in her abilities as she leads on. A constant battle seems to occupy the mind and Haley quickly becomes tired of the rollercoaster ride from brave and courageous to doubtful and paralyzed. One day, unable to overcome her fears, she gives in. “Let me have this one day to be weak,” is the plea that escapes her and makes its way heavenward. What could be so harmful in not pushing forward for one day?

Reflecting upon this question later, the realization and answer comes. Consistency is everything. It only takes one small moment for the adversary to sneak in and begin his deceitful attacks at righteous desires. An example can be found in the Book of Mormon with Alma and the sons of Mosiah. Their actions lead many people away because they provided that opportunity for Satan to enter the hearts of the righteous, “…giving a chance for the enemy of God to exercise his power over them” (Mosiah 27:9). Diligence is required of the followers and disciples of Jesus Christ.

In the scriptures, continual exhortation is given as a requirement to act in all diligence. The blessings as well are mentioned of faithful, continual obedience. Moroni 9:6 reads, “…let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.” As always, Christ is the perfect example of not having one day to be weak. He was tempted, tried, persecuted, and confronted by many yet He never gave in. Even when suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, He pleaded as well with the Father to let the cup pass from Him; nevertheless, He did the Father’s will and drank that bitter cup. President Henry B. Eyring in his general conference talk referred to the example of Christ. He says “When I find myself drawn away from my priesthood duties by other interests and when my body begs for rest, I give to myself this rallying cry: “Remember Him.” The Lord is our perfect example of diligence…”

Doctrine and Coventants 6:13 states the blessings of consistency: “If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God; for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.”

Closing with a quote from Elder Jeffery R. Holland, “Don’t give up when the pressure mounts. Certainly don’t give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. Face your doubts. Master your fears. “Cast not away therefore your confidence.” Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you.”