So, I am probably just going to start writing all of the spiritual messages, since I have time to do so, on Sunday mornings. We wake up at 6:30 and can't work out but I need something to fill the time! So, why not write home?
Last week it seemed that the theme to my life was "obedience". Every scripture I read, every talk I read and even people I would talk to seemed to speak only of obedience. Well, I don't know for sure yet, but I feel that this week it is going to be on "Faith, hope, charity, and love."
During my personal study time every morning I try to read a few chapters from the B of M, study them, and then go into Preach My Gospel and study from there. This week I have a goal to finish 2 Nephi. Starting from the beginning I read through Ch. 3 which is where Lehi is talking to Joseph, his Son. Lehi is telling Joseph that he is a descendant of Joseph who was sold into Egypt and some of the blessings Joseph was promised. This whole chapter prophesies Joseph Smith. But, in verse 24 I noticed the "faith" and "charity" part of this weeks supposed theme. It says, "...[he] shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders." Faith: obviously the "exceeding faith" part. Charity: "doing much good, both in word and in deed." Next came time for me to study out of PMG. I was studying the "How to study effectively" chapter and I read the section that talks about living what you learn. It then gives an activity to help you do this. The activity is to read one of three scriptures and the identify two or three ways you can apply it in your life. The scripture I chose to read was Moroni 7:32-48. (If you would go read that it would probably make things a little less confusing.)
32 And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have bfaith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men.
33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.
34 And he hath said: Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.
35 And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last bday, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?
36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?
37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.
38 For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.
39 But behold, my beloved brethren, I judge better things of you, for I judge that ye have faith in Christ because of your meekness; for if ye have not faith in him then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of his church.
40 And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?
41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.
42 Wherefore, if a man have faith he bmust needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.
43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.
44 If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
From almost every verse I got something that I could apply. From verse 32 it was to have faith and God will keep his end of the deal. Verse 33, pretty straight forward. Verses 35-37, "faith precedes the miracle!" Verses 42-43, humility precedes faith. Verses 44-45, what is charity? Well, read verse 45 and you will know. This is something we must have because "a man is nothing except he have charity." Then verse 46-48 are like the pinnacle of it all. Charity never fails and will always outlast any other action you take towards another. You may totally blow up in someone's face and it may ruin a relationship. But if you show charity towards that person, that negative moment will soon be erased from their memory and your love towards them will take it's place. So why would we not constantly show charity towards everyone that we deal with? Therefore we should pray for hope, faith, and charity so that we shall appear to be like Him. So that we may be purified even as He is pure.
If we do these things we will have the companionship of the Holy Ghost in our lives. "The Holy Ghost teaches what we must know and do so we may become what we must be." - Mathew O. Richmand. To add to his list of "real" people, we need to have "faith, hope, charity, and love with an eye single to the glory of God." (D&C 4:5) to be real representatives of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. "Your attitudes and the love that you show toward others are very significant messages...through your love you and imparting the lof of God," (Elder Kazuhiko Yamashits).
Take the advice of Moroni's father, Mormon, and pray for those things. strive to live these Christ-like attributes every day of your life. I know that as you and I do this the blessings will be more than abundant. Hearts will be softened, charity will be returned, faiths will increase and you relationship with our Heavenly Father will flourish.
I love you all and hope to hear from you soon.
~Elder Daniel Peterson