Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Doctrine of Christ

2 Nephi 31-33

2 Nephi 31:13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall afollow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no bhypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real cintent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are dwilling to take upon you the ename of Christ, by fbaptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the gbaptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the htongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
The doctrine of Christ is simple, and taught by Jesus Christ himself.  Have faith in Him.  Repent of your sins.  Follow Him into the waters of baptism.  Then receive the Holy Ghost.  Finally, endure to the end.

Many people believe it is enough to stop at the first step: to believe in Christ and His power to save.  They deny themselves the power of the process, the lifetime of healing and growth that He offers us.

The Holy Ghost tells us what we should do next.  It inspires us to live Christ-like lives.  It leads us to do good.  It illuminates weaknesses and inspires us to change.  It turns us to our Savior, the only one who can make the necessary changes to our hearts, to our nature.  Jesus Christ did not save us just once.  He saves us over and over again, as many times as we sin, as many times as we fail, as many times as we fall short of the person He knows we can be.  It is by drawing on that process -- having faith and repenting of our sins and weaknesses -- that we draw upon the power of the atonement.  It is that process that makes us more like Him.

I know that I want to feel the Holy Ghost more powerfully in my life.  Nephi taught the way is by prayer.  Pray always, morning and night, and sometimes in the middle of the day, too.  I know I do this.  A thought comes to mind -- oh, Johnette has a test today -- and I'll say a quick prayer in my mind, "Bless her to do her best."  When I'm suffering, I pray, "Lord, I'm having a really tough time."  When I think about our business struggling, I'll ask him to bless my husband and send an interesting customer to make him happy that day.  When somebody mentions that they or a loved one is sick or having a hard time, I pray in my mind, "Lord, bless them through their afflictions.  Help them like you've helped me."  Just quickies.  But I can make these prayers more frequent, and I can ask for help and invite the Holy Ghost to lead me better.

I want to be kind.  I want to find opportunities to do acts of kindness, even though I am pretty much housebound and isolated from the people I would normally be kind to.  I'll try to remember to say some quick prayers to help me see those opportunities.

Kind of along those lines, I've been praying for the family I don't much like in the neighborhood.  It's helping me to step away from my judgments.  What do I really know about them, anyway?  Only what I've seen from a distance.  My prayers are softening my heart, I believe.  It's a good step forward.

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