Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BOMT: Pure Love

Moroni 7:45-48, 3-11, 13-19

I left for our extended-family vacation aware of some hard and divisive feelings within the group, and feeling the need to ponder and follow Nephi's Process. (The desire, the prayer, the softened heart, etc.) That first night in Sun Valley I received a very specific instruction to continue my BOMT by skipping all the way to the end of the book and studying three specific sections of Moroni 7. I studied first the verses specific to Charity (45 to 48) which are nearly identical to 1 Corinthians 13. Then, using Elder Scott's method of asking, Is there more? I was led to additional verses at the beginning of the chapter.

Charity
  • suffereth long (bears what is painful or distressing, endures, does not sink under pressure)
  • is kind (disposed to do good or make others happy, supplying their wants, assisting them in distress, having tenderness, good-natured)
  • envieth not (Feeling uneasiness at the superior condition and happiness of another.)
  • is not puffed up (swelled with air; inflated with vanity or pride; praised)
  • seeketh not her own (to follow; to go after, and the primary sense is to advance one's own interests)
  • is not easily provoked (made angry; incensed)
In the next verse we're instructed to pray with all the energy of heart that we'll be blessed with the gift of charity. And that charity is the mark of a true follower of Christ. It's how we become like Him. It literally purifies our hearts. I could readily see that there was a lot of work I could do within the bounds of my own heart in terms of charity. I prayed hard for a softened heart. I consciously chose not to let things bother me, chose to be more helpful, look out for the needs of others. And every time I made a small choice in the direction of charity I felt better. But I also caught myself slipping...and was humbled at how far I have to go.

When I asked, Is there more? I was sent to the beginning of the chapter, and learned that Mormon's audience is members of the church, those who already know and love the savior. I also learned that our actions define us, our attitude and motivation matters, and it's impossible to follow Christ and serve the devil at the same time. I noticed the term peaceable refers to being not at war, not contentious. I looked up a similar phrase I remembered from Mosiah 4:14 where "fight and quarrel" is equated with serving the devil, and concluded that we can't follow Christ and be contentious or quarrelsome at the same time.

Again, asking for more, I was led to the verses on righteous judgment, conscience, and the light of Christ. I love the phrase "lay hold upon every good thing." I was led back to verse 44, where it tells us that in order to bear testimony of the Savior we need to have charity. I had never thought of charity as a requisite for bearing testimony. But I can see how possessing that kind of heart could bring us closer to Him, let our works stand as a witness, and also qualify us for a greater portion of the Spirit.

I find that I want to be more like Him; be filled with and radiate pure love.

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