It is who you are not what you say. Preach My Gospel is not a manual--it is who you become. Learn of HIM--not about HIM.
Neal A. Maxwell said, "There would have been no atoning sacrifice without the character of Christ.
In the Lectures on Faith it states we need to:
- Accept God
- Have a correct understanding of the character, attributes, and perfections of God
- Gain an actual knowledge it is God's mind and will.
What is Character? Moral qualities, strongly developed, consistently lived, and strikingly displayed.
As you read about Christ, record your thoughts. He "turns out" in compassion--instead of "turning in" and being selfish. Put off the natural man which is an enemy of God. The natural man is like Cookie Monster -- I WANT COOKIE NOW!!
The temptations recorded starting in Matthew 4:2. "IF THOU BE THE SON OF GOD" is the temptation. It turns inward and is selfish--not tempted by hunger.
Matthew 4:11 -"angels ministered to him". In the Joseph Smith Translation Matthew 4:11 tells us that the angels ministered to John the Baptist--not Jesus. Jesus turned outward. In the midst of His afflictions He sent angels to John.
Reach out in love and compassion to others. In that Garden of Gethsemane three apostles let him down when they sleep instead of watch and pray and one apostle betrays Him. Christ took upon himself all the sins, anguish, pains, and inequality of all mankind, sweat drops of blood, disappointed, betrayed--And then He healed the guard's ear.
On the cross he said, "Father, forgive them". To John he said, "Behold thy Mother". To the thief on the cross he said, "Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise. He showed love, service, and compassion amidst His greatest afflictions.
This mission is NOT about YOU. Who cares what you want? The natural man. Journey from testimony to conversion unto the Lord. I WANT BAPTISMS, INVESTIGATORS NOW!!! That is Cookie Monster.
Get over yourself. Testimony will never be enough for you or your investigators. You must be converted unto the Lord. Converted is consistently being true to what you know. Where am I on the way to testimony and conversion to Christ.
Think of those in the Handcart Companies. What have YOU done lately? Pay the price. We cannot live on borrowed light. Testimony deepens into conversion. People say the Church isn't true--you are not true to the Church.
Alma 23:5 - Knowledge, testimony. Believed in the preaching--testimony AND converted unto the Lord. Conversion - turning away from the natural man.
Murmur, whine, complain--that is the natural man, turning in. GET RID OF COOKIE MONSTER!
Turn from self to reach outward and upward. Put off the natural man. Repent - change word to turn. Turn back to God.
Ordinances, principles, covenants, doctrine. Turn from natural man. Becoming a Saint. Reaching out through the Atonement of Christ. Have you received His image in your countenance?
Mother wanted Elder Bednar to see her daughter before the casket was closed. She was concerned about Elder Bednar's final memory being when he had to identify her at the hospital when she was so disfigured. This same mother delivered a meal to a whining sister while on the way to her daughter's funeral.
Putting our life in accordance with God's mind and will. Learning OF HIM--not about HIM. Be an effective tool to serve HIM. Turn outward.
Ether 3 - What do you propose? Seek confirmation not wait for heaven to give you a plan.
Stones were touched one by one. Stones represent people that we serve. Touch of the Master's hand.
Repent - the light returns. See the effect of the Atonement in their life.
You don't get it because you WANT it, but by serving others. How do I do this? Line upon line, grace that enables us to do this. Atonement cleanses sins, provides increased capacity to do better.
Mosiah 3:19 - Through the Atonement, baptism, Holy Ghost, pressing forward, obedience to covenants. Do better good stuff.
Become more like the Savior--not just work hard. It is a spiritual gift. Strength beyond our own. We can do all things in His strength. Natural man weak--become strong. Ammon said, in the strength of the Lord, I can do all things.
As you lose yourself you will find yourself because you are NOT looking. If you are looking for yourself, you won't find you.
To go and do.
Get a new copy of the Book of Mormon. Have questions? Read, mark it up in relation to the question or principle. Mark, then ponder. Write a summary of what you learned.
Desire and diligence will increase your understanding of the true character of Christ.
I promise you every spiritual gift you need now and in your future that you will never fall away.