Tuesday, April 17, 2012

THE WORK AND THE GLORY

Cody F Miller
Doctrine & Covenants 121:45: Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly, then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill from thy soul as the dew from heaven. 
 Bowels: 1 Thes 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and abound toward all men, even as we do toward one another and toward all men, even as we do toward you.
1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for our brethren.17: But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwells the love of God in him? 
So in my progress or journey of discovery in reading the Book of Mormon, one theme, of which there are many, but one prevailing theme is that the Nephite brethren and the Lamanite brethren should love one another. And not only that but they should teach their posterity to love one another and in loving one another, the love of God will abide in them. But I have started to replace those names with my own name, and names of my family. How do we love our brethren? I asked that question and I was impressed to read this beautiful verse in D&C121:45.
The Lord has counseled us  to let our "bowels" be filled with charity,  to all men and also the household of faith. We are not to be a respecter of persons, and only give attention to those who are familiar to us, but also to the world. That is a tall order, but it can be done in small steps. 
The second thing the Lord counsels is to "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly". What does that mean?
FETTERS
So I looked up the word "garnish".  One definition was: 
  • to decorate with ornamental appendages; to set off; to adorn; to embellish 
  • To furnish; to supply
  • To fit with fetters
  • To warn by garnishment; to give notice to 
These stood out, "To decorate with ornamental appendages, to fit with fetters."  What is a fetter?
A fetter is a chain or shackle for the feet. A chain by which an animal is confined by foot either made fast or disable from free and rapid motion.  
So the word decorate threw me off for a minute. So to garnish or decorate  our thoughts with  fetters, is to constrain our habitual thought processes, to bring them into submission, so that we may endeavor to have them changed, to have them enhanced by the love of God. Judging from the fetters, this is not going to be an easy process, but it can be done. 
2 Corinthians 10:4-6For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
 So we are at war, and what is that virtue that we should garnish our thoughts with?
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 
The key to the fetters is obedience to Christ. And having done this unceasingly, having our bowels; our heart and soul filled with charity for our fellow man, the Lord says "Then thy confidence shall wax strong in presence of God." I love these words, this promise. What is that confidence?
2 Peter 1
3 According as his divine power hath given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through him the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world, through lust    5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge6 And to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness7 and to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness charity8For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ10 Wherefore the rather brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall    

And finally, having done all of this, the last promise is that the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill from thy soul as dew from heaven. This is the refining process, to make our calling and election sure. The priesthood, through the workings of the Spirit, moves individuals closer to God through ordination, ordinances, and refinement of individual natures
Moses 1:39. For behold: My work and my glory is to bring to pass the immortality and the eternal life of man. PEARL OF GREAT PRICE
The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. Through the priesthood God created and governs the heavens and the earth. Through this power He redeems and exalts His children, bringing to pass "the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). God gives priesthood authority to worthy male members of the Church so they can act in His name for the salvation of His children. Priesthood holders can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and govern the kingdom of God on the earth LDS.ORG
I love this so much!! These are those precious truths and promises that the world doesn't know, and we would not know if we had not chosen to follow the Savior. So in my daily walk, I strive to kick the old man monkey off my back. Some days it is easy, and then other days I pray unceasingly. I know that the sin is not with the oppressor, but with the elect when don't follow the instructions that have been given to us.
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