Sunday, May 30, 2004

4 Nephi 1:38-39

"And it came to pass that they who rejected the gospel were called Lamanites, and Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites; and they did not dwindle in unbelief, but they did wilfully rebel against the gospel of Christ; and they did teach their children that they should not believe, even as their fathers, from the beginning, did dwindle.
And it was because of the wickedness and abomination of their fathers, even as it was in the beginning. And they were taught to hate the children of God, even as the Lamanites were taught to hate the children of Nephi from the beginning."
4 Nephi 1:38-39

In the first verse it points out that these people didn't dwindle in unbelief, but that they were actively rebelling against the gospel.  I think that is an important distinction... and one that we need to be careful of in our own lives.   If we know the truth, then what are we doing with it?  Our knowledge and belief makes our choices purposeful.  We don't wander off the path; we choose to leave it.   We don't have the option or luxury of ignorance, and so if we walk away, then we're making a statement, not only for ourselves, but for anyone who sees our example.  Even if we don't go to the extreme of teaching our children to hate... they will, if we do.   When I was on my mission, my companion and I visited a woman who was very sad that all of her children had left the church... but in talking to her, we found out that she hadn't gone to church for years, and she had several habits that weren't in keeping with the gospel standards.  She had the belief... she knew it was true... but it didn't help her or her family stay in the gospel.  Today, if we believe in the gospel... let's make sure that it changes the way we live.

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