Friday, July 4, 2014

Moroni 10:20-24 -- On Getting Back to Happy

"Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity.
And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope.
And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity.
And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.
And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief."
Moroni 10:20-24

Yesterday we were talking about faith and hope and a little bit about humility... that all of these things, together, are what we are learning and becoming, and that we need the totality of it eventually, to become more like God and to follow his path.  This is another group of verses that illustrate that, but they also make some additional points.  One of them is that we can't be saved if we don't have these things.  It doesn't necessarily say we have to be perfect at all of them, but it does say we have to have charity, faith, and hope.  Also... despair cometh because of iniquity.  That's interesting... and maybe that could lead us to better ways to combat despair.  If we feel that way, maybe we can start by looking at our lives and see if there is something that we could repent for, something that we've been letting drag us down for a long time.  It's easy to get into a mode where we think that our lives are hopeless, and I think part of that is us thinking we can't overcome ourselves.  We can't force ourselves to be good... we don't want it enough.  But when it leaves us in despair, maybe we're down far enough that it is easier to look up and see that God is extending his hand, offering to help.  It's absolutely true sometimes that we can't solve our problems, that we can't overcome ourselves--that we can't manufacture a desire to even pull ourselves up out of the pit that we ourselves have dug.  But it is *never* true that God cannot.  He can help us up... loan us the spark of motivation it takes to get going again.  Save us from drowning in our own self-pity.  If we reach out to him, just a little, with the smallest amount of hope, with a tiny amount of faith... with a thimbleful of love.  Whatever we can manage.  If we have any at all, God can work with it to get us back up, moving, learning.  Saved from ourselves in this moment, and again on the road to being truly and completely saved.
We blind ourselves and darken our own lives so completely that we can't see the sun anymore.  We can't see the hope that is all around us, waiting only for us to be willing to breathe it in.  We stop looking for the good, and the beauty and we see only the fake and the ugly.  But miracles aren't decades or lifetimes away.  They aren't even outside the boundary of our reach.  They are there, beside us, waiting.  With faith we can do anything and be anything that God wants us to do or be... and he wants amazing, and happy, and good, and more than we ever have been.  He wants joy and unity and hope and so much happiness that it overflows us into everyone around.  The *only* reason we don't have that is us.  We stand in our own way.  We don't believe, we don't reach out, we don't accept what God is offering.
Today, despite doubts, despite fear, despite any despair that we feel, let's still try it.  Let's get on our knees.  Let's pray and ask God if he can help us... even if we don't have an absolute certainty that he is there.  Even if we aren't rock solid on all the commandments.  Even if we don't like ourselves or believe that we are beyond saving.  Let's ask God if he can help us get from where we are to someplace better.  If he can help us have a little bit of motivation to change.  If he can help us get started on a better path.  ... Unfortunately, if we give nothing, we get nothing in return... but if we have even the slightest, tiniest amount of hope, or faith, or love... and I think we all do (after all it takes a spark of hope to even get on our knees and try it)... God can help us out.  And the more we learn, the more he can help... one tiny step at a time, until we're back to walking on our own.  Let's overcome despair and unbelief rather than letting them define us.  Let's get back to happy... with God.

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