Thursday, July 3, 2014

Moroni 7:40-43 -- On the Ingredients of the Gospel

"And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?
And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.
Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.
And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart."
Moroni 7:40-43

This is cool, because I think that it takes faith and breaks it down a little bit for us.  Hope is one of the building blocks of faith, and later, meekness is another building block, and they can both help us get to faith.  But, in an interesting twist, faith is also a building block of hope. :)  These verses tell us both that we can't attain faith without hope, and without faith there is no hope, so hope --> faith and faith -->hope. :)  Wow.  That could be a little confusing.  But we've encountered things like this before.  It's similar to belief and action, right?  We can start out with either one, but until we get to where we have *both,* we aren't doing it right. :)  I think some of these gospel things are more like a recipe than a ladder.  Sometimes we think that if we aren't very good at one aspect of the gospel that we are just stuck and we can't move forward.  But I think we can in other ways, while we work on that one thing that is hard.  We might add ingredients in different orders, work on the dough while we're stuck on the filling, and have to run to the store for some sugar at some point, but as long as they all get in there, we can still mix it all up into something tasty.  And truthfully, in a totally non-cannibalistic way, the recipe is ourselves.  Maybe a pattern would have been a better analogy. :)
We're trying to make ourselves into Zion people.  We're trying to learn to be more like God, and approach perfection.  We need to learn so much.  How to be consistently nice, sincere, honest, at peace, and motivated.  And that's just the crust, so to speak. :)  If we're having a hard time with faith, let's approach it from the hope side.  And if we are having a hard time with hope, let's approach it from the faith side.  Either way will work, if we keep learning, and eventually get all the ingredients.  And, as the last verse says, if we're having a hard time with both, maybe we should start with learning how to be meek.  That's another ingredient, and if it is easier to start there, we can throw some in and keep mixing.
Today, let's have hope, and faith, and learn whatever we are ready to learn.  The gospel is all tied together, and the more we learn, the more clear the rest of it will be... and it's okay to add ingredients a little at a time.  If we only have a tiny bit of faith, let's add it.  If we only have hope about a few things, let's add that too.  We're working on being the best we can be, and we definitely don't have to stop progressing because of our weaknesses, doubts, or limitations.  We can get out there and grow anyway, getting better and better and overcoming our weaknesses little by little as we learn more, and slowly become better than we ever thought we could be. :)

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