Friday, July 15, 2016

D&C 112:28-29 -- On Purifying Our Hearts

"But purify your hearts before me; and then go ye into all the world, and preach my gospel unto every creature who has not received it;
And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not, and is not baptized, shall be damned."
Doctrine and Covenants 112:28-29

These verses are very similar to Mark 16:15-16.  One of the additions here is the phrase "purify your hearts before me" indicating that this is something that needs to be done first.  The difference struck me because I think that we often blunder into the world, well-intentioned, but offending people left and right, impeding our ability to share the gospel as Christ asks.  Perhaps one of the reasons is that we haven't stopped first to purify our hearts.

When we approach others and we haven't purified our hearts, we very often present a really bad impression.  People can tell when we think that we are better than they are, when we aren't sincere in caring about them, when we don't really understand their concerns but are angling to talk more about our own.  These are natural things.  We all want to be cool and to have people notice that, but in order to purify our hearts, we need to clear out the pride, and focus on learning about and understanding others.  That makes us able to serve them in the church, and it also helps us to know how to share the gospel in a way that people might consider it.

Stories about people joining the church often contain mentions of someone else's example... someone noticing how happy or peaceful someone's life seemed to be, and wanting that for themselves.  That's also a side effect of purifying our hearts... becoming happy and peaceful, because we have the spirit with us, and have faith in God's plan, rather than panicking about current circumstances.

We have a great work to do in this world, to save each other from damnation.  But it takes some personal preparation before we can be effective.  Let's spend today purifying our hearts and making sure that we can "feel so now" (Alma 5:26).  And then, when we have purified our hearts, the spirit will be able to work through us, to touch other people's lives.

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