Sunday, August 28, 2016

Helaman 3:34-35 -- On Humility and Preparation

"And they were lifted up in pride, even to the persecution of many of their brethren. Now this was a great evil, which did cause the more humble part of the people to suffer great persecutions, and to wade through much affliction.
Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God."
Helaman 3:34-35

Stronger in humility almost seems contradictory, but I like it.  It takes strength to endure persecution, especially since if we try to fight pride with pride or persecution of our own, we become the same evil that we fight.  Instead, strong humility is the answer.  We have to be able to recognize our own faults, and work on them... then criticism can't touch us.  We need to look to God for affirmation, and not base our self-worth on others.  Then their disapproval can't touch us either.  And we need to love the people who are persecuting us, because setting that kind of example in the midst of being persecuted is the strongest and most powerful statement we can make.  It shows that we understand pride, because we've gone through it ourselves, and we forgive people who are weak like we are, but it also helps to show everyone a better way.

I love the yielding our hearts to God part as well.  Joy, consolation, pure and sanctified hearts... those are amazing things, and if we can figure out how to do this, how to yield our hearts to God, then we can have those things.  And obviously part of it is humility.  Letting go of our agenda, and accepting God's agenda.  Learning that God has a better plan, even for us individually, than we do.  Learning that God even knows what will make us happy better than we do.  So many times in life we feel this instinctive need to assert control.  We want to be in charge and not feel like we are passengers in our own lives.  And that is understandable to a certain point.  Trusting a regular person that much is often unwise.  But with God instead of learning mistrust as we get older and "wiser," we should be learning the opposite.  We should be seeing through experience after experience that God is more trustworthy than we are, and that we need his help to learn to even be a fraction as good. :)  Today, let's stop worrying about where God is leading us, because we know that it will be good.  Let's let God worry about the road, and get busy making sure that we are prepared (purified, sanctified, etc.) for whatever comes along the way. :)

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