Sunday, October 16, 2016

Moroni 7:48 -- On Learning Love

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen."
Moroni 7:48

This is a great verse.  Simple, right?  Pray, and be filled with love, and become like God, and purified.  The idea of being the sons and daughters of God, of being like him, those are powerful ideas, and worthy goals... and all we have to do is pray.  Except, maybe prayer is a little deeper than we sometimes think.

We sometimes approach prayer as though God were a genie and he is just waiting to grant us some wishes.  And, you know, in some pretty cool ways that is sort of true.  God absolutely loves us, and he *wants* to give us things that will help us be better, and that will make us happy.  But in other ways the whole genie analogy is completely deceptive.  For instance, there are limits. :)

Dieter F. Uchtdorf tells us that "There are two things faith cannot do.  For one, it cannot violate another person's agency. . . . The second thing faith cannot do is force our will upon God."  Prayer also can't violate other people's agency, and something to remember is that it can't violate *our* agency.  We often pray for things that we don't want or aren't prepared to receive.  Sometimes we wonder why we haven't gotten an answer to a prayer, when it's often the case that we can't even hear an answer that we aren't willing to accept.

All the energy of our hearts is a lot of energy, and I think few of us are there.  And I'm not saying we have to become perfect all at once, but maybe we should consider that God blesses us, and answers our prayers, according to the level of our commitment (see Alma 38:5). The more we trust him, the more he delivers us, and the more we believe and have faith, the more he can bless us.  The same is true of learning to love.  The more energy of heart we can commit, the more love will fill us.  As we let go of hatred and fear and other negative things in our lives, the more God will be able to turn our hearts to better things.  The more we can be filled not only will love, but joy and hope, and faith and peace.

Today, let's let go of our hatred, and pray with all the energy of heart that we can muster, and commit our souls and our selves to learning love and becoming more hopeful, more pure--more like God.

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