whats the point in going about and doing good anyway?
|Feed the Missionaries or someone in need|
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|Help someone with a project. Thanks Sis. Budd|
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Hello Family! Bloggers, Etc.
I ate squid, clam, fish, and crab this week....!
I hope all is well back at home. I haven't heard from the CHILDREN in a while.
What are they so busy for? Send me some mail! I know they have spare time.
I have been thinking about Doing Good Works and Why we do them. Why we have been commanded to follow Christ and His example. I feel like people are so opposed to obeying God and following His council. Which is odd.
Is there something wrong with “Doing Good?“
Why are people mocked for it?
Why do people complain about “Good Works?“
Why aren't more of us constantly engaging ourselves in going about and Doing Good?
Not for the attention.
Not for the recognition.
Not for the wrong reasons.
But because you genuinely want to be a Good person.
To help others, to serve, to become more like Christ.
Last transfer, in the previous mission area I served in. A guy pointed out a very interesting story line to me, from the Book of Mormon. In Alma, the chapters surrounding chapter forty. Alma is speaking to his three sons. He is giving them his last words of wisdom, knowledge and advice. He speaks first to Helaman, who was this Great War hero. This guy was amazing. He had much “fame and recognition” (or so you could say) throughout the land because he did GREAT THINGS. Everyone knew him and there are several chapters in the Book of Mormon where we can read about Helaman and his works.
Then Alma mentions Corianton. Corianton was another son, and he was the exact opposite of his brother Helaman. Corianton was a trouble maker and stirred up much contention in the land. He wasn't that great of a guy. He was a PUNK. So Alma, being the loving and inspired father he was goes on and on about the things Corianton needs to know. There are several more chapters talking about Corianton and his works.
For those who have read the Book of Mormon, Helaman and Corianton are both quite infamous individuals that we refer back to often. We have many stories and analogies and church lessons that are directly contributing to those two brothers stories. Many people knew (and still know) about Helaman and Corianton for what they did and how they contributed. Whether it be good or bad works that they performed. Each of them have several chapters in the Book of Mormon where their father is counseling with them about their lives and their works and deeds and actions. And right smack dab in the middle of their conversations with their father, we hear about Shiblon.
Shiblon? Whose dat guy?
Yup Shiblon was another one of Alma‘s sons. Shiblon gets approximately one page in the Book of Mormon, where his father addresses him briefly. Not much for fame and recognition ay?
AND SHIBLON WAS A GREAT GUY!
He was obedient.
He kept the commandments
He loved God.
And his father told him:
"My son... I have had great joy in thee already. Because of thy faithfulness
and diligence and thy long suffering among the people."
His father bore a simple testimony.
And moved on.
His father had great joy in him already because Shiblon suffered just as much as anyone else did. He struggled and had trials and tribulations just as much as either one of his brothers did. He always kept his faith. He always trusted The Lord.
Shiblon didn't need to be a punk, or to be a war hero, or to receive the attention or recognition from those around him. He simply strived to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, to remain faithful, to endure to the end. And his father was SO PROUD. He didn't worry about Shiblon, because he knew Shiblon was on the right path of doing good.
In our world today, we see a similar paradox. That we don't need to be a Helaman or a Corianton to receive glory.
We have enough Helaman's or war heroes.
We have enough Corianton's or trouble makers.
We need more Shiblon's.
You know like the guys that live their day to day lives in a manner that Christ would if he was right here, right now. The guys that don't seek recognition rather, personal satisfaction in knowing they are doing what God would have them do.
The guys that takes out his neighbors trash in the morning.
The kid who makes friends with those in need of one.
The son or daughter that is the peacemaker in the family.
The spouse that doesn't always have to be right.
That woman who picks up the tab for the lady whose credit card is
failing at the register.
The person who smiles at strangers on the streets.
The people that don't spread gossip and false information.
The kind of person that is loyal, honest and kind.
People you know you can trust because they are constantly performing good works not to receive recognition, but because it's the right thing to do.
There is one simple page about Shiblon in the Book of Mormon...
leaving the whole world with JUST enough information to know that Shiblon was the kinda guy that probably took the trash out for his neighbor, he didn't spread false ideas and most likely he smiled at the stranger on the streets. He was probably the "loyal, honest and kind" type of person. But that's just my assumption.
We don't know much about good ‘ol Shiblon. I can't give you a definite answer on how Shiblon felt about this one pager in the Book of Mormon. BUT I think it’s fair to assume he was content. Because he wasn't in it for fame and recognition. He was in it because he was a True Disciple of Jesus Christ.
His father simply told him "Well Done"
Clearly Shiblon was the man he was because he loved God.
We need more Shiblons.
We need people who have such a deep and abiding love for their Savior that they are willing to act. Having faith in Jesus Christ LEADS to action. To becoming a better person, to acting as God would have you if he were standing right beside you.
So how DO we follow Christ?
This is directly correlated with Jesus Christ’s Gospel and what he taught throughout his ministry here on earth.
STRENGTHEN YOUR FAITH.
I think it’s fair to say that we are not going to go around following, doing, or acting on something or someone we don't have faith in. First we need to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ, learn of him. Having faith doesn't mean you have a perfect knowledge! Faith means you trust him and will do what he asks. Learn to trust him, learn what he did for YOU PERSONALLY, and for each of us and learn to love him.
Jesus Christ said:
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Faith leads to action. Jesus Christ paid the price for each and every one of our sins. But he did not eliminate our personal responsibility. It is our choice to accept him as our Savior and utilize his atonement in our lives.
By doing this, we are ACTING.
We should always be acting on our faith. Whether it be strengthening our own or strengthening others. As we do this we are 'doing good' as Christ would have us do. Lifting up others in need and striving to be a better person.
"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith,
and have not works? Can faith save him?”
“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?”
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. But wilt thou know,
O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”
“Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”
“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
Don't turn down those opportunities to BE an instrument in the hands of The Lord. By acting on our faith, we are strengthened, as well as others. God knows the desires of our hearts. I know God knew the desire of Abraham's heart when he was commanded to offer his only son Isaac as a sacrifice. But he still was commanded to act on his faith. And he did! And an angel appeared and stopped him, but we know that day he proved to himself, and each of us, he was willing to do what it took to follow God. Which leaves us today learning from that bible story.
Are you willing to do whatever God asks you to do?
Do you know the desire of your own heart?
Is that desire truly to follow God?
Faith leads to repentance.
Repentance Means to change, improve, progress.
Use the atonement in your life that is what it is there for. By strengthening your faith and repenting, or changing, we are using the atonement. Strive to grow and progress and become better. Quit bad habits, be humble, become more Christlike, go about doing good. Desire to commit your life to becoming a disciple of Christ. This doesn't mean you will be perfect, but you will be trying your best.
"He should not come to redeem them in their sins,
but to redeem them from their sins."
Jesus Christ’s atonement is there for us to utilize in our lives. However once again, Christ didn't take away our agency and personal responsibility, he won't come to redeem us while we are in our sins, but from our sins, meaning when we are truly repentant, when the desires of our hearts has changed and we choose to accept him as our Savior and allow him to help us move on and succeed HE WILL.
His arms are outstretched, always.
But are we willing to take them?
Are we willing to change?
"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only,
but also for the sins of the whole world.
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar,
and the truth is not in him.
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected."
1 John 2:1-5
We all sin, we all make mistakes, and Jesus Christ can help us overcome them but if were not willing to repent and change then what are we willing to do? Jesus Christ suffered all for us to help us to move on and become better. But if were not using his mercy and grace to progress ourselves and become a more Christlike person... What are we using it for?
Repentance means to change.
To try our best to become better and to rely on Christ to get there.
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always,
even unto the end of the world. Amen."
Baptism is a promise that we will take Christ’s name upon us, always remember him, and keep his commandments.
We are baptized the same way Christ was because he 'set the example before us'
Baptism is an essential part of following Jesus Christ. He said,
"Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
After we are baptized we walk in a newness of life. This does not however mean we have to be, or ever will be perfect. However it enables us to start over, have a clean slate and begin a new life in following Christ. It is a commitment and a promise we make to do our best to obey him. It enables us to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and to use the atonement in our lives.
When we follow Gods commandments we receive blessings. When we obeying him were entitled to our own personal revelation, guidance, direction, inspiration and comfort from the Spirit. The Spirit is a gift we've been given to receive answers to questions of our soul.
The world teaches us to rely on science, physics, facts, Google, Wikipedia, online media, and others. Why would we rely on facts of the world when we could rely on God who teaches all that we should know through his Spirit that he sent in his name?
"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter,
that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth;
whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:
but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while,
and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:
and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him,
and will manifest myself to him.
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest
thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words:
and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him,
and make our abode with him and He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:
and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name,
he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance,
whatsoever I have said unto you.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth,
give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you.
If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father:
for my Father is greater than I."
The Holy Ghost is a gift from God. It will teach us all that we need to know as we humble ourselves and seek with real intent. Follow the promptings of the Spirit. Follow your heart. Not what the world says and gives and offers rather, ask your Heavenly Father who knows YOU and know all.
Endure To The End
What would be the point of all this if we simply said,
“WE ARE SAVED” after baptism and we went on with life eating, drinking and being merry? Not worrying about being fulfilling, or strengthening our faith or repenting (changing)? We wouldn't progress! The whole point of the
Gospel of Christ is to apply it throughout your life so you can continue to learn, grow and progress.
Continue to progress.
Don't stop or give up.
Always remember Him.
Strive to keep His commandments.
Strive to become a better person.
Learn of Him.
Share your experiences.
Enjoy the moment.
Live to the fullest.
See the bigger picture.
Go about doing good.
Be the person that lives their day to day life in a manner that Christ would if he was right here right now. The person that doesn’t seek recognition rather, personal satisfaction in knowing they are doing what God would have them do.
The kind of person people know they can trust because they are constantly performing good works not to receive recognition, but because it's the right thing to do.
Be like Shiblon!
The guy who wasn't in it for the fame and recognition. Rather because he was a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
His father simply told him "Well Done"
And I can't imagine the joy I would feel
getting to see OUR Father, in heaven
To have him simply look into my eyes and say
We need more "Shiblons."
Be that person!
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Sister Madison Paige Stucki
Sent from my iPad
(via e-mail September 15, 2014)