There is a way to obtain confidence in the word, if we let go of the relativity of the world. The beatitudes are a great resource to map out the path that must be taken to achieve that confidence. The effects of that confidence waxing strong produces the faith, that has the ability to sacrifice all things, knowing it is acceptable to God. From confidence in the word, Zion is built.
Obtain Confidence in the Word: Last night I had an eye-opening experience as I was pondering on what I concerned myself with (my worries), as opposed to trusting in the Lord. I reflected upon my weaknesses in my life, my failings, my insecurities, …and then I identified why it was that I felt this way. I was brought by a friend, to identify that each of these weaknesses was of my own making. It was because I trusted in my own understanding, and not in God. It was because of my own mindset of relativity. I failed by comparing what everyone else has, and how other people’s successes are my failures. However, when I removed myself from the comparisons with others (relativity), and I looked to the words of Christ for what it is that I ought to do, I found confidence in God. It dawned on me, what my buddy’s been telling me all this time, “I have the word within me, and if I can tap into that word, and trust it, I cannot fail.” The power is in the word.
Beatitudes as a map: Those who are just beginning to trust in the words of Christ (as opposed to the commentaries of men), will find understanding the map in the beatitudes very helpful. There are seven beatitudes. Seven is symbolic of complete, so that is why I consider it a map, …because it is the complete picture of God’s desire for us.
Seven is significant. Jacob’s ladder had seven rungs. The house of the Lord is made of seven steps. We are instructed to forgive completely when Christ teaches us to forgive 7 times 70. He wasn’t telling you to keep score, and when you hit 491 times, you don’t have to forgive any longer. He was teaching us to forgive completely. When you see lists of seven, it is typically God’s language offering you a map, to provide you His heart and mind.
Here are the seven beatitudes to map out how all can work to transition our confidence in the words of Christ, so that the words of Christ is like unto a rock.
- Poor in Spirit– you, like me above, realize that the arm of flesh cannot carry you, now look to Christ and recognize the gap we must bridge. It is a big gap, and so it brings us down to seek help (only the Poor in Spirit seek help). They are promised the kingdom of heaven to give them hope, so they continue in the process.
- They that Mourn– When you recognize your condition of ignorance, you naturally turn to the scriptures to remove your ignorance. You cry unto the lord, to obtain the words of Christ. And the Lord comforts you by teaching you His mind and will, so you understand what you must do. This is indicated by your ability to know the words of Christ.
- The Meek– Those that have mourned and been comforted become easily entreated, and can learn from any source, talking about the truths in the words of Christ, even the passer-by (like Joseph Smith stated). They seek messengers to teach them further light and knowledge. Their promise is to inherit the earth (lands of inheritance).
- The Hungry and Thirsty– The appetite begins to be a bottomless pit that cannot be quenched by Sunday-School answers any longer. They seek with a passion to be accepted of God. These go out of there way to find conversations and opportunities to know more of the mind of God. They constantly ponder and pray concerning the language of God, and His instructions. These are promised the Holy Ghost as their constant guide. The Holy Ghost teaches them all truth, by unfolding the mysteries hidden in the scriptures. The role of the Holy Ghost is to lead you to Christ, so those who hunger and thirst are being prepared to come unto Christ.
- The Merciful– This one is tricky. To “obtain Mercy” is a coded way to say, they’ll receive Christ. Christ is the only giver of mercy. He is the Savior and atoner, and the only one that has the real power to offer mercy. When you have obtained mercy (Christ), the first order of business is to forgive you of all your sins, so that you can find comfort in the presence of Christ. No one gets there sinless.
- The Pure in Heart– If the Holy Ghost brings you to Christ, then the role of Christ is to bring us into the presence of the Father. Christ works with us, in a continuous relationship, to purify our hearts, so that we can ascend into the presence of the Father. The ascension is a repetitive relationship with Christ, not just a one time event where you can get Christ’s autograph. That relationship is what teaches us how to chart and ascend up the high mountain, like 1 Nephi 11:1. That is why those who are pure in heart will see the face of God.
- The Peacemakers– Those who have ascended into the presence of God become peacemakers. Peacemakers suffer bearing the name of the Lord, and are willing to do all things to bring other souls to Christ. Thus, they are often the brunt of the jokes. They sacrifice the honors of men for the honors of God, and must endure being persecuted for Christ’s names sake.
This stair-stepping process acts as a map, to obtaining eternal life. Each step is progressive in nature and builds upon the previous step. It accumulates and makes the person (who will lend themselves to the process) into a new creature in Christ, a personal witness of the Son of God. Thus, we can act in confidence because the word is in us.
The Effects of Confidence Waxing Strong: When we have obtained confidence in the word to this degree, the scriptures teach is:
45. Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presenceof God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
46. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.
What I have learned is that when my confidence waxes strong in the presence of God, I will not concern myself with relativism, setting my heart upon the things of this world, and aspiring to the honors of men. I will have developed a relationship outside of this world, and will be willing to sacrifice all things to develop the faith necessary to obtain life and salvation. When someone is certain of their standing with God and their exaltation has been sealed to them, then nothing can thwart their confidence. That is the stuff that produces great miracles. That is the potential of the words of Christ.
Conclusion: When two or more are gathered in the name of the Lord, to talk of Christ, preach of Christ, rejoice in Christ, …then the Holy Ghost will attend, and all will be edified. It is wisdom in God for us not to underestimate the power of gathering. But we must let the words of Christ do the leading. When this is done, the scales of darkness that blind us can be pealed off, as we remove the false traditions of unbelief, and return to the roots of the original olive- tree for moisture. Then will our fruits be sweet. Then we too will be gathered up into the garners before the destruction of the wicked.
While church may seem boring, …seek out a way to speak the words of Christ. This will make it fantastic. Church is the only place people claim to gather to talk of the words of Christ in the Book of Mormon, D&C, and Pearl of Great Price. Hold them to this claim and be the one talking to them, by exchanging thoughts on scriptures. Home/visiting teaching is just another outlet to talk of Christ one-on-one, which is even more intimate than being in a group. You can gauge the environment and customize the message of God to them. The more opportunities you can find to have two or more, gathered in the name of Christ, the more the spirit can attend, and both of you can be edified.
If you are an officer, trying to get your people to want to share the words of Christ in this manner, to bring the spirit into the homes of active, less-active, or non-members, you must seek to know where your people are in knowing the words of Christ. Rather than generating incentive programs to produce external results and numbers, try gauging your quorums grasp and passion for the words of Christ. Ignorance is unbiased. Everyone is susceptible to being void of light, due to ignorance. Informing people of their ignorance can be very threatening, but I am certain that ignorance is the reason our statistics in church attendance, visit/home teaching, temple attendance, and unity suck so bad. What may be even more difficult is looking at your own ignorance, or lack of confidence, in the word.
Lead by example, repent, find a way to obtain the confidence in the word, then you’ll naturally talk of Christ, preach of Christ, and rejoice in Christ, wherever you are, in all situations. When the words of Christ find confidence in you, then you will seek out every opportunity to talk about it. All things will seem connected with this or that scripture. Then share it with your respective quorums, and your visiting/home teaching will not only sky-rocket, but so will church attendance, missionary work, and unity will too. Lessons will not be boring any more, gospel discussions will come naturally, and we can come unto Zion.
I am grateful to my family for being willing to discuss the scriptures in depth and detail. I am grateful for the exchange we have, based on the words of Christ. We are all ignorant and need one another to offer up an acceptable offering. That offering is always us, our time, our conversations. There is no substitute for your personal participation. The Holy One of Israel hires no servant at the gate. So, …I would suggest that you don’t try sending a substitute to the gate, but instead go yourself. You go, you be there, it is your salvation.
Ahui hou and Malama pono