Posts Tagged 'Overcoming the World'

Numbers Chapter 22

The journeyings of the Israelites took them to to the lands of Arnon and Bashan, in the area of Moab, where the Lord helped them to kill and drive out the people. They were getting closer to obtaining the land of promise. I am sure the people of the lands near there, were getting worried about the coming of Israel towards them. Chapter 22 of the book of Numbers, begins as follows:

1 And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho.

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The Israelites were in the land of Moab near to the Jordan River, across the river from Jericho.

2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.
3 And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.
4 And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time.
5 He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me:
6 Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.
7 And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak.
8 And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the Lord shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.
9 And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee?
10 And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying,
11 Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out.
12 And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.
13 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the Lord refuseth to give me leave to go with you.
14 And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us.

Balak, the king of the Moabites, was one of those in the lands nearby, and after learning what they had done to the Amorites, he was worried. The Israelites were a great army host in their midst. The people of Moab, went to the rulers of Midian, with their concerns. Balak sent messengers of the rulers to Balaam, along with things of value and tools for divination. They were to tell Balaam of the Israelites, the threat they posed, and to enlist his help in stopping them. It seems that Balaam was one who they saw as favored, because whomever he cursed, was cursed. They felt that if they could get help from him, the Israelites would be removed from their land. The messengers of Balak stayed with Balaam, while he sought to know what to do. God visited Balaam, asked who the men were that were with him. Balaam answered and asked God if he would curse the Israelites, so they could be driven out of the land. God then told Balaam that he was not to go with these men. He told Balaam that the Israelites were a blessed people. When Balaam told the elders of Balak to leave without his help, they returned to their land and reported back to Balak.

15 And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they.
16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me:
17 For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.
18 And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.
19 Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the Lord will say unto me more.
20 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.
21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.

Balak sent more men again, but this time there were men of greater honor. They pleaded with Balaam to join them against the Israelites, offering to do all that Balaam wanted of them in return, even giving him greater honor. Balaam said that even if he was given a house full of treasure, he could not go against the words of the Lord. He offered to have them stay, so that he could ask God again. I’m not sure why he wanted to ask again, except that possibly the offering of greater honor was tempting to Balaam. The Lord told Balaam to do what he wanted to do, which was to go with the men, but to speak what the Lord told him. He had already received the answer not to go with the men, but the Lord gave him the answer he was wanting the second time. Balaam woke and went with the princes the next day.

22 And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.
23 And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
24 But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.
25 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.
26 And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.
27 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.
28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.
30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.
31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.
32 And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me:
33 And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.
34 And Balaam said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.
35 And the angel of the Lord said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

Balaam was rebelling against the first answer from the Lord. So, an angel of the Lord stood in the way of Balaam and his servants as they journeyed. His donkey saw the angel and turned off the path. I am guessing that Balaam and the servants could not see the angel, because their eyes were not open to seeing such a spiritual manifestation in that moment. Balaam forced the animal back onto the path by hitting her, but the angel of the Lord stood in the way again. The donkey, seeing the angel, threw herself into the nearby wall, crushing Balaam’s foot. Balaam hit her again, getting her back on the path. The angel blocked a part of the path that was even more narrow. When the donkey saw the angel, she stopped and fell down, so that Balaam could not go further on her. Balaam got very angry and beat the animal. The Lord caused the donkey to speak to him, asking why he hit her three times for doing nothing. Balaam, in his anger, said he would kill her if only he had a sword in his hand. The donkey reminded Balaam that she was the donkey he had ridden for a long time and had always been there for him, never doing anything like this before. Then, probably because Balaam recognized the truth in these words, the Lord caused that Balaam could see the angel, and he fell on his face. The angel told him that he had beaten the animal, when she had seen him as he blocked the way. The angel had blocked the path because it was the wrong path for Balaam to take, and Balaam was being stubborn or stiff-necked. The angel said that if the donkey had not turned, Balaam would have been slain, but the animal spared. Balaam realized his sin in not recognizing the presence of the angel, and he said he would return if that is what the angel wanted him to do. The angel told Balaam to continue on, but only speak the words the angel told him to say. Balaam continued to go with the men of Balak.

It seems strange to me to hear a story in the bible, of an animal that speaks. It seems an impossible thing and does not make much sense to me. In the manual I am using along with this study, it points out a few verses of scripture. First, Luke 1:37 reads, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” If God wanted the animal to speak, He would have the power to make her speak. Second, Revelation 5:13-14 which says the following:

13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

This teaches us that all creatures of heaven spoke praise of the Lord and four animals specifically said Amen. This may seem like one of those symbolic parts of scripture, which are not to be taken literally. However, Joseph Fielding Smith, a prophet of this current dispensation, clarified when he said, “[animals in the hereafter] will not then be the dumb creatures that we suppose them to be while in this mortal life” (Church History and Modern Revelation, 2:69). I cannot quite imagine how that will be, but I believe the words of the prophets are true, and so I trust that this story of Balaam and his donkey, happened just as it says.

It is also interesting to note that the animal spoke without much work on the part of the Lord. Balaam, on the other hand, took convincing and coaxing before he was willing to open his eyes to see the angel. The natural man inside us, is stubborn and not willing to listen or be taught. We need to work to overcome that, and to be more willing to listen to the promptings and answers given to us.

36 And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost coast.
37 And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote thee to honour?
38 And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.
39 And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kirjath-huzoth.
40 And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him.
41 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost part of the people.

Balak went to meet Balaam, asking him why he had not hurried to come to him, when he was willing to give him great honors. Balaam told him that he was there, ready to speak the words that were given him from the Lord. They went to a place called Kirjath-huzoth, where an offering of oxen and sheep was given. Balak took Balaam to a high place where he could look out over the greater part of the people.

Sometimes we can be blinded by the honors of men in our own lives. It seems as though Balaam was generally a good man, who, as a servant of the Lord, was willing to go to the Lord and follow the instruction he was given. However, he was bribed with things of the world and in that moment, he trusted men more then God. Because of this, he was not able to see the angel who stood right in front of him. It is not bad to have things such as riches and honors, but if they take priority over following the commandments and instruction from the Lord, they become corrupted. We can sometimes fall prey to the temptation to beg with God for answer we want, instead of the answer God gives to us. God will not force us to do His will. I think of Joseph Smith asking the Lord if he could give pages of translation to Martin Harris, and being told no. He asked multiple times and finally, God said yes. Joseph wanted to please his friend, and in doing so, the pages were lost and Joseph had to repent before he was able to translate again. I don’t think that tempting the Lord to do things our way, instead of according to His will, ever works out the way we think it will. This is one of the reasons we need to remain worthy of the spirit always. We cannot afford to let our guard down, and like with Balaam, let things of the world influence us to turn away from the Lord. Our know that our lives will be blessed if we learn to trust in the Lord, and not in the world and wisdom of men.

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Do We Stand for Righteousness?

As a woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), I am a member of one of the largest women’s organization in the world. This group is called the Relief Society. Several years ago, a declaration was written for the Relief Society and the posts in this series are an attempt to apply this declaration to my life more. In this attempt I will be breaking down the parts of it into questions that I would like to try to answer through study. To view other posts related to this declaration, go here: Relief Society Declaration.

We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction. As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar. We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who:
Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study.
Seek spiritual strength by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families, and homes.
Find nobility in motherhood and joy in womanhood.
Delight in service and good works.
Love life and learning.
Stand for truth and righteousness.

The next question in this series, is do we stand for rigtheousness? When I wrote my post on standing for truth, I wondered if I should combine these two posts because they really are so closely related to one another. I felt that I should keep them separate, but it was pretty difficult. I think that you’ll find, when you stand for truth, righteousness is right there as well. (To read that post, go here: Do We Stand for Truth?)

As I said in my most recent post from this series, to stand for anything, means that we actively place ourselves in a position to defend, uphold and be a witness for it. Righteousness is the standard of God or in other words being morally right. Righteousness is not perfection in this life, but is the perfection of God that we should be working towards. Righteousness is holiness, good works, honesty, integrity, truth, uprightness, and all other things that allow us to walk the path that the Lord has walked. We live a righteous life, still erring as the mortal beings we are, as long as we are striving to turn to the Lord in humility and repentance for our wrongdoings so that we can be like Him. Standing for righteousness is to strive to be in the right in the sight of God, to support all that is right in the sight of God, and to witness for all that is right in the sight of God.

Standing for righteousness means to consciously place ourselves where righteousness is found and remain firm in defense of it. We need to be aligning ourselves with righteousness, meaning we need to be doing works of righteousness or good works. If we are not doing good works, we are doing the works of unrighteousness. In Proverbs 11:18 we read, “The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.” One of the great things about aligning ourselves with righteousness, is as we are trying, it will give us the power to stay firm and strong. Conversely, wickedness to those who stand for unrighteousness, has complete power over them. In Proverbs 13:6 we read, “Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.” There is great power in setting ourselves in the path of righteousness.

Those who stand for righteousness, strive to live the commandments of God. In Deuteronomy 6:25 we read, “And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.” The Savior, Jesus Christ, showed us by example just how important it is to follow the commandments of God. In Matthew 3:15 we read, “And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.” He lived a life of perfection as to the standards of God, and yet, to fulfill his mission of righteousness, he had to be baptized. We cannot consider ourselves above the Lord. We too must live according to the commandments of God, in order to stand for righteousness in our own lives.

The next step to standing in the place of righteousness by the way we live our lives, is to defend it. Moroni 9:6 reads, “And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.” We are not taught in this verse to place ourselves right and then let Satan do his thing. We are instead taught that we need to be engaged in the defense to the point where we may conquer Satan, who is the “enemy of all righteousness”. To stand for righteousness, we need to be physically, and spiritually active in fighting against Satan and his powers of destruction. We need to be alert to his tactics and protect ourselves as well as others around us, so that he will not gain power over us. Recognizing how Satan is using the ways of the world to silently pull people his direction, is extremely important these days. One of these ways that has been on my mind of late, is how he is convincing people that the gospel should change with the times. He is putting the idea in the hearts of good people, that the gospel is wrong because it doesn’t fit in with the world today. This is plainly not true. The gospel will not change, because it is eternal. The gospel is all that is right and good. When we recognize that, then in order to stand for righteousness, we have to be willing to separate ourselves from the worldly views that Satan has produced. We need to be willing to represent those things that may seem old-fashioned to many and make them a priority in our lives.

One of the ideas I found used a lot when looking up righteousness in the scriptures, was the idea of seeking for it. In Zephaniah 2:3 we read, “Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” Again in Matthew 6:33 we read, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” In the sermon that the Savior gives to the Nephites, so much like the Sermon on the Mount, we read, “And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost (3 Nephi 12:6).” It is not enough to find righteousness on the way. We need to seek after it as if we could not survive (mortally or eternally) without it. It is then, that we will have the spirit with us to the point of being filled. When we find things of righteousness, we need to continue to follow them. In 1 Timothy 6:11 we read, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness. . .”. Where can we find things of righteousness to follow? We can find them in the scriptures, in the gospel taught at church and learned in the temple, and anywhere there are goodly works being accomplished. We stand for righteousness when we actively seek for and follow it.

In order to stand for righteousness, we cannot falter when we are faced with adversity. We must instead, remain on that path and continue doing good works. In Matthew 5:10 we read, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” There are so many good examples in the scriptures of people who continued to have patience through their persecutions, living righteously, and then were greatly blessed for it. I am mindful of the good people of Alma, who lived according to the way that Alma had taught them after leaving wicked King Noah. They were place under bondage of the Lamanites and had heavy burdens placed on them, because they were a righteous people. Mosiah 23:18 reads, “Therefore they did watch over their people, and did nourish them with things pertaining to righteousness.” They followed the teachings of Alma, turned to God and continued to live righteous lives. The Lord blessed them to be able to endure their trials, until it was time for them to escape to safety in Zarahemla. To stand for righteousness, we need to remain firm and upright in living it.

We stand for righteousness, when we stand for the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. In Romans 5:18 we read, “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” The Savior, in his perfect righteousness, blessed every soul that would ever live. His righteousness is the pattern that we should look towards as an example. In Romans 10:4 we read, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” There is no greater example of it, because he is righteousness. Alma 38:9 reads, “And now, my son, I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness.” Live as he taught, teach others to live his teachings, and build up righteousness in the world around you. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, is a sure way to stand for righteousness.

What then, are the blessings from standing for righteousness? Righteousness brings peace. In Isaiah 32:17 we read, “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” There is a peace of soul that comes to us when we stand for righteousness. I have felt it in my own life. It is a knowledge from the spirit, that things will be okay and that blessings will come that will be far greater than I can even imagine. In Proverbs 21:21, it teaches is that, “He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” If we choose to stand for righteousness in this life, we will find eternal life and honor when our mortal life ends. This is because righteousness in its perfection, is of God and is eternal. In Psalms 111:3 we read, “His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.” The righteousness of God will exist for eternity, and we will be blessed with all that God has in store for us, when we choose to stand for it.

I look forward to the promise given in Doctrine and Covenants 76:5, which reads, “For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.” I pray that I will find myself in the mercy of the Lord, because I know that without his mercy, I am nothing. I know that in order to receive his mercy, I need to be seeking after righteousness, aligning myself with righteousness, defending righteousness, and being a witness for righteousness. I am so grateful for the example of the Savior, that I can look to and follow, as the perfect model of righteousness.

The Final Judgment

The next lesson from the Gospel Principles manual is on the final judgment. To view the entire lesson from the manual, go here: The Final Judgment

What are some different judgments that come before the Final Judgment? How do all these judgments relate to one another?

There are judgments in a court of law, relating to the land in which we live. There are judgments in competitions of all types, in order to decide who or what is deserving of a title, reward, or prize. There are judgments made in order for us to be found worthy to be baptized, go to the temple, or hold callings in the church as well. These, along with all other judgments, will come before the final judgment, which relates to our eternal reward. In Alma 12:27 we read, “But behold, it was not so; but it was appointed unto men that they must die; and after death, they must come to judgment, even that same judgment of which we have spoken, which is the end.” There will be a final judgment for all men. All judgments have some kind of decision made by a judge, or someone who is considered qualified to give their opinion. In the case of the final judgment, God will be our judge. In Proverbs 29:26 we read, “Many seek the ruler’s favour; but every man’s judgment cometh from the Lord.” No matter what we seek for in this life, the Lord will give the final judgment.

From what records will we be judged? Who will judge us?

In 1 Nephi 10:20 we read, “Therefore remember, O man, for all thy doings thou shalt be brought into judgment.” We will be judge for all that we do, from the records that are kept of those things. There are books that have been kept from the time of Adam, which keep a record of our works in this life. In Daniel 7:10 we read, “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” The footnotes refer to the book of remembrance and the book of life. The book of remembrance is a record of genealogy and history of the people and I believe it is the record kept on this earth. The book of life is a record showing those who lived faithful who made covenants with the Lord. Those who are not faithful are blotted out of this book and this book is kept in heaven. In Doctrine and Covenants 128:7 we have an explanation of Revelations 20:12 which reads, “You will discover in this quotation that the books were opened; and another book was opened, which was the book of life; but the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works; consequently, the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works, and refer to the records which are kept on the earth. And the book which was the book of life is the record which is kept in heaven; the principle agreeing precisely with the doctrine which is commanded you in the revelation contained in the letter which I wrote to you previous to my leaving my place—that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven.”

The lesson talks about a judgment which comes from the record kept within each of us. Just as in this life, we are our own worst critics, we will be a critic of ourselves at that time. When all things are brought to our remembrance, we will see our own works truthfully. We will then bare a record of our works, which may condemn or bless us. The judgment will ultimately be by God. In Ecclesiastes 3:17 we read, “I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.” Our every work has a purpose, and that purpose will be in judgement by God. God, the Father, has given the right to judge this final judgment, to His Son. In Matthew 16:27 we read, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” It is my understanding that the Son, will have the assistance of those who have been called to judge in this life, such as the prophet, apostles, stake presidents, and bishops.

How will our faithfulness during our life on earth influence our life in the eternities?

In life, we act according to our faithfulness. If we are faithful to the Lord, we are obedient to his commandments. If we are not faithful, we are obedient to Satan. In Ecclesiastes 12:14 we read, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” We will be blessed for our faithfulness to God. This blessing will be the reward of glory, which we receive depending on the works of our lives. Those who are obedient and covenant people, in life or death, will be rewarded with the Celestial kingdom. Those who do not will receive either the Terrestrial or Telestial kingdom, depending on their choices in life. There is also the reward of outer darkness, which is reserved for those who choose to remain eternally bound to Satan and his works.

Faith is a Sunrise

According to Doctrine and Covenants 76:50–53, 62–70, what are the characteristics of a person who overcomes the world by faith and is valiant in the testimony of Jesus?

In these verses, a person who overcomes the world by faith and is valiant in the testimony of Jesus is someone who will be resurrected with the just in the first resurrection. They will come to the earth with Christ, when he comes at the second coming. They will have had faith in Christ and will have been baptized in His church by the proper authority of God, which is the priesthood. They will have received the gift of the Holy Ghost. They will have lived good lives and been just and true, therefore deserving the perfection that is only received through the atonement of Jesus Christ. They will be found worthy by the desires of their hearts and will have been forgiven of their sins. In 1 Samuel 16:7 we read, “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” We may not recognize the true heart of others, because as mortals, we cannot know the true heart of them. We are not qualified to be the judge. The Lord himself, was judged by men and then crucified by those who were not counted worthy to judge him. The Lord can see beyond our flaws and see the inner beauty in our hearts. He alone is worthy to be the judge of all mankind. Those who overcome the world, will have been judged of God and found worthy to live with Him again, in His holy city of Zion, receiving the celestial glory of God as their reward. These are the characteristics that we all should be striving towards.

In one of my favorite chapters of the Book of Mormon, Alma 5, we read verse 15 which says, “Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?” I know that there will be a day when we all will be judged for how we lived our lives. I believe that our attitudes and desires will weigh heavy in that judgement. I believe that if we want to live with God again, we need to remember the bigger picture. We need to remember that we have a divine heritage. Be have been created to become all that our Father in Heaven is. We each have great potential. If we remember this, we should do our best to live up to that potential. We will make mistakes and we will have to go through the pain and sorrow of them. But, we can still reach that goal if we remember that the Savior is there for us. He is a just judge, but he is also full of mercy towards those who come unto him. A change of heart and a repentant, humble soul, will earn the greatest reward that we can ever hope to gain. God loves us. His greatest desire is for our return to Him. I hope and pray that I will be able to bring him the joy that a faithful child can.


About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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Currently I am studying the The Old Testament. I will be studying from the LDS - King James Version of the Bible (see link below). I am studying along with the book, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament by Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen.

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