By Alan on Sep 06 in Blog tagged a disciple of Christ, Alan Osmond, Becoming of One Heart and One Mind, charity, every good thing, feeling in the heart, Glenn Beck, have in common, Jesus Christ, Light of Christ, living tru principles, Mercury One, Merrill J. Bateman, of one purpose, one by one, One Heart, ponder in one's mind, pure hearted people | Comments Off
Glenn Beck’s Charity is Mercury One
Alan Osmond’s Charity is One Heart
Both are of One Mind,
of One Heart,
of One Purpose
“And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” Moses 7: 18
Becoming of One Heart and One Mind.
A Disciple of Christ.
A Pure Hearted People.
What are we to have become between the time we were born and when we die?
If there is purpose in life, what is it that I am expected to have achieved?
Elder Merrill J. Bateman gives us some answers:
Diligently seeking truth and living gospel principles with all one’s mind and heart open the door for the Holy Spirit to transform us.
(From an address given May 2, 1997, at the Brigham Young University women’s conference in Provo, Utah.)
In Moroni 7:19, it describes two steps along the path of life that, if taken, will transform a person into a spiritually begotten son or daughter of Christ. The first is to “search diligently in the light of Christ” so that good may be distinguished from evil. The second is to “lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not.” Earlier in the chapter, it notes that every woman and man receives the Light of Christ as a gift to differentiate right from wrong. A more common name for this light is conscience, a discerning power by which individuals know good from evil (see Moro. 7:15–17).
The first step of searching diligently describes the quest for truth, for the good. The second step, to “lay hold upon every good thing,” means to live every good truth once it is found. In both the searching and the living, diligence is required. The Lord told us that the process of learning truth or acquiring knowledge and intelligence comes through “diligence and obedience” (D&C 130:19). Laying hold upon or living truth also requires energy or effort, because the Lord expects us to serve with all our “heart, might, mind and strength” (D&C 4:2).
In the Lord’s plan, diligent effort involves both the heart and the mind. Diligently seeking truth and living gospel principles with all one’s mind and heart open the door for the Holy Spirit to transform us. We put off the natural man or woman because of the truths we value. With a humble heart, we yield “to the enticings of the Holy Spirit,” partake of the Atonement, and become “the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters” as we are spiritually reborn (Mosiah 3:19; Mosiah 5:7).
I wish to illustrate the process of acquiring truth with the mind and the heart and then suggest that living faithfully and serving with all one’s heart, might, mind, and strength are really functions of steadily enduring, of doing one’s best each day, in contrast to great bursts of energy that one tries to prolong.
Searching with One’s Mind and Heart
Here is a wonderful example of the power inherent in connecting the heart and mind while searching for truth is related by another Nephi, who lived at the time the resurrected Savior appeared to the people in the land Bountiful. Approximately 2,500 people were gathered near the temple, marveling at the changes associated with the three days of darkness. They were also discussing the sign given concerning the Redeemer of the world (see 3 Ne. 11:1–2; 3 Ne. 17:25). While conversing with each other, they heard the Father’s voice introduce His Son on three separate occasions. They did not understand the voice the first two times, but they did feel the power of the Spirit piercing their hearts to the center. The Spirit was so strong that it caused their frames to quake and their hearts to burn. They knew something special was about to take place, but their minds did not grasp the meaning of the Father’s words. Moreover, the feeling in their hearts registered the importance of the message but not its content (see 3 Ne. 11:3–6).
On the third occasion, the scripture relates, the Nephites opened their ears and understood the voice, which said, “Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him” (3 Ne. 11:7). The events that follow suggest that even though they understood the words spoken on the third occasion, they did not comprehend their full meaning. They looked into the heavens and saw a Man descending, clothed in white. Upon reaching the ground, He was encircled by the Nephites, who were speechless, believing they were in the presence of an angel (see 3 Ne. 11:8). The thought processes of the mind and the spiritual witness in the heart had not yet combined to help them understand in whose presence they were.
The Savior then introduced Himself as Jesus Christ, “the light and the life of the world.” The Nephites learned He had “drunk out of that bitter cup” given to Him by the Father and had “glorified the Father in taking upon [Himself] the sins of the world” (3 Ne. 11:11). As the Savior’s words registered in their minds and hearts, awe and wonderment changed to worship as the “multitude fell to the earth” (3 Ne. 11:12). Prior to the Savior’s introduction, the thoughts and feelings of the people were disjointed. In spite of the Son being introduced by the Father, the people were confused as to the personage descending out of the heavens. Even though the spiritual communion to their souls suggested the importance of the personage, their thoughts were not clear. The power that comes with a clear message in the mind combined with the spiritual burning in the bosom is illustrated by the change in their demeanor as they lay prostrate, knowing they were in the presence of Deity.
Searching diligently in the Light of Christ can have that same effect on each of us as we put off the natural man or woman, humble ourselves, yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, become submissive as a child, and receive the fruits of the Spirit. Like King Benjamin’s people, we too may have a mighty change of heart come to us, and we will “have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2). Spiritual rebirth requires us to “search diligently in the light of Christ” (Moro. 7:19), that we may know truth. Sacred truths come when both the heart and the mind are active participants in the process.
One by One
Before leaving the Savior’s visit to the Nephites, we may learn another important lesson by examining the next event. The lesson concerns the way in which the Lord works with us and His desire and ability to help each person. In the 14th verse of 3 Nephi 11, Jesus invited the multitude to arise and approach Him one by one, to thrust their hands into His side and feel the print of the nails in His hands and feet. Remember, there were 2,500 people. How long would it take for each person to approach the Savior, feel the print of the nails, touch His side, and perhaps receive a brief embrace? Suppose it took 15 seconds per person. The time required would exceed 10 hours for the multitude to fulfill the invitation.
Why did Jesus do it one by one? Would it not have been just as effective for Him to show the multitude all at once? The answer is no! Salvation is an individual process. Ordinances are conducted one by one. Every individual’s faith counts.
Can you imagine the extraordinary feelings you would have felt had you been there that day? Suppose you were invited to approach the Savior, feel the wounds in His hands and feet, touch His side, and hear Him quietly say how much He loves you. That would be a spiritually transforming experience.
The invitation extended to the righteous Nephites was unusual in that the resurrected Christ was physically present. And yet each person today also has an invitation to “come unto Christ” (Moro. 10:32), to become His sons and daughters through a spiritual rebirth. In a different way, we may feel the print of the nails in His hands and feet and thrust our hand into His side by experiencing the cleansing and refining power of the Atonement. The Savior knows each of us intimately through His experience in the garden and on the cross. Alma states that He took upon Himself our pains, afflictions, temptations, sicknesses, and infirmities, that He might know how to succor us (see Alma 7:11–12). Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has pointed out that the word succor in old French means literally “to run to.” He suggested that “even as [Christ] calls us to come to him … , he is unfailingly running to help us.” 2
When you believe in Christ strongly enough to believe that He knows and cares about you and will respond to your prayers and needs, you will lay hold on the good.
“Lay Hold upon Every Good Thing”
The second step along the path of discipleship is to “lay hold upon every good thing,” to incorporate sacred truths into our lives. This involves faith, repentance, participation in sacred covenants, companionship of the Holy Spirit, and enduring to the end. It does not mean laying hold on every good thing all at once. The principle is “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Ne. 28:30). Also, the command to serve God “with all your heart, might, mind and strength” (D&C 4:2) should leave one exhausted at the end of life, not midway through the journey. The Lord expects us to pace ourselves, to “run and not be weary, and … walk and not faint” (D&C 89:20).
The prophet Nephi explains what it means to serve God with all one’s heart. He states that the objective is to serve “with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception … , but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism … , then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost” (2 Ne. 31:13).
To serve with all one’s heart is to serve with full purpose of heart. The concern is with direction, not speed. The process allows for repentance. What counts is one’s desire and determination, not an extraordinary burst of energy. Although the Lord expects us to do our best, He is looking for steady candle power on a hill and not bright flashes in the sky that briefly illuminate but then fade.
The woman who touched Christ’s garment and was healed is a wonderful example of faith, determination, and resoluteness. Her motives were pure. There was no hypocrisy or deception, as she hoped her actions would go unnoticed. She did not want to inconvenience the Master or disturb those listening to Him. The woman had spent all her income on physicians, expecting to be cured of a blood disease, but to no avail. With great faith, this sister disciple sought out Jesus and in the midst of a crowd “came behind him, and touched the border of his garment” and was healed. Jesus experienced the withdrawal of spiritual power. He inquired of His disciples, “Who touched me?” The disciples pointed to the multitude thronging about Him and suggested that it could be any number of persons. Jesus persisted, sensing the special person in His midst and the nature of the event. The woman then came forward. “Trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
“And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace” (see Luke 8:43–48).
The story teaches at least two lessons. One concerns Christ’s spiritual sensitivity to the individual. The other lesson concerns the depth of the woman’s faith. Because of her faith, she was healed both physically and spiritually. The phrase “thy faith hath made thee whole” often refers to a spiritual healing. It is the same phrase Christ used to bless the one leper who returned to express thanks. All 10 lepers were cleansed of leprosy, but only one was made whole—only one was cleansed from within (seeLuke 17:11–19). It is also the phrase the Lord used in answering Enos’ question regarding forgiveness of sin. When the voice said, “Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed,” Enos inquired as to how it was possible. The answer was, “Thy faith hath made thee whole” (seeEnos 1:5–8). Enos’ spiritual cleansing came through faith. His faith had the power to produce humility, repentance, and a baptism of water and fire. The woman’s faith brought the same power enjoyed by Enos and the leper. Her faith produced a spiritual rebirth in addition to solving her physical problem. Her faith and determination allowed her to lay hold on two good gifts.
As mentioned earlier, the race is not necessarily to the swift but to those who endure—those who continue in the quest to lay hold on good things, those who are facing in the right direction, those still striving to eliminate a few discordant notes in their lives. In the 10th chapter of Moroni, the prophet states that Christ’s grace is sufficient, that we will “be perfected in him” if we deny ourselves of ungodliness (Moro. 10:32). The sufficiency of the Atonement is symbolized by the 12 baskets of broken bread that remained following Christ’s feeding of the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish. Jesus spoke of the infinite nature of the Atonement as He addressed the multitude on the hillside following the meal. He stated, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). The capacity of the Atonement is more than sufficient to wash our garments white, though they be as scarlet; to lift and change us from mortality to immortality, from corruptible to incorruptible beings (see Isa. 1:18; 1 Cor. 15:42–44). For most of us, this spiritual rebirth process stretches across a lifetime and into the next, as we are refined one step and one principle at a time.
The Blessing of Enduring
I am grateful for a Savior and Redeemer. I appreciate His teachings and the great plan of happiness. I am grateful to know that we are spirit sons and daughters of an Almighty Father and that we can become spiritually begotten sons and daughters of the resurrected Lord through diligently searching in His light and applying His truths in our lives. May each of us continue the quest for eternal life by laying “hold upon every good thing” (Moro. 7:19).
“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.” Acts 4: 32