Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Be Perfected through Christ and the gifts that HE gives us.........

In Genesis 17 Abraham is commanded to be perfect. This is one of the many times that the Lord commands even mortals to be perfect. ( always and only through Jesus Christ is this possible) 

Deuteronomy 18:13 Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.

Matthew 5:48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

3 Nephi 12:48  Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.

3 Nephi 27: 27 And know ye that ye shall be judges of this people, according to the judgment which I shall give unto you, which shall be just. Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.

D&C 67:13  Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.

This seems very overwhelming and impossible without further study. I am thankful for the talk that I came across while searching and my scriptures to find what the Lord would have me know regarding perfection. The interesting thing was that I was actually looking for something in regards to the ways that the atonement perfects us, but I was instead led to this and I know it was not chance. Christ's Atonement does give us grace to overcome weaknesses, but this message is a crucial process of perfection that I am thankful that I was taught. 

From the talk " Messages from the Doctrine and Covenants, Seek ye earnestly the best gifts " by Elder Arnold of the Seventy:

"The Savior commanded us to become perfect . Although none of us will obtain perfection in this life, Heavenly Father will inspire us, as we ponder and pray, to seek those gifts that will best help us perfect ourselves. President George Q. Cannon (1827–1901) stated: “If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. … No man ought to say, ‘Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature.’ He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give gifts that will eradicate them.” 3

How Can We Obtain Spiritual Gifts?

We are taught that in order to receive any spiritual gift, we must be worthy of it. The Lord has said that spiritual gifts “are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me” (D&C 46:9).
When we seek to obtain a spiritual gift, we can study the examples and teachings of the Savior that pertain to that particular gift and then try to incorporate those teachings into our life. For example, let’s suppose we are seeking the gift of charity. We could study Moroni 7:45 [Moro. 7:45], where we would find that there are 13 separate qualities we will need to seek as part of the process of obtaining charity. Kindness is one of the first that is mentioned." 
From this talk I learned that being worthy and asking to receive spiritual gifts are a large portion of the way that we become perfects through Jesus Christ.  
Another helpful quote for me was stated by Joseph Fielding Smith as stated:
" Salvation does not come all at once; we are commanded to be perfect even as our Father in Heaven is Perfect. It will take us ages to accomplish this end for there will be greater progress beyond the grave and it will be there that the faithful will overcome all things and receive all things, even the fullness of the Father's glory. I believe the Lord meant just what He said: that we should be perfect, as our Father in Heaven is perfect. That will not come all at once, but line upon line and precept upon precept, example upon example, and even then not as long as we live in this mortal life, for we will have to go even beyond the grave before we reach that perfection and shall be like God. But here we lay the foundation. Here is where we are taught these simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in this probationary state, to prepare us for that perfection. It is our duty to be better today than we were yesterday and better tomorrow than we are today. Why? Because we are on that road, if we are keeping the commandments of the Lord, we are on that road to perfection, and that can only come through obedience and the desire in our hearts to overcome the world."  ( Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 2, page 18-19 ) 
Oh how I want to overcome my weaknesses and I am thankful that I was led to read this talk about how to seek for spiritual gifts. Although I have prayed to receive spiritual gifts, I most surely can do better with this along with the study of each gift. 

"To receive a gift we must “practice virtue and holiness before” the Lord continually (D&C 38:24), and we “must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth” (D&C 50:40). We must “ask of God, who giveth liberally; … in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly … , doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving” (D&C 46:7). When we ask for a gift, our will must be aligned with God’s will (see D&C 46:30)." - Elder Arnold 

Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1915–94) pointed out some less conspicuous but very important gifts: “the gift of asking; the gift of listening; the gift of hearing and using a still, small voice; the gift of being able to weep; the gift of avoiding contention; the gift of being agreeable; the gift of avoiding vain repetition; the gift of seeking that which is righteous; the gift of not passing judgment; the gift of looking to God for guidance; the gift of being a disciple; the gift of caring for others; the gift of being able to ponder; the gift of offering prayer; the gift of bearing a mighty testimony; and the gift of receiving the Holy Ghost.” 

I say these things with a thankful heart, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

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