"Oh remember, remember . . . I urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God's kindness."

President Henry B. Eyring

Monday, January 21, 2013

Born Again

I was reviewing some of my old files and ran across this one from last year while I was still teaching Gospel Doctrine in my old ward in Sandy. (I am especially missing my dear Sandy friends this morning!)

My Sunday School lesson was on being "Born Again" or born of the spirit. To be born again we must become like Christ—a pretty tall order! It is something impossible for the natural man to do alone. To be born again—to have "no more desire to do evil, but to do good continually!" (Mosiah 5:2) Wow! Bruce R. McConkie taught that to be born again is a process. Like any other process we "become" line upon line, little by little. How grateful I am to have the gospel, to have the privilege of attending church each week which feeds my desire to do good continually, and reminds me that when I don't do as well I want to and know I should, that I CAN repent!

What a wonderful reminder this is for me, and for all of us to re-examine our lives and answer the question posed to us by a prophet of God in the Book of Mormon: "Alma 5:14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?"

As I have been pondering "His Image" I read an article in Meridian Magazine today (last year) that is a beautiful example of what is NOT Christ's image.

From Meridian Magazine 1/28/11
Friday Minute: Hypocrisy
(Public face, private pain)
By Wm J. Monahan

"The energy it takes to maintain a public facade in order to hide a private reality is exhausting. . . Public facades are not limited to behavior, but also include hypocritical attitudes.

Maintaining a sweet attitude at church while being a sour puss at home leads to spiritual schizophrenia. Such a dual face is unhealthy. It is compartmentalization.

In the gospel of Jesus Christ, disciples cannot afford to compartmentalize. They must not have one face at the office and another at church. They must not justify bad attitudes as a boss that would be unacceptable as a parent or spouse.

When our public persona matches our private character, our smile is genuine and our attitude consistent.

The cure for hypocrisy is straightforward: any power or influence must be maintained “by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned” (Doctrine and Covenants 121:42). Instructively, the Lord’s formula is non-hypocritical by definition, as in “love unfeigned.” (end of quote)

To have His image is to be SINCERE! It is to bring every part of ourselves, every public part—every private part—of ourselves into alignment with the spirit! My daughter-in-law gave me a plaque a few years ago that reads:
The center of our home
A guest at every meal
A silent listener at every conversation

It has been a wonderful reminder that if we could all live our lives so that we could share with the Savior every conversation we have, every book we read, every movie we watch, every song we listen to and still feel comfortable in His presence—isn't that wanting to do good continually? Little by little, with lots of prayer and practice, I hope my eyes can shine a little brighter each day with His love! What an example we have in our Lord and Savior!