At the beginning of His mortal ministry, Jesus Christ walked along the shore of the sea of Galilee and called out to two fishermen, Peter and Andrew. “Follow me“ The invitation to follow Christ is an invitation to follow His example and to become more like Him. We cannot fully do that without his help.
We are living in tumultuous times that can push us to our limits. As we develop these core character traits we will find greater peace and courage to meet our challenges each day and begin to feel greater love and compassion for others.
Christlike attributes are gifts from God, who loves us and desires to bless us. As we ask for His help, He will bless us with the gifts we seek.
May we all grow together in character, integrity and love for one another as we seek these gifts.
What is faith? Where does faith show up in my life? How can I increase in faith?
What must change in my heart, mind and actions to develop this attribute?
Just a few of the aspects of the character trait of faith that we'll be exploring in February.
"Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism."
~Richard C. Edgley
"The greatest legacy one can pass on to one's children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith."
~ Billy Graham
Hope is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance.
It is believing and expecting that something will occur.
When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good.
Hope helps you conquer discouragement.
"Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future." ~Robert Schuller
Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope. Moroni 7:42
Typically we think of Charity as service to those less fortunate or contributing to worthwhile causes. While those are two very important and needed ways to show Charity, Paul goes on to elaborate more fully on the characteristic of Charity in a letter to the church at Corinth.
(New Testament, I Corinthians 13)
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is Charity."
Virtue originates in your innermost thoughts and desires. It is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards.
“Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly..”
Letting virtue garnish our thoughts, means that we avoid gossiping, speaking ill of others, judging others harshly, speaking unkindly or contending, one with another. It means that we try our best to live our lives with integrity, compassion, cheerfulness, patience and seek to serve and lift others. It's a character trait, like most, that takes work and effort to build, sustain and offer to the world. I think we are always going to have days, as humans, when our thoughts and actions are anything but virtuous and kind, but that's what the Atonement of Jesus Christ is all about, the joy in knowing that every day we can repent (ie, change) for the better and go about the process of becoming better and doing better. Rather than casting repentance in a negative light and being prideful about it, we can see it as a daily practice of growing and recommitting to filling our minds with virtuous thought and intents.
We can each make a difference in the world every day, in every way, when we let virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly.
The book of Proverbs in the bible is a veritable wealth of knowledge, about...well, knowledge!
In fact, there are so many great little gems in the book of Proverbs relating to knowledge that I think I'll just share snippets of them with you.
Proverbs 8:10 "receive..knowledge rather than choice gold."
Proverbs 14:6 "knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth"
Proverbs 14:18 "prudent are crowned with knowledge"
Proverbs 15:2 "tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright"
Proverbs 17:27 "he that hath knowledge spareth his words"
(still working on that one!)
Proverbs 24:5 "a man of knowledge increaseth strength"
If any of you have been lifelong learners and knowledge seekers, as I have, you will understand when I say that learning is my life's blood and passion. However, a lifelong quest for knowledge, to be of greatest worth, needs an outlet or purpose in improving our world and the lives of those we share it with.
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