Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Knowing is Not Enough

For some days now, I have been contemplating the Savior's words that he spoke in 3 Nephi 27:

 21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do; 
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. 

Elder John M. Madsen of the Seventy focused particularly on the word ought in the Lord’s teachings to become as He is. Elder Madsen described the Lord’s words as more than an invitation, but a requirement of our covenants: 
“To receive Him and know Him, we and all mankind must... come unto Christ and strive to ‘become’ like Him (see Dallin H. Oaks, in Conference Report, Oct. 2000, 40–44; or Ensign, Nov. 2000, 32–34). 
“Said the risen Lord: ‘What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am’ (3 Nephi 27:27). The meaning of the word ought, as used in His question ‘What manner of men ought ye to be?’ is crucial to understanding His answer, ‘Even as I am.’ The word ought means ‘to be necessary’ or ‘to be held or bound in duty or moral obligation’, suggesting—and the holy scriptures, ancient and modern, confirm—that it is ‘necessary,’ and that we are ‘bound,’ as by covenant, ‘to be,’ as He declared, ‘even as I am’  (in Conference Report, Apr. 2002, 93; or Ensign, May 2002, 79). 
We are duty bound, even under covenant to become like Christ. It is not by hearing the word of God that we will be saved; or knowing the things that Jesus has taught. It is by doing that we become as Christ is.

 We KNOW the things we must DO, but we often have difficulties doing it. Here is a little reninder that knowing is not enough. We must do. Taken from Teachings of Presidents of the Church, President Spencer W. Kimball manual:
"Church members all over the world love the Primary song “I Am a Child of God,” with its simple but profound message of who we are, why we are on the earth, and what the Lord promises us if we are faithful. Sister Naomi W. Randall wrote the text to the song in 1957, when Elder Spencer W. Kimball was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. At that time, the song’s chorus concluded with the words “Teach me all that I must know to live with him someday.”
While visiting a stake conference, Elder Kimball listened to a group of Primary children sing “I Am a Child of God.” Soon after that, he commented on the song in a conversation with a member of the Primary General Board. “I love the children’s song,” he said, “but there is one word that bothers me. Would Sister Randall mind if the word know were changed to the word do?”

Sister Randall agreed to change the song. Now the chorus ends with the words “Teach me all that I must do to live with him someday.” These words reflect a principle that President Kimball emphasized throughout his ministry: “Celestial life may be had by every soul who will fulfil the requirements. To know is not enough. One must do. Righteousness is vital and ordinances are necessary.” He taught that the gospel is “a way of life, the plan of personal salvation, and is based upon personal responsibility. It is developed for man, the offspring of God. Man is a god in embryo and has in him the seeds of godhood, and he can, if he will, rise to great heights.”

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