Moroni 7: 16-18
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.
18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.
A month or so ago, Joe and I were assigned to speak in church (p.s.- we spoke on a Sunday that it was -35 with windchill!! Major blessings for going to church that day.) on this scripture. I became OBSESSED with it, but after a few weeks forgot where it was in the scriptures. This made me so sad, so I decided to ponderize it. I am not memorizing the entire thing, but am memorizing the location, specific themes it mentions, AND my favorite phrases- they are just to good to simplify.
- The Spirit of Christ
- The correct way to judge
- “Every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ.”
- “Whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil.”
- “[The devil] persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.”
The thing I learned most from this scripture is how to identify what is from Christ and what is not. The scripture gives a formula for how to know if something is good and if it’s evil.
So, after reading, I asked myself, “what evil things are in my life”… well I automatically thought “nothing!!” I mean EVIL… When I think of evil, I think of kind of satanic, REALLY bad things, so its easy for me to read the scripture and think, “well I’m good.”
BUT when you think of “evil” the way the scriptures define it, then its a different story.
Is there anything in my life that doesn’t invite me to do good?
Is there anything in my life that doesn’t persuade me to believe in Christ?
Is there anything in my life that makes me not want to serve God?
Oh shoot.. YES! I automatically thought of media.
I mean I don’t watch TV shows that make me want to do terrible things afterwards (that would be strange), BUT I don’t think I can say I watch anything that makes me want to do good things afterwards… Okay except some inspirational movies and occasionally Last Man Standing. Me and Joe love that show!
Same with social media… By following LDS social media, I can often read inspirational quotes and I love using social media to express my own testimony, but that’s only 10% of the time. The other 90%, I’m just wasting my scrolling through Instagram and looking at cute clothes I wish I could buy.
This got me thinking about Elder Oaks talk “Good, Better, Best.” In this talk he discusses the things in our life that our good, but that can become such a priority that we lost time for the BEST things. Like scripture study or prayer. Some mornings, I wake up early, eat a healthy breakfast, get Wes ready, feed him breakfast, make Joe an awesome lunch, exercise, get ready for the day, run errands, and then by 2 or 3 in the after noon I realize I did a million good things… but I forgot to prayer or read my scriptures that morning and lost track of what was BEST. If I remembered to pray, I could have felt inspired to serve someone or do something better than all the “good” things I accomplished.
I love this talk. It is so applicable to my life.
So I started thinking about these two topics together. What are the things in my life that don’t necessarily help me feel the spirit or make me want to do better? If I get rid of those things, what INSPIRATIONAL activities can I replace them with?
I’m working on this and am NOT very good at it. I’m trying to pray and ponder each morning about how I can serve someone else and then look for opportunities throughout the day. Here goes that natural man thing again though… It’s so hard for me to look outside myself! Luckily I have daily opportunities to serve Joe and Wes… Now I just have to keep a positive attitude! Ha working on it!
#2 increasing talents
I think its totally important to keep growing in my abilities. As long as I have done the BEST things for the day, practicing piano and voice are much BETTER than social media. I also love blogging… if you can’t tell. Its a great way to share my testimony and is a much better use of my time than media.
I also enjoy exercising and learning about healthy eating. Hopefully that can be a talent someday… don’t hold your breath.
#3 good books
Its always hard for me to find the balance between reading scriptures and church talks vs reading other books. I’m trying to limit my fun-reading because I tend to get caught up in these type of books and ignore the rest of my life. I love reading (and listening to podcasts) various educations books… well sometime I don’t LOVE them haha it takes me way longer to read them. But many of these are a “better” use of my time.
#4 family history
No comment necessary. Read any talk on Family History on LDS.org and clearly its something we should be doing…. #workingonit
Finding the balance between spiritual activities and normal life activities is hard. But I believe that we can keep the spirit in ALL things we do, so there isn’t such a divide and it isn’t such a balancing act. As life gets busier, I hope and pray that I can make the BEST things a priority and keep the spirit with me even when I’m washing dishes and taking out the trash.