Monday, November 11, 2013

To Hear and Do

Recently in my scripture study I have been reading the words of Christ to the Nephites in 3 Nephi. In my reading, I came across a passage that is very familiar to me and to just about anyone who has read the Book of Mormon or the Bible. This time, I recognized some things I had never noticed before.
 24 Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock—
 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.
 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand—
 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (3 Nephi 14:24-27)
 The first thing I noticed is that both the wise man and the foolish man hear the sayings of the Lord. In this context, to hear means to understand and to believe. So, both the wise man and the foolish man understand and believe the words of the Lord. The difference in these two is that the wise man "doeth them."

The second thing I noticed is that both men had to endure the same storm. The wise man was not spared from the trial (that would be counter to God's plan for us). He dealt with the same rain, floods, and wind as the foolish man. The difference is that the wise man was prepared to deal with the situation while the foolish man was not.

We are all going to face hard times in life. Sometimes those are of our own making like the choices I made in my youth that led to me becoming addicted to pornography. Sometimes our challenges are the result of the choices of others like my wife having to live with my addiction. Sometimes life is just hard. That is a normal part of our mortal existence.

Our ability to deal with those challenges without being destroyed is based on our preparation. I understand the words of Christ and I believe Him, but my foundation of faith is built in the doing of His words. I build my foundation every day when I get up and study my scriptures even if it would be nice to lay in bed for an extra half hour. I build my foundation every day when I make a plan for my day and then work to achieve the goals I have set.

I do want to be clear about one thing. Doing these actions of themselves does not give me the strength to withstand my challenges. Doing these actions helps me learn how to rely on Jesus Christ to aid me when I need it. Through doing the words of Christ, I come to know Him better and understand His love and care for me. Through doing the words of Christ, I am more prepared to receive of His grace because I am humble enough to recognize my inability to overcome on my own.

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