Sunday, February 3, 2013

Doting about questions and strifes of words

 Here’s an entry from my scripture journal from over a year ago.  I found it useful then, but didn’t feel like I could share it until now.

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.  (1 Tim. 6:3-5)

I found this block of verses and I was excited because it perfectly skewers a problem I’ve been having lately with my own thoughts.  They are thoughts of not fully consenting to wholesome words of doctrine and asking, “But what about me?” and “But what if…?” as if the wholesome words won’t be true for me.  I’ve realized something was wrong with it, but I haven’t been able to put my finger on why.  But Paul does, brilliantly.

It is pride to think that the rules and promises won’t apply to me.  If the wholesome words do not answer my questions, then nothing can answer to my satisfaction and I must just obsess about those questions endlessly, envying others for the blessings that come to them (because they keep the commandments) but not to me (because I don’t), surmising evil will happen to me and everyone else, and falling back on filthy lucre as a manifestation of God’s favor (because spiritual blessings are withdrawn).

But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage. (Mosiah 7:33)

This, I suppose, is the antidote to my problem above, along with repentance.  I need to turn to God with full purpose of heart and serve Him with all diligence of mind.


Rozy Lass said...

Wonderful insights. The weirdest attitude I've encountered here in our tiny branch in Iowa is "well, we don't do things according to the handbook because we're an exception." Oh yeah, says who? How can you know that you're an exception unless and until you are obedient to the commandments and instructions. Pride is a killer of spiritual growth. Thanks for sharing.

Bonnie said...

Thank you for this. It was an answer to a prayer I only prayed ten minutes ago. Seldom do I wait such a short time; my gratitude is full.

This perfectly answers a troubling situation that has been occurring over the past few days, and opened my heart to the words that the Lord would speak to my own soul this morning. In a moment, the heaviness was swept away. The power of the scriptures!

I would not have found these words so easily without you highlighting the few verses I needed. God works in mysterious ways. Thanks.

Michaela Stephens said...

Rozy Lass, sounds like that reasoning is fallacious, since it is begging the question. ("We're an exception because we're an exception.") But without knowing the nature of the exception it claims, there is no way one can know whether it is justified or not. Small branches certainly can't have all the callings that wards do. President Uchtdorf gave a talk in conference priesthood session that talked about how some wards are like F-15 fighter airplanes and other wards/branches are like Piper Cub puddle-jumper airplanes. You might like it. I think it was in the Oct 2012 conference.

Bonnie, it is wonderful to hear that my post was an answer to prayer, to highlight a scripture that would speak to particular troubles you have been having. I felt a little odd about putting that post up, since it called attention to a spiritual struggle I had in the past. One doesn't wish to broadcast that one is in the middle of that for fear of concerning one's loved ones.. But the scriptures are a great place for self-diagnosis of spiritual problems. The important thing is always that we have the humility to recognize our predicament and figure out what to do.

I'm really glad that my difficulties and struggles and can be a means of helping someone else.