Thursday, January 2, 2014

FRESH STARTS and "Resolutions" - Lessons from Enos

Holy One of Israel  - Simon Dewey
Who doesn't like a new beginning?  A 'Fresh Start'?

As we contemplate a New Year we can see it as a new beginning if we've left the old behind.  But, if we drag it (the old baggage) along it's hard to make that 'fresh start'.

Over the years I've heard many ideas, lectures, thoughts, talks etc. about goal-setting and new year resolutions.  Yesterday, on the news, I heard about 'commitments' instead of 'resolves'.

Either way, from a gospel perspective I may see things differently than some.  Yes, goals can be good, resolutions can be motivating or helpful, but…without the help of the Spirit, they may not be soul-changing.  And, that's my idea of goals that really matter.


In this day and age we are surrounded by a plethora of 'good ideas'.  Many there are who write books about goals, motivation, weight loss, changing, personal development etc.  But, without the Spirit to guide us - are these goals that really help us become what and who we are meant to become?

Pardon me if I share from a gospel perspective but, if I may, as I read and ponder the scriptures I haven't come across many of the words that are used in our current vernacular such as "goal setting" or
"weight loss".  But, I have found many words that heal from the inside out and then, we change.

Enos wanted to know some things.  He had a desire in mind of something he wanted more than he wanted anything else.  And, he fasted and prayed sincerely all day and even into the night for that.  And it appears that he'd been thinking of these things for longer than just that time period as he said:

 And I will tell you of the awrestle which I had before God, before I received a bremission of my sins.
 Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the ajoy of the saints, bsunk deep into my heart.
 And my soul ahungered; and I bkneeled down before my Maker, and I ccried unto him in mighty dprayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.
 And there came a avoice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins arebforgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.
 And I, Enos, knew that God acould not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.
and, then, he goes on to share what he felt and what happened next:
And I said: Lord, how is it done?
 And he said unto me: aBecause of thy bfaith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee cwhole.
 Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a adesire for the bwelfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did cpour out my whole soul unto God for them.
 10 And while I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my amind again, saying: I will visit thy brethren according to their diligence in keeping my commandments. I have bgiven unto them this land, and it is a holy land; and I ccurse it not save it be for the cause of iniquity; wherefore, I will visit thy brethren according as I have said; and their dtransgressions will I bring down with sorrow upon their own heads.
 11 And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my afaith began to bebunshaken in the Lord; and I cprayed unto him with many longdstrugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites.
 12 And it came to pass that after I had aprayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy bdesires, because of thy faith.
As we talk about goal setting, resolutions, overcoming things and changing our lives for the better - might we talk about repentance, faith, and seeking the Lord in all things?  Purity of heart and mind changes us.  It's FAITH that makes us WHOLE.  We then are able to see things more clearly and to focus on the things that matter most eternally.  
For permanent changes in our souls we need His help.  We can't do it alone.  He is the healer of all wounds and the fountain of all truth.  If our goals are based on truth/true principles, and if we desire to become better, more humble and more holy, we need His help to be able to do so.  And, he will help us if we turn to Him in the sincerity of our hearts.
If our goals are 'righteous' and the desires of our hearts to serve Him - He will make us much better than we could make ourselves.  He has promised us that.
"...men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life."  Benson, Gifts and Expectations
As we turn our hearts and lives over to Him we become better.  We're refined and purified in the process.  Our goals become His goals for us; to become like Him so that He can bless us with ALL that He hath.
Anything short of this GOAL would be a waste of precious time and energy, in my opinion.  Nevertheless, all are free to choose; eternal life or ….eternal damnation (stop of progress.)
So, if we decide to set-goals let us try to do so with an eternal 'prize' in mind.  Let us ponder on the significance of a new beginning as we strive to let go of the old, forgive the old baggage, repent of all unkindly and ungodly deeds and turn our lives over to Him.  He is the keeper of the gate, He is the Light, Truth, and the WAY.  If and as we follow Him we will be blessed beyond any earthly strivings to receive the 'things of a better'.
This is my prayer for us all.


3 comments:

  1. I love your writing and thoughts today. I too want the spirit to direct me in what choices I make as spiritual or etc. goals.
    Blessings for your efforts today; you are awesome!

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  2. Thank you so much! This is so beautiful and I agree 100 %. Thanks again!

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  3. Thank you, LeAnn and Nidia!
    I appreciate your kind comments! It's nice to know that we're all striving!

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Thank you for your comments.