So I promised I would write about Virtue. =) It has been a beautiful study. I asked a few questions as I studied:
1. What is virtue?
I learned that Virtue is purity of thought and action. Preach my Gospel teaches that Virtue originates in your innermost thoughts and desires.Virtue is also a commandment (D&C 4:6; 38:24).
2. How do we obtain it?
In my experience, our thoughts, more than anything else, determine our actions. If our thoughts are unclean, we will fight living an unclean life always. If we control our thoughts and keep them always virtuous (through regular scripture study, prayer, temple attendance) we will easily live a virtuous life.
“Your mind is like a stage in a theater; in the theater of your mind, however, only one actor can be on stage at a time. If the stage is left bare, thoughts of darkness and sin often enter the stage to tempt. But these thoughts have no power if the stage of your mind is occupied by wholesome thoughts, such as a memorized hymn or verse of scripture that you can call upon in a moment of temptation. By controlling the stage of your mind, you can successfully resist persistent urges to yield to temptation and indulge in sin. You can become pure and virtuous.”
As with Charity, we should also “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled” with Virtue.
3. What are the fruits (evidence), and the blessings of virtue?
In D&C 121 we are given these things as a result of letting “virtue garnish [our] thoughts unceasingly.”
- Our confidence will wax strong in the presence of God
- The Holy Ghost will be our constant companion
- The Doctrine of the Priesthood will distill upon our souls as the dews from heaven
- Our scepter shall be an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth
In D&C 4:5 and in 2 Peter 1:5-10, virtue is listed as one of 10 attributes which, if we diligently seek to obtain, will make our calling and election sure. “For if ye do these things, ye shall never fall”.
Hope that was enlightening =). More than a beautiful study, it has been a beautiful experience, and I attribute my increased revelation and my increased love for the scriptures in large part to my recent prayers for a greater measure of virtue.
So we had Elder Renlund of the First Quorum of the Seventy visit with his wife this past week on a mission tour. He told this story:
Elder Renlund’s wife and daughter wanted a dog. Elder Renlund felt firmly that the dog should be a big masculine dog with a name like “Spike”, so when he walked him around the neighborhood people would point and say things like “look at all that muscle”. His wife, however, wanted a small, feminine dog with a pretty name. Well, in marriage comes compromise, so they bought a toy poodle and named her “Lady”. “That dog was useless,” Elder Renlund chided, “but the one thing she was good for was that if you threw a ball she would run and pick it up and bring it back.” Elder Renlund said he would sit and throw a ball over and over again, and Lady would never get tired of returning it. One day Elder Renlund was bored, so he picked up two balls and threw both of them. Off ran lady, grabbing the first ball and heading back, then she saw the second ball, dropped the first ball, ran over to the second ball, picked it up, and started to head back. Then she saw the first ball again, so she dropped the second, ran to the first, picked it up, and started heading back. Then she saw the second ball again, so she dropped the first, ran over, looked at the second ball, looked back at the first, looked back at the second, and then walked over to her bed and laid down. Elder Renlund likened this experience to having an “eye single to the glory of God”. An eye single is like having only one ball we are chasing. Is our eye single?
Moses 1:39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
I wanted to include some stories of miracles and successes we have seen lately, but I spent a lot of time on the other stuff, soooo I don’t have time anymore. Lynchburg is incredible though, and this transfer is especially wonderful. We just had our interviews with our mission president, and I feel again like the light is coming on here. The sun is rising, and my life is filling with light. I love this work. I love love LOVE it!
In closing, I want to bear my testimony of the Savior’s atonement. It is real. It is so very real. I wish I could tell you how real it is. In Alma 34:31 it says “Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.” I have felt that immediacy. I felt it again last night. I am so grateful for the gift of repentance. Please don’t take it for granted. Please don’t live in pain and regret. The Savior has taken the price and burden upon him. Soften your heart and turn to him and you will feel the immediate blessings of the great plan of redemption. I love this Gospel. It is so true. I pray you may come to know it as I know it. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.