Friday, September 18, 2015

Your Heart & Your Hands

Is there room for deep, spiritual thought in life? For the past few months I've wrestled with what to do with my deep, spiritual thoughts. I love to connect ideas and find new applications for Truth, and I've chronicled many of them here. Yet beyond the sheer enjoyment I found in writing them down, I began to wonder if this was just a hobby, and not a very useful one.

Why spend time thinking when you could be doing? The efforts made with hands-- service given, burdens lifted-- are so severely needed. If my spiritual musing was simply a hobby, it didn't seem very serviceable.

Yet God has never asked for simply our hands, he wants our hearts too.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. -Psalms 24:4

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. -Mark 12:30

I thought that maybe this philosophical part of myself should be muted, or ignored. It's given me a lot of anguish, because I could not make these thoughts go away. But, as I've sought to learn more about Jesus Christ-- finding comfort in his words in the Book of Mormon, and pleading with an honest heart in prayer--I've found a space for my mind in His kingdom. And he wishes this from all of his children-- their hearts and their hands.

Giving Him your whole soul the complete depth of it, and your mind and all of its reasonings, is a gift to our Father. In return, you to be a better servant in his kingdom-- "His hands." 

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. -Mosiah 3:19

Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am. -3 Nephi 27:27

Humility, meekness, patience, these are conditions of the heart. They cannot be simply achieved by doing good works, or half-hearted scripture readings and quickly muttered prayers. If we intend to serve God, and serve our fellowman, it's going to take some deep, spiritual thought on our own time. It's going to take quiet, dark hours. It will take communion and mediation, a transformation of thought patterns.

I think I wanted to tone down my spiritual thoughts because I couldn't see the fruits. The fruits of service, of work are so apparent-- you feel so good, and you can see the burden being lifted from another. But the fruits of spiritual work are so subtle-- the direction of your thoughts, or your attitude toward your family. This is an indication that your Father is changing your insides-- which is not something you want to do without.

I want to be whole, to be perfect, even as our Savior is. And that means giving Him my hands and my heart.

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