Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Those Who Mourn

Matthew 5:4 reads, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted."

3 Nephi 12:4 reads, "And again, blessed are all they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."

When I read that beatitude, I tend to think of it as a comforting statement.  It seemingly seems to say, "I know you're in pain, but soon, you will find comfort."  It is almost a statement of reassurance to the one mourning.

But let's take a step back and look at the underlying premise of that statement.

For one to mourn, one first has to have had a desire or deep love for something.  Then, the object on which that love or desire is placed must be removed from the one desiring or loving.  Once the separation takes place and a void is left, then comes the mourning.

Is Jesus really saying, that those who are in mourning, they will find comfort in Him?  Does Christ fill the void?  I think the answer is: yes!

Whatever was lost; whatever void is in our life, Christ can fill it; Christ can comfort us.

If we mourn the death of someone close to us, Christ can comfort us.

If we mourn a lost or wayward child or loved one, Christ can comfort us - He can also rescue the wayward child!

If we "mourn" the loss of a habit we are trying to break, Christ can comfort us - He can fill the void left by the removal of addictions.  He can even heal the scars.

If we "mourn" our sins, Christ can and will comfort us.

And not only when we have lost something and are mourning can we find comfort, but we are also to mourn with those that mourn.

Mourning with those that mourn essentially means we have charity for them ... that we place ourself in their shoes and feel their mourning.

We are to mourn.
We are to seek Christ to comfort us.
We are to mourn with others that mourn.
We are to be Christ-like and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.

Related scriptures:
Mosiah 18:8-9

Monday, August 27, 2012

Poor In Spirit

Recently, I've been deeply impressed to minimize the breadth of my scripture study to two things: reading the Book of Mormon and studying the New Testament.

To help with my studying of the New Testament, I decided to delve deep and truly learn and understand what the Savior taught.  Too often I have brushed over the words and have not internalized what has been taught.

As I learn and internalize, I will post my notes to this blog.

By the way, the complete Sermon on the Mount is up at biblevideos.org.  I watched all four parts this morning and was deeply moved by the production.

Matthew 5:3, Luke 6:20 and 3 Nephi 12:3 all discuss the topic of the "poor in spirit"

Matthew 5:3 reads, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Luke 6:20 reads, "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of heaven."

3 Nephi 12:3 reads, "Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

If one were poor in wealth or money, that would mean that person does not have much money - they experience some degree of poverty in which their needs are not met or their needs are barely met.  They do not have much or any money in their account.

Therefore to be poor in spirit would seem to mean that ones spiritual needs are not met or are barely being met.  They do not have any or they have very little spiritual assests.  Spiritually speaking, they have everything to gain and nothing to lose.  In which case, if they "come unto [Jesus]" and follow his teachings, they will inheirit the kingdom of heaven.

In the October 1974 conference, Elder O. Leslie Stone gave a talk on The Beatitudes and had this to say, "What is meant by 'poor in spirit'? Is it not humility, which renders us teachable and eager to learn? They who feel themselves spiritually poor approach God, asking him to supply their needs. They who have faith in him, learn his laws and try diligently to obey him. They thus become eligible for the great blessings he has promised, including salvation, exaltation, and eternal life, which are the greatest of all the gifts of God."

I also like what the NIV Bible footnote as to say about what poor in spirit means, "poor in spirit, In contrast to the spiritually proud and self-sufficient."

To be poor in spirit means to be:
dependant on God and Jesus

Related scriptures:
Mosiah 3:19
Mosiah 4:11
Helaman 3:35