Remember, brethren, that He has called you unto holiness; and need we say, to be like Him in purity? How wise, how holy; how chaste, and how perfect, then, you ought to conduct yourselves in His sight; and remember, too, that His eyes are continually upon you.
Be responsive to the counsel of the prophets, seers, and revelators who will help you to reach true self-mastery. Be responsive to the promptings of the Spirit. The Spirit will influence your conscience and help you to refine yourself by working on the little tasks of self-control--like controlling your thoughts, words, and actions, which leads to self-control of your whole self, of mind, body, and spirit. Remember, anger is only one letter short of danger.
Your choices are the mirror of your self-control. They will lead you to your eternal destination if they are made with divine direction and control. Stay morally clean. Keep a clean mind and heart. Your thoughts will determine your actions. Control your thoughts. Don't submit yourself to temptation. Aristotle said, "For what it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do."
Control wisely and select carefully what you will invite via a mouse click or remote control into your home, your dormitory, or your office. Select reading material, movies, TV shows, and any other form of entertainment that bring good, uplifting thoughts rather than unwholesome desires.
Don’t be afraid to walk out of a movie, turn off a television set, or change a radio station if what’s being presented does not meet your Heavenly Father’s standards. In short, if you have any question about whether a particular movie, book, or other form of entertainment is appropriate, don’t see it, don’t read it, don’t participate.
The Apostle Paul declared: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? . . . The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” Brethren, it is our responsibility to keep our temples clean and pure.
I feel prompted to share the words in Doctrine and Covenants 121:45–46. They are for those who are called and chosen and who endure valiantly. They are for you in these trying days, just as they were for Joseph Smith and the Saints in those trying days of the early Church: “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God [and] the Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion.”
When we are virtuous, we are promised we shall confidently stand in His presence—holy and like Him. We are promised priesthood power, the very power of godliness, because we are virtuous! We are promised the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, who testifies, directs, warns, comforts, and sanctifies. And finally, we are promised that we shall have eternal life, the greatest of all God’s gifts. We will be gods, living a godlike life, when we are virtuous. We will be like Him—pure even as He is pure.
The journey to Zion—the pure in heart—will take everything you and I have. I pray that each one of us will have the desire and strength to move out of our comfort zones as we prepare for the run of our lives and, like Agnes Caldwell, reach up and take the Master’s hand. His promise is for each of us: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (D&C 84:88). I testify that our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, live and They will prepare us for the great work to be done in the holy temples of our Lord in preparation not only for the Savior’s Second Coming but also for our eternal exaltation.
The requirement to put off the natural man and become a saint, to avoid and overcome bad and to do and become good, to have clean hands and a pure heart, is a recurring theme throughout the Book of Mormon. In fact, Moroni’s concluding invitation at the end of the book is a summary of this theme.
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ. . . .
“And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot” (Moroni 10:32–33; emphasis added).
May you and I repent with sincerity of heart and truly come unto Christ. I pray that we will seek through the Savior’s Atonement to have both clean hands and a pure heart, that we may become holy, without spot. I witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Eternal Father and our Savior. He who is without spot redeems us from sin and strengthens us to do good and to become better.
We must never make a promise or covenant we do not intend to keep. If we can't make the larger ones, then we should begin by making the smaller ones. But we must begin somewhere to conquer temptations and unworthy habits.
I think most of us need to start with acquiring control over our body. We know in our minds what we need to do. Our problem is not a lack of knowledge - it is a habit. The body is sacred. It is the house in which the spirit lives. Paul, the apostle, called it a temple.
1. Meek and humble--not self-concerned, dismissive, proud, seeking ascendancy. Blessed are the meek because they are not easily offended. Besides, those who "shine as lights in the world" have no need to seek the spotlight! (See Philippians 2:15.) The world's spotlights are not only fleeting, but they employ inferior light!
2. Patient--not hectic, hurried, pushy.
3. Full of love--not demanding, dominating, manipulative, condescending, or harsh.
4. Gentle--not coarse, brusque, and vindictive.
5. Easily entreated--not unapproachable, inaccessible, and nonlistening.
6. Long-suffering--not impatient, disinterested, curt, easily offended. There are so many people in the Church, brothers and sisters, waiting to be offended. And it doesn't take long. If one has a chip on his or her shoulder, you can't make it through the foyer, so to speak, without getting it knocked off.
7. Submissive to God--not resistant to the Spirit, counsel, and life's lessons.
8. Temperate (self-restrained)--not egoistic, eager for attention and recognition, or too talkative. In your life and mine, the great moments of commendation and correction have come usually in one-liners.
9. Merciful--not judgmental and unforgiving. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall know the caress of causality as their forgiving mercy restores others to wholeness! Though God is perfected in the attributes of justice and mercy, we read that, finally, "Mercy overpowereth justice" (Alma 34:15).
10. Gracious--not tactless, easily irritated, ungenerous.
11. Holy--not worldly.
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