October 17, 2012

The Condition of my Heart

I have a confession to make. For those of you not of my faith, this probably won't seem like a very big deal, but for those of you who are LDS, you'll understand.

 I don't read/study my scriptures very often. {gulp!}

I am so bad at making them a priority in my life. The thing about it is, I love it when I actually do take the time to sit down, open my scripture notebook, take notes, highlight verses, STUDY. It calms me, lifts my spirits and gives me insights that I know I need. I just have a hard time sitting and doing it. That is going to change though.

As I attended the General Relief Society broadcast a few weeks ago, I left with a theme running through my head. I don't know if it was the theme that all of you who attended walked away with, but it was surely what I needed to hear. The question, "What is the condition of your heart?" followed me home that evening.

I decided to take a little inventory of my heart, and found myself severely lacking in areas that were of great importance, scripture study and charity being chief among them. As I examined my life, my worries, my "necessities", I found that the bulk of my focus was on things that really weren't that important. TV shows, blogs, Facebook, Instagram, were just a few of my "frivolous" focus items. Not that those things are bad, but they were consuming the BULK of my focus, while other things such as my daughter, my husband, my spiritual well being, my home being clean, etc., were being neglected. I didn't like what I saw when I really looked at my heart. I want to like what I see and more importantly, I want my Savior to like what He sees.

Today, as I studied my scriptures, I found myself in Mosiah 15. Just a little background- Abinadi is addressing King Noah and his wicked priests on the atonement and Christ's sojourn on earth. As I neared the end of the chapter, one phrase particularly stuck out in my mind (He's referring to those who have willfully sinned and rebelled against God and have not repented. ) "... for He {Jesus Christ} cannot deny justice when it has its claim." The price has been paid for our sins, but if we are not willing to repent, or if we are willfully disobeying, Christ can do nothing for us. Justice has to be served somewhere. He has provided the mercy, and if we repent, then justice has been served. If we fail to make right our sins, however, that mercy has no claim, because justice has to be met.

As I read this, it struck a chord deep within me, because although I have been trying to make the condition of my heart more to my liking, I still fall short. I'm a natural {wo}man, you see. I am tempted to fall back into bad habits, and sometimes I succumb. I realized that I have to work so hard to not fall into those traps though, because if I am not willing to change, then mercy will not be extended to me. Now, I don't go around all day thinking of ways I can be bad or dishonest or spiteful, but I do make choices that can either help or hinder me on this mortal journey. I make the choice everyday as to whether or not I can have the Lord's justice or mercy in my life. I much prefer the mercy.

The beauty in all of this is that there is mercy. Even though we make mistakes and try so very hard to be better, we still fall short. But we have the wonderful, beautiful, infinite power of the atonement in our lives, and that makes all the difference. I am so grateful that, despite my imperfections, I can be made perfect in Christ; and with his help, I can improve the condition of my heart. So that is my mission for the present moment. Improve myself and my heart and take full advantage of the mercy that has so lovingly been extended to me.

I made up a little print that all of you are welcome to use, if you so desire. It's simple and plain, but it poses a poignant question. This is my own work, so please do not redistribute or sell it. For Personal Use only.

{Print is 8x10}


Ditto Family said...

Thank you for reminding me about that talk. I need to re-read it and do some examining myself.

Linda Marie said...

Oh, you are just so great. It can definitely be scary sometimes to take a step back and really look at what the condition of our hearts are! It's something that's been on my mind too. Thanks for your honesty and for the great reminder that there is mercy.

chenry said...

Hey ash,
loved our little scripture chat the other day. we should do it more often:)

Attitude of Gratitude said...

Love this post and I love you! I am so grateful sisters don't have to share blood to share joy!