Friday, July 16, 2010

Alma - Chapter 37

There is so much in this Chapter.  You know I never fully exhaust every verse, but rather examine something that really jumps out at me.  Today that something is in verse 36.  A little line that simply says, "...let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord..."

We are commanded to pray always.  Is this what Alma wanted to teach his son?  Is there a difference between thoughts and prayers.  I guess it depends upon the direction.

I am always thinking.  There is constantly a conversation going on in my head.  I remember, by way of example, that while driving down the road a while back, someone waved to me.  I waved back.  Immediately, I judged my wave to have been nerdy.  So, for the next mile I worked on developing a cool wave and the practiced it the rest of the day.  This is the kind of thing that happens when we direct our thoughts to ourselves.  It most certainly doesn't bring out the best in us.  Most of us are susceptible to negative self-talk.  The conversations we have with ourselves involve what Coleen Harrison calls the committee.  We all have a committee in our heads and we make our decisions too often with deference to that committee.  The committee consists of parents, friends, teachers, critics, bullies, church leaders and, through our memory they all seem to have a say in what we choose, how we feel and the judgments we make.

What if I directed my thoughts to the Lord?  I tried it.  The committee shut right up.  I saw things with an entirely different perspective.  I made decisions based upon my perception of what God thinks rather than what the committee thinks.  I also got a different perspective on myself.  Stephen R. Covey calls the feedback we get from the committee, the social mirror.  Always the social mirror is distorted, like the ones you see at the Carnival.  With that distorted view of ourselves is it any wonder that we're messed up?  Covey then refers to an added interpretation of Section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants which declares, inversely, that the chief characteristic of those who reach the Celestial Kingdom is that they are "valiant in the testimony of Jesus."  What if that means we are valiant in His testimony about us.  His whole life and all of his teaching declare that we are of infinite worth and divine potential!  

By directing our thoughts unto the Lord we effectively see ourselves in His mirror.  With that perfect view, won't we see ourselves more correctly and act more wholly (could also be spelled as Holy) as a consequence?  I think we will.

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