8.15.2011

Grace and Gratitude




Last Sunday at church we discussed desire, and it struck me in such a way that has caused me to read about it and pray about it this week. I'm specifically speaking of righteous desires and how they have the potential to shape our lives. 

What is a righteous desire? I asked my husband this question today because he has such a way with words that I seem to lack sometimes. In his words, righteous desires are ones that bring you closer to Christ. They are desires that will cause you to become a better person- be it through a desire to grow your relationship with Jesus Christ, a desire to put the welfare of others before yourself, a desire to become a better wife or mother, a desire to be a better friend. Ultimately, a righteous desire is one that is selfless, centers on our love for the Savior and on love for others. 

Paul speaks of having charity in Corinthians. I believe charity to be the pure love of Christ. I love how Paul says it in Corinthians 13: 2-7: 

"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemingly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." 

Righteous desires will also have the same qualities as charity does in these verses. In essence, if we have the pure love of Christ in our hearts, we are on the direct path to having righteous desires. 

Our eternal perspective will help form our desires into what they ought to be, righteous desires, if we align our will with that of Heavenly Father. Matthew 16:25 says, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." 

In his talk titled, Desire, given at the April 2011 General Conference, Elder Dallin H. Oaks says, "If our righteous desires are sufficiently intense, they will motivate us to cut and carve ourselves free from addictions and other sinful pressures and priorities that prevent our eternal progress. We should remember that righteous desires cannot be superficial, impulsive, or temporary.They must be heartfelt, unwavering, and permanent." He calls upon us to "search our hearts to determine what we really desire and how we rank our most important desires."

If we read on in Matthew 16:26 it says, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" This begs me to question for myself, "What worldly desires do I have that I would be willing to exchange my soul in order to obtain?" The reality is that there is no worldly desire that could possibly profit me enough to be equal to the worth of my soul. 

Elder Dallin H. Oaks says it so perfectly, "Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming. Therefore, what we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity."

Gratitude (what I am thankful for this week): 
  • Abundant rainfall.
  • My parents.
  • The ability to change, grow, and learn.
  • My understanding husband.
  • Quiet time. 
What are you thankful for this week? Drop a line in the comments to share, if you would like. 

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