Extraordinary Instructions

by | Mar 1, 2021

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Highlights for Doctrine & Covenants 18-19

Sometimes it’s our turn to live life “through the window.”

Shawnie Cannon ~ Divine Code

The most significant discovery in the scriptures is yourself. These two simple verses (D&C 19:23-24) are a perfect example of the Doctrine and Covenants’ divine code. I’m convinced these scriptures are intentionally arranged to spiral each one of us upwards on a progressive journey to a phenomenal, empowered version of ourselves. For example, verses 23-34 teach a formula meant to upgrade our lives and fill our souls with purpose and well-being.

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Learn of me

In January of 2017, President Nelson challenged us to read every verse about Christ found in the standard works. There are 2200+ verses, and he read them in 6 weeks! President Nelson is superhuman…that’s my conclusion. While I haven’t gotten through all of them myself, it’s been a fantastic read. Here is what Russell M. Nelson said about the challenge after he issued it to us:

“I promised those listening that if they would proceed to learn all they can about Jesus Christ, their love for Him and for God’s laws would grow beyond what they could currently imagine.”
“What I didn’t mention during this address was that I knew this promise was true because I was in the midst of completing this very same assignment myself for the first time.”

Take the time to learn of the Savior. I find this intentional study adds a sense of fulness and security to my soul.

Listen to My Words

The Doctrine and Covenants contain more direct quotes from Jesus Christ than any other volume of scripture. This is an excellent “Come Follow Me” year for listening to the Savior Himself. Ezra Taft Benson called the Doctrine and Covenants the capstone of our religion:

The Doctrine and Covenants brings men to Christ’s kingdom, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” [D&C 1:30]. I know that.
The Book of Mormon is the “keystone” of our religion, and the Doctrine and Covenants is the capstone, with continuing latter-day revelation. The Lord has placed His stamp of approval on both the keystone and the capstone.

Walk In the Meekness of My Spirit

Meekness is sometimes a mysterious quality. The greatness of the Savior is defined as “meek and lowly.” The world defines meekness as lesser quality than we do; however, Elder Soares (2013) does a beautiful job teaching what true meekness feels and looks like.

“Meekness is vital for us to become more Christlike. Without it we won’t be able to develop other important virtues. Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self-worth, and self-control.

“Meekness was one of the most abundant attributes in the Savior’s life. He Himself taught His disciples, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.””I believe, brothers and sisters, that only those who are humble are able to acknowledge and understand the Lord’s answers to their prayers. The humble are teachable, recognizing how dependent they are on God and desiring to be subject to His will. The humble are meek and have the ability to influence others to be the same. God’s promise to the humble is that He will lead them by the hand. I truly believe that we will avoid detours and sadness in our lives as long as we walk hand in hand with the Lord.”

The story Elder Soares (Swar-ez) told had me feeling absolutely sheepish because of the smaller injustices I complain about. I am in awe of this brother:

“One of the most beautiful modern-day examples of meekness that I am aware of is that of Brother Moses Mahlangu. His conversion began in 1964, when he received a copy of the Book of Mormon. He was fascinated as he read this book, but it was not until the early ’70s that he saw an LDS Church sign on a building in Johannesburg, South Africa, as he was walking down a street. Brother Mahlangu was intrigued and entered the building to learn more about the Church. He was kindly told that he could not attend the services or be baptized because the country’s laws did not allow it at that time.”

“Brother Mahlangu accepted that decision with meekness, humility, and without resentment, but he continued to have a strong desire to learn more about the Church. He asked the Church leaders if they could leave one of the meetinghouse windows open during the Sunday meetings so he could sit outside and listen to the services. For several years, Brother Mahlangu’s family and friends attended church regularly “through the window.” One day in 1980 they were told that they could attend church and also be baptized. What a glorious day it was for Brother Mahlangu.”

“Later the Church organized a branch in his neighborhood in Soweto. This was possible only because of the determination, courage, and faithfulness of people like Brother Mahlangu who remained faithful for so many years under difficult circumstances.”

“One of Brother Mahlangu’s friends, who had joined the Church at the same time, recounted this story to me when I visited the Soweto stake. At the end of our conversation, he gave me a hug. At that moment, brothers and sisters, I felt as if I was encircled in the Savior’s loving arms. Meekness emanated from this good brother’s eyes. With a heart full of goodness and deep gratitude, he asked if I could just tell President Thomas S. Monson how grateful and blessed he and many others were for having the true gospel in their lives. Brother Mahlangu and his friend’s example of meekness truly influenced many lives for good—especially mine.”

Sometimes it’s our turn to live life “through the window.”  And it’s OK when this happens.  The Lord sees us and understands just what we experience.  When He asks us to try our hand at meekness and submission for a season – be awesome at it. Believe it or not, there is joy and accomplishment in purposely living life “through the window” with grace.

Takeaway

This short scripture reference gives us so much to hold on to, to work on, and a path to joy. How grateful I am for the continual guidance radiating from the Doctrine and Covenants.

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