Sunday, July 1, 2012

Attributes of a Man or a Woman of God

“What are the attributes of a man or a woman of God?”
Certainly, such attributes mirror the attributes of Deity. There may be many attributes that come to mind. There is a listing of some of these attributes in Doctrine and Covenants 4:6:
Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.”

brother_of_jaredFor the attribute of FAITH, consider the brother of Jared. Notwithstanding he was “chastened… because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord,” yet “he repented of the evil which he had done, and did call upon the name of the Lord…” As he prayed regularly, the brother of Jared was directed in his work. Eventually, a matter arose needing further direction. Rather than again providing direct instruction, the Lord invited the brother of Jared to find the solution. This he did, and took 16 small molten stones to the Lord to now ask for something that only the Lord could do. In deep humility, he asked the Lord to “touch [the] stones.”
As you know, in this experience, the brother of Jared saw the pre-mortal Savior “[b]ecause of [his] faith…,” and the Lord told him, “never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast….”
There are lessons and practical experiences in the life of the brother of Jared that help us to better understand faith.


joseph-resists

For the attribute of VIRTUE, consider Joseph of old, who “got him out” when tempted by Potiphar’s wife.
Joseph’s life is synonymous with virtue.



















Abraham Call of Abraham bWhen I think of KNOWLEDGE I think of Abraham who “sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto [he] should be ordained to administer the same; having been [himself] a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge…, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God… became a rightful heir….”
When I think of knowledge, I think of Abraham.














daniel  and his friends refuse wineFor TEMPERANCE, consider Daniel who “would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank.”
Said he to the prince of the eunuchs, “Prove [us], I beseech thee, ten days, and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. …And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.”
Daniel’s life epitomized temperance.















ArtBook__097_097__JosephSmithInLibertyJail____Many prophets have endured difficult things that have imbued them with PATIENCE.
I think of Joseph Smith and his words from the jail at Liberty which are perhaps most emblematic. “O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place? How long…. Yea, O Lord, how long…. O Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven, earth, and seas, and of all things that in them are, and who controllest and subjectest the devil, and the dark and benighted dominion of Sheol—stretch forth thy hand….”

Then camethe Lord’s response, “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.”
Through patience, Joseph Smith “[possessed] his soul.”







NephiBoundFor BROTHERLY KINDNESS, there could perhaps be no greater example than Nephi, whose older brothers “[bound him] with cords for they sought to take away [his] life.”
Through his exercise of faith, the Lord gave him strength to burst the bands and his brothers were eventually “sorrowful” for what they had done. Evidencing great brotherly kindness Nephi simply records, “…I did frankly forgive them….”
Notwithstanding their rudeness, Nephi was kind to his brothers.

















Exodus_20 Moses ten-commandmentsWhen studying the attribute of GODLINESS, consider Moses.
To prepare the minds of the children of Israel for the coming of the Messiah, Moses taught them that the Lord God would raise up a prophet “like unto me,” like unto Moses. The Savior later confirmed that He was that prophet. It was this same Moses who “plainly taught…the children of Israel” that “in the ordinances [of the priesthood], the power of godliness is manifest.”
Moses is a good example of godliness.





ArtBook__073_073__MormonAbridgingThePlates____For CHARITY, consider Mormon.
From the heart of this faithful prophet and valiant military leader who prepared the sacred book of scripture that bears his name, comes this counter-intuitive yet remarkably inspired counsel to his people who were then immersed in despair and destruction.
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail— But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.”
When I think of charity, I think of Mormon.










ArtBook__006_006__CityofZionIsTakenUp____When I think of HUMILITY, I think of Enoch.
When he was called to prophesy unto the people and to call them to repentance, “he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord saying: “Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?”
What followed was a city that was taken into heaven.
Enoch exemplifies humility.
















ArtBook__137_137__ThomasSMonson____
For all who know him, Thomas S. Monson is synonymous with DILIGENCE.
His life, his very being, defines diligence. Just last April in General Priesthood Meeting he shared these words:

“I love and cherish the noble word duty and all that it implies. In one capacity or another, in one setting or another, I have been attending priesthood meetings for the past 72 years—since I was ordained a deacon at the age of 12. Time certainly marches on. Duty keeps cadence with that march. Duty does not dim nor diminish. Catastrophic conflicts come and go, but the war waged for the souls of men continues without abatement. Like a clarion call comes the word of the Lord to you, to me, and to priesthood holders everywhere: “Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed in all diligence.”
Thomas S. Monson is a great example of diligence.



Like all of these men of God, we can develop these divine attributes in our own lives.


….[The] final element of being a man or a woman of God is remembering who you really are and what God expects of you as believers in, and obeyers of, the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Thy Will be Done Posters 2




Jesus always remembered that His Father had sent Him and what He wanted Him to say and do.


A man or a woman of God remembers the same.


















[This post is taken from Elder Craig A Cardon’s BYU-IDAHO Devotional on June 19, 2012 entitled “A Man of God, a Woman of God”.  Our hearts were touched and impressed by Elder Cardon’s testimony and wanted to share some of his words.]









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