First, before we get into the stuff of today’s post, a quick shout out to my family: The pond party we were planning for Aug. 2? Canceled. Sorry, it isn’t a good weekend for it.
In addition to scriptures, we have what we call articles of faith. There are 13 of them, and they are relatively simple statements which delineate our basic beliefs. I believe I have listed them all here before in a Mormon Monday post some months ago. I decided to briefly revisit the 13th article of faith because, as I was pondering what to write about today, I stumbled across a quote by former church president Gordon B. Hinckley that I really liked. Of course, I have yet to stumble across anything he’s said that I didn’t really like, but that’s not the point. The point is, this one jumped out at me for some reason.
So, first, the 13th article of faith says:
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul — We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
And here is the quote by President Hinckley:
Now, brethren and sisters, “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things” (A of F 1:13).
That article of our faith is one of the basic declarations of our theology. We ought to reflect on it again and again. Then, whenever we might be tempted to do anything shoddy or dishonest or immoral, there would come into our minds with some force this great, all-encompassing statement of the ethics of our behavior. There would be less rationalizing over some elements of our personal conduct which we try to justify with one excuse or another.
Some would have us believe that the area between good and evil is largely gray and that it is difficult to determine what is right and what is wrong. For any who so believe, I recommend this beautiful statement of Mormon, quoted by his son Moroni: “For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God” (Moro. 7:16).
Let us establish in our lives the habit of reading those things which will strengthen our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. He is the pivotal figure of our theology and our faith. Every Latter-day Saint has the responsibility to know for himself or herself with a certainty beyond doubt that Jesus is the resurrected, living Son of the living God.
Brethren and sisters, we have nothing to fear if we stay on the Lord’s side.
And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.