24 April 2009

Do Good and Love God, Part 3

So, in the end, the innate goodness of humankind is really not separate from God; however, I believe people can be good without being directly inspired by God. My point is that there are things that people do or there are events that happen that are good or bad but this does not mean that God caused them or is responsible for them. Why is this important to understand? Because there are good things, as I wrote before, but just because something is good does not mean it is something we should expend a lot of energy and effort on; we should focus most of our efforts on the better and best - things that are inspired directly by God; things that lead us to do good continually and serve and love God.

What are some of these best things in life? In the Doctrine and Covenants we are commanded to "teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom" (D&C 88:77). The doctrine of the kingdom is certainly one of the best things. Related to this verse is the following from the Doctrine and Covenants, "And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith" (D&C 88:118). What are some of the other "best" things we can do? Teach one another words of wisdom, seek out the best books (particularly the words of wisdom in those books), seek learning but particularly learning by study and faith. Those are all some of the "best" things we can, or rather, we must focus on.

The scriptures are included within the category of the "best books" but that category is not exclusive to scriptures. There are many other non-scriptural books that can be included in the "best books." However, there are no books that are better than the scriptures. One of the books that we should particularly focus on is the book of Isaiah. Isaiah is the most-quoted prophet in the scriptures. His prophecies are particularly prevalent in the Book of Mormon. Nephi talked about the importance of Isaiah, "And I did read many things unto them which were written in the books of Moses; but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning" (1 Nephi 19:23). Isaiah is a powerful source of knowledge about the Savior.

Link to part 2 of this essay.

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