Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Power of Writing

One of the most overlooked aspects of all of scripture is that of writing. In the Book of Mormon alone, there is 249 references to "write" in any of its many forms.

Why is there such a focus on writing? "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God;" (2 Nephi 25:23) is obviously a big reason, but there is more than just that.

When you write down the promptings you receive, you show the Lord that His words are of great worth to you, and that you want to receive more. These writings are then staying around for you to be able to look back on the many wonderful things you had learned in previous days, weeks, and months. 

Writing down the promptings also makes you more keenly aware of what the spirit is telling you. It allows you to pick out principles and doctrines from the stories found in the scriptures. No person can truly study from the scriptures without utilizing a way to write down what is learned from the reading.

There are as many ways to write down the promptings from the scriptures as there are types of people. I have three ways that I do so.

First, I have paper right by me as I study from my scriptures. Each time something stands out to me, I write down whatever it was in my own words. Oftentimes, as I do so, I come to learn more, because as I write down, I am pondering, and it is in the pondering that revelation comes.

Second, when I am done reading, I have a group of friends who I text one of the things I learned. Usually, it's short, just one or two text message lengths, but that keeps the pondering going, and I email myself the texts at the end of the month, and keep in a Google Document, so I could access it anywhere. This also helps others come to understand the doctrines of the Kingdom more fully, and helps keep the observation of the commandment "that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom" (Doctrine & Covenants 88:77). When you keep commandments, that opens your mind to obtain more light and truth, and, thus, greater knowledge and faith.

If some subject keeps pressing upon my mind again and again, I then typically come here. I write a blog post about it. These are more for me than they are for anyone else, most of the time. In writing these, and having to put what's been on my mind into, basically, a paper, I come to understand each of the doctrines and principles I write about more. I come to understand it at a greater depth. My head and my heart go together, and my attitudes and behaviors change: slowly, incrementally, and often almost imperceptibly, but as I look back at how far I've come in a few weeks, months, and sometimes years, I come to see that I am becoming more refined, "more fit for the kingdom...more blessed and holy" (More Holiness Give Me). 

I testify that as you write, the Power of the Word will change you to become more like our Savior. It will raise you to greater heights, and you will both know in your head and understand in your heart what the Lord wants you to know, as you stand a little taller and improve a little more each day.

There will be moments of backsliding, yes. We are merely mortals right now. One step off of the path does not cause eternal damnation. The only thing that stops one from progressing is not repenting. Every other malady we face in this life has been faced by our Savior, and He will always go before your face, and the Father shall be your rearward, the Spirit will be in your heart, and the angels round about you to bear you up. 

As we consistently strive to write the words spoken by the spirit and angels, we will be blessed to understand more fully the doctrines of the kingdom, and our attitudes and behaviors will change to be perfectly in line with the Celestial Law, in and through the blood of the Lamb.