Friday, December 23, 2011

The Path of Righteousness

The Path of Righteousness

“We are all given names after we are born, and the Lord wants to give us a name after we are reborn. We take it upon us, willingly and by covenant. It is his name. And through it and with it we are equipped to pray more powerfully than if we prayed in our own name” (Truman G. Madsen, The Radiant Life, pages 7-8).

In the scriptures the Lord speaks of receiving a new heart or a new spirit—a rebirth through baptism. When we are baptized, we are “born of God, changed from (our) carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters…”
Photo by: Young in Panama, Courtesy of Flickr

Through baptism, we “become new creatures” (Mosiah 27:25).

Baptism, however, is but the first step. Ultimate and permanent change occurs throughout our walk on the other side of the gate of baptism. I have always wanted to be an ‘overnight success,’ but the Lord knows I will make mistakes. I may even leave the path that leads to eternal life, and for a time, wallow in the ‘depths of the fountain’ of sin.

But the Lord has made this promise to me and to everyone who has been baptized: “Whosoever is born of God doth not continue in sin; for the Spirit of God remaineth in him; and he cannot continue in sin, because he is born of God, having received that holy Spirit of promise” (JST, 1 John 3:9).

The promise is, is that if we remain true and faithful to the promises or covenants we have made at baptism and within the temple, that we will indeed return to that Father who gave us breath (see Alma 40:11-12; Genesis 2:7). We will make mistakes, yes, but if we are listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, if we truly have a new heart or spirit within us, we will not live in sin for long.

We will want to return to the path.

Prayer is a big part of staying on the path of righteousness. It is our connection with God. It is our way of knowing his will for us. Today, study the words and references mentioned in the topical guide under the heading, “Prayer, Pray.” Record your thoughts. Take them to the Lord.

Photo by: llimllib, Courtesy of Flickr

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