I need to focus all the time on things like personal and family scripture study and prayer, regular and meaningful Family Home Evening and temple attendance with Mama, but this year I am instituting only one New Year's Resolution. It deals directly with my last post on the true meaning of "perfection" as commanded in Matthew 5:48.
As I said in that post, the Sermon on the Mount is Jesus' penultimate sermon - what I consider to be the blueprint to perfection. Matthew 6 & 7 are part of the blueprint, but I am going to focus on Matthew 5 this year.
In this chapter, I count 12 character traits applicable to me and within my control that I believe, when fully internalized, make someone perfect. In my opinion, everything else in scripture
revolves around these traits. Therefore, I am planning on focusing my efforts this year on those 12 traits - emphasizing one per month in successive order - thinking about it and looking for ways to acquire it and not worrying about any other traits during that month.
The following is the plan:
January: Become more poor in spirit.
February: Look for ways to mourn with those who mourn - then mourn with them.
March: Become more meek.
April: Hunger and thirst more after righteousness.
May: Become more merciful.
June: Become more pure in heart.
July: Become more of a peacemaker.
August: Control my anger better.
September: Become more chaste in thought and deed.
October: Keep my promises more diligently; make them a simple "Yes" or "No".
November: Give more freely and do not revile as quickly.
December: Love those who revile me; seek situations of interaction with those who will do so.
I am planning currently to repeat the first seven traits each year until I feel impressed to stop. I intend to change the last five each year to other traits found in the scriptures. I have come to believe that if I focus on becoming more "perfect" (complete, whole, fully developed), my actions will begin to take care of themselves - that as I replace my natural tendencies with those demanded by the Savior, that internal change will alter my very nature and allow me to do more naturally what He would have me do.
In the spirit of my resolution for this month, I would like to ask any who read this to share whatever they feel inspired to share about becoming more poor in spirit. There are no parameters or suggestions for this request. I would like to partake of and learn whatever anyone has to share.
I'm sure I will blog about other things, as well, but my main focus this month on this blog will be what I learn about becoming poor in spirit.
Venus in Tahiti: 27 July – 27 August 1918
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