Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolution - 2011

For the past three years, I have focused on the Sermon on the Mount and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (charity) as the center of my New Years' Resolutions. The posts introducing why I have done so and detailing my actual resolutions can be found at the following links: New Year's Resolution , New Year's Resolution - 2009 and New Year's Resolution: 2010.  This year, I am keeping the same basic resolution (to become more Christ-like) but changing the scriptural focus of my effort.

My focus this year will be on some of the specific things Alma mentions in Alma 5 as leading to being spiritually born of God.  Since I can't paste the entire chapter in the space available here, I instead will quote from the introductory overview in Verse 14 and summarize my resolution for each month - with the appropriate verse citation for those resolutions.

Verse 14 reads:

And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?

There are thirty-three distinct questions asked in this chapter that deal directly with the outcomes listed in Verse 14 - three of which are in Verse 6, three of which are in Verse 14 and twenty-seven of which are in the verses following Verse 14 (some of which are re-statements of the root questions - like the multiple questions in Verses 15-18). Since I view the first three questions as preparatory to the central questions asked in Verse 14 and the questions following Verse 14 as the blueprint outlines to achieving the condition described in Verse 14, I am going to organize my resolutions for 2011 the same way I have for the previous three years - one per month throughout the year - focusing on the questions asked in Verses 15-59.

Thus, my resolution for this year will be:

January:  Exercise more faith in the redemption of Christ. (Verses 15-18)
February: Have a purer heart and cleaner hands, and project more the image of God. (Verses 19-25)
March: Feel more deeply to sing the song of redeeming love. (Verse 26)
April: Walk more blamelessly before God. (Verse 27)
May: Be more humble and less proud. (Verses 27-28)
June: Be less envious. (Verse 29)
July:Be less mocking of others. (Verses 30-33)
August: Set my heart less upon the things of the world. (Verse 53)
September: Recognize more fully that I am not better than others. (Verse 54)
October: Persecute other less. (Verse 54)
November: Recognize the needs of the poor more and share more readily with them. (Verse 55)
December: Watch over the flock more diligently. (Verse 59)

Just as I have for the past three years, I will post about this resolution each Saturday throughout the year.

Any thoughts at the beginning, before I start writing my weekly posts, would be appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Just reading this thrilled my soul,Ray and reminded me why I am going to church tomorrow,health permitting.

Jettboy said...

I want you to know that I have enjoyed reading your blog and have included it in My personal list of Faithful blogs. Thank you.

Matthew said...

My first thought is that the heart is where the change has to take place, and the change of heart is what causes the outward practices to be what they ought to be.

My second thought is that sometimes, changing the outward practice can help with the changing of the heart.

I also think that the term 'mighty' is important in v 14. Being born of God is not a small change, it is a mighty change: it is nothing less than the metamorphosis of the natural man into the spiritual man.

Looking forward to another year of great thoughts, Ray!