In essence, my resolution has been to "be" better each and every day, in some meaningful way. I have phrased it in terms of "becoming" - but, in a very real and important way, it really is all about "being" in the here and now. It has been an amazing experience - one I wish I had started in my youth.
In 2008 ("New Year's Resolution") and 2009 ("New Year's Resolution - 2009"), my focus was on the characteristics listed in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 in 2008 and Matthew 6-7 in 2009); my focus for 2010 ("New Year's Resolution: 2010") was on the aspects of charity listed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; my focus in 2011 ("New Year's Resolution - 2011") was on the questions about being spiritually born of God and receiving his image in our countenances asked in Alma 5.
This year, I have decided to take a slightly different approach. I still want to focus on becoming more Christlike, but I am going to do so by considering each of our Articles of Faith, one-by-one each month, using the 13th Article of Faith as the analytical foundation of my contemplation and application of each of the other Articles of Faith each month. In practical terms this means the following:
The 13th Article of Faith says:
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
I want to focus each month on how I can understand and internalize what is taught in each Article of Faith a little better - to "become" more "complete, whole, fully developed" with regard to the core "fundamentals of Mormonism", if you will - but I want to do so with the explicit understanding that:
"If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, (I must) seek after these things."
Therefore, my resolution this year is not limited to understanding better what our Articles of Faith say "we believe". Rather, it is focused on understanding better the broader tapestry of God's revealed word to all His children and gaining a better understanding of and appreciation for "(everything) virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy" that deals with the principles and concepts articulated in the Articles of Faith. In other words, I am resolved to understand what "we believe" in the broader context of how both "we" and "others" have interpreted God's revelations / inspiration to them concerning those things that "we believe" - with a direct nod to Article of Faith 9, which says:
We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
It is my resolution this year to "seek after these things" more directly - in a more focused, intentional, planned manner - and, as I have done for the past four years, to write about my contemplation and practical experiences each Saturday here in my "spiritual journal".
With that introduction, my monthly focus will be:
January: The Godhead
February: Individual Accountability
March: The Atonement of Jesus Christ
April: Principles and Ordinances
May: Preaching and Administration
June: Religious Institutional Organization
July: Spiritual Gifts
October: Mortal "Zion" (Unity) and the Post-Mortal Life
December: Civic and Social Responsibility