Tuesday, September 4, 2012
2 Nephi 1- Thou Knowest the Greatness of God .
A- Action- Ask.
T- Thought -Teach
I believe that the goodness of God exists within each one of us. I remember my grandmother teaching me to love all, and look for the good in everyone. All of my life I have tried to live by this credo. I believe when we look for the good in others we discover the possibility of "knowing the greatness of God." (v 2) I have learned to use this acronym in both prayer and when I interact with others. When I encounter new people, situations, or try new talents, I try using this acronym as a guide. I believe I will find it not only offers a recipe for "great" success but also helps make me aware of God's greatness that exists in all who love him and revere life as his sacred gift.
G is for Gratitude
Gratitude is such an amazing blessing. When we truly weigh our lives where does our true joy come from? In starting all of our prayers, conversations, personal interactions and encounters with gratitude, I believe we can never go wrong.
Once I started a new conversation with a stranger by saying, "It is such a blessing to meet you. I am very glad that our paths have crossed." Both of us were so refreshed by the power that gratitude brought to the meeting that we forgot to be stymied by the awkwardness of the moment.
All cultures practice gratitude: Thank you. Gracious. Malo, Wer danken dir, Tak, Merci, Kansha Shimasu,
God shows us his gratitude by granting us freedoms and filling our hearts with his peace.
R is for Respect
My grandfather taught me the importance of shaking hands with those we meet, looking them in the eye and calling them by name. Once when I was working with a sales clerk, I said, "Thank you Doreen." She looked pleasantly surprised and a bit quizzical before she realized I merely had read her name-tag. When we use a person's name, show gracious body language, or pay attention to another human being by looking them in the eye, we are practicing respect for all that they have to offer us. We are saying. "I don't know it all. I need your help. You are important."
God shows his respect by listening to our prayer. If we will do the same, we might be surprised to hear his spirit speak to our hearts. I love nature and have often awed at how God shows us respect through the mere consistency of his actions. The sun never fails us. The flowers always bring beauty. Each of his creations show their respect for him by fulfilling the measure of their creation.
E is for Extol -
After greeting them with gratitude and respect, extolling others for their virtues is one way to help create a sincere and loving atmosphere. When others know that you have taken the time to consider their talents and their abilities, their likes, they are more likely to listen to you.
The scriptures teach me how how to praise my God. Prayer also teaches me how to praise. When I listen, I always hear his love and esteem for me. God extols our goodness, our talents, and all that is good in us. He wants only for us to find empowerment through his love.
A is for Action through Asking
After giving gratitude, respect and praise, it's perfectly appropriate to ask for what we might have need of. Most of our interactions with others is based on the exchange of business, ideas, direction, love, emotion. etc. James taught, "If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not."James 1:5
God will ask us to help him help others. Jacob was told "and thy days shall be spent in the service of thy God." It is through service to those in need that the Lord's work is accomplished.
Lehi taught that God will when asked, "consecrate our afflictions for our gain." (v.2)
The word "ask" appears in the scriptures 209 times. We need not suffer alone.
Now we are on firm ground for conducting "great" business. It is time to listen for the thought that teaches us, or to offer a thought that might give guidance. This is where the conversation begins.
I like to think of it like playing a round of ping pong. If you are doing all the pinging... (talking). there is little exchange happening. Take a breath and let God get a word in.
My son says I talk too much. My brother had a nick name for me..."...." that basically said the same. I do have a need to express myself, but I am working at letting the exchange of teachable thoughts work their way back and forth through a conversation. :)
Greatness comes to those who learn how to treat others well. God is great for many reasons... and in this chapter Lehi's young son, Jacob is being reminded that he, as Lehi's "firstborn in tribulation", and as his "firstborn in the wilderness," has known "the greatness of God." Lehi said that Jacob "beheld the glory of God in his youth," (v 4) and that "thy soul shall be blessed."(v.5)
I have been privy to many miraculous events in my life. I have known God's love, mercy, guidance and blessings. And where I could choose from a plethora of such accounts I believe the most potent account of God's greatness comes when I put his example, his love, his mercy, his gratitude, his respect for me to task. Truly God's greatest gift was his plan that allows me to grow and learn and understand the magnitude of his love for me. The greatest lesson of God's greatness comes when I emulate his actions toward me and try to live his example, as best I can.
God teaches us through others, through revelation, through scripture study, through example, through his "grace and truth" (v. 6) .