#15 November 27,2021
In the beginning, all things created by God were good. All existed to the fullness of their creation and were both immortal and eternal. Man was given the ability and the right to choose something other than that perfection. In their pride, they sought to possess knowledge they had no ability to understand. Through their impatience, they tainted God’s perfect creation. Life became death. Trust gave way to doubt. Hope turned to despair and truth was set aside that lies might rule in the ways of the world. Man chose rebellion and God showed respect to that choice, but He made it clear that only mankind's choice to seek God, patience within that choice, and diligence to that choice would repair all that had been destroyed. It is a labor that God will gladly do with us but not for us.    

Genesis 7:39-40 
7:39 The Lord said unto Enoch, Behold, these thy brethren, they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their intelligence in the day that I created them. 
7:40 And in the garden of Eden gave I unto man his agency; and unto thy brethren have I said, and also gave commandment, that they should love one another; and that they should choose me their Father.

Brothers and sisters, ours is a labor of restoration. We do not need to create anything new. We seek to restore mankind and all creation to what they were in God. It is proper and just that we clean up the mess we made. It seems like an impossible task until we realize that God and the whole of His creation seeks to help us, if we will but allow them. 

Alma19:64 I say unto thee, my son, that the plan of restoration is requisite with the justice of God; for it is requisite that all things should be restored to their proper order.

God’s creation is absolute in its power and resolute in its ability to restore the temporal damage done by man. Look to any vacant lot in the city and you will see the power of nature to restore God’s creation to God’s design. Without the presence of man’s impatient influence, the diligence of God’s natural order thwarts man’s best efforts to change forever what God created. Left free of man’s intervention, all that God intended is patiently and diligently restored. 

Understand that we are just a part of this effort of restoration. In God we labor to restore our hearts and the hearts of all mankind to the ways of God. If we allow our efforts to reflect the diligence of nature, we have no need to be impatient. We have no need to skip steps. We have no need to hurry. We just need to allow the Spirit to cause us to be patient in our hearts and resolute in our diligence. 

Patience is essential to both our spiritual wellbeing and the diligence we allow ourselves in our temporal labors. It ensures that each step of growth we achieve becomes a solid foundation for the next step we attempt. Further, our patience testifies of a belief that calms the anxious mind, uplifts the despairing heart, and fills the idler with a need for focus, diligence, and purpose. Patience is a maxim we must not ignore, because impatience contains a seed of pride that can grow to disrupt the growth of all we labor to accomplish by tempting us to skip steps that we might claim the prize sooner. Farmers know the value of patience. As the early rains cause the seed to sprout and grow, the latter rains cause the harvest to mature and become the bounty the farmer seeks. To be denied either one brings failure and disappointment.

James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

Diligence is an action, but it begins as a state of mind that opens our heart to the Spirit of God. The Spirit allows us to envision our purpose with clarity of mind understanding within our hearts that each step we take might include both growth and change. The diligent mind led by the Spirit of God sees clearly where we are, the next step we need to make, and the goal we seek to achieve. It knows that each step must be completed to its fullness before the next step can be attempted. The understanding heart trust that the Spirit will be there to supply what we need, when we need it, when we are ready to receive it. Ours is a labor of diligence and patience. Consider our labor and all we seek to accomplish.

Proverbs 28:4-5
28:4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked; but such as keep the law contend with them. 
28:5 Evil men understand not judgment; but they that seek the Lord understand all things. 

My offering to you this day presents the ideals of both patience and diligence and how we might grow in them. Each of the verses above contains a pattern within the design of God that can help us grow in both diligence and patience. Each verse will be offered in Bold Font with the discussion in typical font.  

Proverbs 28:4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked; but such as keep the law contend with them. 

This verse is a pattern describing our labor as compared to labor within the world of man and points out our need for both patience and diligence and how within the design of God we can grow to possess both.

2Nephi 1:81 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.

Only our trust in God will open our hearts to understand the wisdom of God. In His wisdom He created a situation by which man might grow to become more like Him. Growth demands diligence and diligence is born of patience. It is within our battle with opposing forces that we come to realize this truth.

2Nephi 1:111-115
1:111 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed, he would not have fallen; but he would have remained in the garden of Eden.
1:112 And all things which were created, must have remained in the same state which they were, after they were created; and they must have remained for ever, and had no end.
1:113 And they would have had no children; wherefore, they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
1:114 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
1:115 Adam fell, that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

In the wisdom of God we were blessed with the ability to choose. We grow closer to God by using this gift. Without a choice to make, we would never grow and we would remain forever separate from God. We would never know joy. 

2Nephi 1:88-93 

1:88 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin.
1:89 And if ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness.
1:90 And if there be no righteousness, there be no happiness.
1:91 And if there be no righteousness nor happiness, there be no punishment nor misery.
1:92 And if these things are not, there is no God.
1:93 And if there is no God, we are not, neither the earth, for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

In the wisdom of God we have been given a path by which we might know joy. In opposition we have been given the need to have patience, the need to be diligent, the need to reach out to the world with the good news of the gospel, the need to grow, and the joy of watching others grow with us. Brethren, we have been given both labor and purpose. These are the true gifts of God to His children. They make life worth living and the pursuit of life eternal with Him a labor worth doing. 

Proverbs 28:5 Evil men understand not judgment; but they that seek the Lord understand all things. 

Genesis 2:20-22
2:20 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it;
2:21 Nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but remember that I forbid it;
2:22 For in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Consider if you will where opposition came from. It began in the life of man when they faced the opposition of good verses evil. Mankind in their impatience to grow chose to leap beyond what they could understand. They chose to gain the knowledge of opposition before they had the ability to understand it completely. Be awake and diligent, be patient and observing for even now God offers us growth that we might understand the true nature of opposition. 

We have discovered the nature of opposition and the truth and understanding it brings to our life. We now realize why we must choose. In the depth of understanding that is God and His ways, He wants us to know that we must also understand opposition not only for what is, but also for what it can mean to the fullness of our life in God. The pattern offered by Proverbs 28:5 opens our hearts to the direction of our labor and gives us knowledge of all we are trying to accomplish. It opens our minds to the opposition between God's justice and His mercy and how our grasp of this opposition is the very foundation of all that patience and diligence can bring us in our search for God and His Kingdom. 

2 Nephi 1:81 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.

Once a people understand and accept the justice of God, their hearts become able to utilize the mercy He offers. In effect, by understanding the relationship between justice and mercy and the need for both, we are able to receive from God all that is God and all that is of God. In this we come to understand that opposition is more than just a tool for growth it is a pattern of growth. Without diligence in our labors we would lack the ability to understand this important lesson. Without the patience in our hearts we would miss the absolute necessity of this lesson. Believe me, others have missed it.

Proverbs 28:5 Evil men understand not judgment; but they that seek the Lord understand all things. 

Evil in the world understands the opposition of God, but they don't understand its true nature. They understand both justice and mercy, but see justice as an excuse for God to unleash His awesome power on those that oppose Him, and mercy as payment to those who join Him in protecting that justice. They fail to recognize justice as a blessing by which all mankind can be brought to a common understanding of what righteousness requires of a people seeking the true unity that is His Kingdom. They fail to recognize God's mercy as a way by which all mankind might grow in the truth of God. 

Alma 9:18 And he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God, until they know them in full;

Consider the great circle that is the wisdom of God. Our life in God begins with a display of the full nature of opposition in the matter of God's justice and His mercy. Our baptism is our first effort at recognizing the justice of God. We chose to recognize ourselves as sinful people in need of the redemption of Christ's sacrifice. In our covenant with God we chose to accept the justice of God and it that act we became able utilize God's mercy through the gift of His Holy Spirit. 

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

In this gift we were exposed to not only the love of God but also to the magnitude of strength that is His mercy.

Genesis 6:64 Therefore it is given to abide in you, the record of heaven, the Comforter, the peaceable things of immortal glory, the truth of all things, that which quickeneth all things which maketh alive all things, that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice and judgment.

Finally consider what we seek to gain in our lesson today. Diligence says, "I need it Right Now. Patience replies, "Just wait, it will come". Are these not polar opposites? Does not one seek to deny the other of its true nature? Thank God for His Holy Spirit, for in the mind of God is the ability to merge these two powerful forces into tools that allow us to grow forever in the ways of the Kingdom. 

Before we leave the subject let us be ever diligent and absolutely patient in gaining all we might from what we have been given. Consider the greatness of the Father we serve. In man, He took rebellion and created from it the means by which we might be redeemed. In Christ, He took death and created from it life everlasting. In His Holy Spirit, He challenges the arrogant powers of the world with those whose only strength is the humility that dwells within them.

Ether 5:28 I give unto men weakness, that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

He humbles the strong and unto the humble He gives strength. Unto the diligent He gives patience. Unto the patience He gives diligence. To those who live in bondage to fear and doubt, He gives the freedom to choose and a choice to make. Unto a world dead in sin, He offers a life of purpose that is both eternal and immortal. 

It truly is an awesome God we serve and within His way there is a place for you.



Leave a Reply