Today’s reading: 4 Nephi 1:38-49
38 And it came to pass that they who rejected the gospel were called Lamanites, and Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites; and they did not dwindle in unbelief, but they did wilfully rebel against the gospel of Christ; and they did teach their children that they should not believe, even as their fathers, from the beginning, did dwindle.
Recently in a class I am taking, I have been studying about the gifts of the Spirit and how to more fully acquire and be worthy of such gifts. I found myself reflecting on what may be holding me from receiving a larger measure of the Spirit. As I worked through some thoughts, the question came to me – Am I in open rebellion to the gospel or parts of it? What am I rebelling for or against? And what are my personal weapons of rebellion that I can’t quite let go off?
Wanting to explore this insight further, I took out a sheet of paper and wrote at the top, what are my weapons of rebellion?
And as I really began to think, I realized I did have weapons I was holding onto. There were parts of my heart and mind that were not fully integrated with my beliefs. Part embarrased and part empowered, I looked at the list the Spirit had showed me. Some weapons were old and part of my culture. Some were new, and I was surprised how much power I had given them.
As I looked over my list, I made a choice. I wanted the Spirit more than I wanted any of my weapons. I wanted to stop willfully rebelling in different ways so that I could clear more space in my soul for the Spirit’s whisperings.
David Bednar in his talk Converted to the Lord stated:
To set aside cherished “weapons of rebellion” such as selfishness, pride, and disobedience requires more than merely believing and knowing. Conviction, humility, repentance, and submissiveness precede the abandonment of our weapons of rebellion. Do you and I still possess weapons of rebellion that keep us from becoming converted unto the Lord? If so, then we need to repent now.
Note that the Lamanites were not converted to the missionaries who taught them or to the excellent programs of the Church. They were not converted to the personalities of their leaders or to preserving a cultural heritage or the traditions of their fathers. They were converted unto the Lord—to Him as the Savior and to His divinity and doctrine—and they never did fall away.
A testimony is spiritual knowledge of truth obtained by the power of the Holy Ghost. Continuing conversion is constant devotion to the revealed truth we have received—with a heart that is willing and for righteous reasons. Knowing that the gospel is true is the essence of a testimony. Consistently being true to the gospel is the essence of conversion. We should know the gospel is true and be true to the gospel.
Will you, with me, put down your weapons of rebellion? Take out a clean sheet of paper and examine your heart. We all have weapons of rebellion – we are human! Some weapons might have served a purpose in our life at some point, or served a pleasure, or served our ego and desire to blend in with the world. Now, we have a chance to let these weapons go. We can at least become more aware of them and see if they are truly serving our greatest desire. So try it out, adjust, and hopefully open up more space for truth and happiness through a deeper conversion to the Lord.