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The Fountain of All Righteousness 

Changing ourselves through Faith, Hope and Charity

I’m sure many of you who are familiar with the Book of Mormon have read or heard the following passage in a multitude of lessons, talks or devotionals.

27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. 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.

Ether 12:27

Well, if you continue and read the next verse, you will read the following in that verse:

… I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.

Ether 12:28

Just this past week I was talking with my home teaching companion about Faith, Hope and Charity and indicating that for the longest time I didn’t understand why Hope was included in this trio of principles.  It seemed to me that Faith and Charity are primarily action oriented.  Something that we focus or offer to others.  But Hope appears to be such an inward focused principle that I couldn’t see its relationship to Faith and Charity.  I understood it was good to have hope, though until recently I didn’t understand how powerful of a principle it was.  My understanding of just how powerful and important of a principle it is increased significantly over the past few months.  I won’t go into how that came to be here as that would be too much of a diversion from what I do want to share.

This past week as I studied in the book of Ether, I came across a passage that speaks of hope and in particular the source of our hope.  Several verses prior to the ones sited above, we read the following:

9 Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.

Ether 12:9

There it was again, the principle of Hope connected to the principle of Faith only this time it is made clear that the source or path to Hope is by and through Faith.  In other words, the strength of our Hope is directly proportional to the strength of our Faith.  I now see that it is our faith that gives us hope and it is our hope that leads us to have charity.  After that, the cycle begins again since charity will motivate us to actions and changes which will result in an increase in our faith.  Is it any wonder that the Lord uses a fountain in verse 28 as the metaphor to illustrate the power of these three principles? 

As many of you know, I am participating in the BYU Idaho Pathway program.  This semester in my Book of Mormon class we had to choose an attribute of Christ to work on incorporating in our lives.  After much prayer and consideration, I selected the attribute of being submissive.  As I have studied this attribute, in particular how to incorporate it into my life, I have learned a few things.  The primary lesson I learned however is that we can become totally submissive to the Lord instantly.  I know that sounds impossible but it’s true.  Here’s what it takes.  You decide that you want nothing for yourself and that all of your desires will be motivated out of wanting what the Lord wants.  What was clear to me once I came to this conclusion is that the hard part is in the not wanting anything for our own purposes.  I knew that in order to do this, I would need a strong motivating factor and that source of motivation has been elusive to me until this studying this chapter in the book of Ether.  I know of no motivation that is more powerful than love and there is no love more pure than charity. 

Faith, Hope and Charity my friends is how it’s done.  As we increase our faith it will give us hope which will fill our hearts with charity and we will have springing up in us a Fountain of All Righteousness.  We will then naturally want what our Heavenly Father wants. 

Posted by Perry Raleigh Mar 27, 2016 10:30 PM Categories: BYUi Pathway Gospel Study Scriptures Spiritual

Will a man rob God? 

A new perspective on the law of tithing

Will a man rob God?

7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts. But ye say: Wherein shall we return?

 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say: Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

 9 Ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the fields, saith the Lord of Hosts.

 12 And all nations shall call you blessed, for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts.

3 Nephi 24:7-12

 Will a man rob God?  This question from the book of Malachi have been read countless times in the course of teaching the principle of tithing.  This past week in my scripture reading for my Book of Mormon class, I read these words in 3 Nephi chapter 24.  Why, we might ask, did the Savior command the Nephites to include these scripture in their record?  It was quite the under taking as they had to transcribe them while the Savior dictated the verses.

I don’t know if this is the exact answer but it is clear to me that tithing is just that important.  So why then didn’t the Savior just teach the principles of tithing to them?  We can’t know for sure since He offered no explanation but there must have been something about the revelation on this that Malachi received that warranted being included.  In any case, I have chosen to write about tithing because of it.

I know for many the law of tithing is a difficult one to keep.  I have always just looked at it as a requirement and paid a full tithe.  When I was young, I wanted to be able to go to the temple so that was a motivating factor.  As I got older and particularly after marrying my wife, I then saw tithing as a way of obtaining the blessing that would ensure I would be able to provide for my family.  I can testify that the Lord has kept that particular part of His promise quite perfectly in my life.

This time as I studied these verses, I noticed something.  In most talks and lessons on tithing we read the promises by starting in verse 8.  Well, I think one of the best promises for me at this point in my life is in verse 7.  In that verse the Lord says “Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith th Lord of Hosts.” 

Well, how about that?  Here is a simple phrase that gives us a key to receiving the Lord back into our lives.  I can tell you that I know what it’s like to be separated from Heavenly Father and wanting Him to return.  Here we have a promise that doesn’t sound so monetarily related.  I have always looked at tithing as a thing that ensured me sufficient success that my family and I would be taken care of.  Here in verse 7 we learn that the law of tithing is something more.

What learning do I take away from this?  It’s that tithing isn’t about money or worldly goods, it’s about doing something that brings about a change in us as long as we do it with good intent.  That internal change is so important to me as I come to better understand that for this purpose was I sent into this world.  This new understanding of tithing will change how I keep the commandment to pay tithes.  It won’t cause me to pay more nor will it cause me to do so with any more happiness.  It will however change what I expect to receive as a result of paying my tithing.

Posted by Perry Raleigh Mar 13, 2016 11:34 PM Categories: BYUi Pathway Gospel Study Scriptures Spiritual
Perry E Raleigh