The message starts off with Doctrine and Covenants 121:45 –
“Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven”
My first thought upon reading this is “Wow, where do I start?” How does one “let virtue garnish” their thoughts unceasingly anyway?
President James E. Faust said, “Virtue in its fuller sense encompasses all traits of righteousness that help us form our character.”
(Isn’t funny how the Mormon religion always has a “fuller” understanding of things than everyone else?)
The quote from D&C tells us that we must look to the doctrines of Mormonism to perfect us, and give us the power to make our thoughts virtuous. James E. Faust’s follows the same lines and tells us we can form these character qualities through our own righteousness.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Before coming to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we know nothing about righteous virtues. And we’re certainly not going to achieve them through following a religion.
In his book My Utmost for His Highest Oswald Chambers said:
“Our Lord never “patches up” our natural virtues that is our natural traits, qualities, or characteristics. He completely remakes a person on the inside – “…put on the new man…” (Ephesians 4:24). In other words, see that your natural human life is putting on all that is in keeping with the new life. The life God places within us develops its own new virtues, not the virtues of the seed of Adam, but of Jesus Christ.”
Mormons are trying to be virtuous based on the virtues they have as a seed of Adam and not as an individual who as a new life as a follower of Jesus Christ. As always, I pray they will turn from a life of living for a religion and new life in Him.
Melissa Grimes (firstname.lastname@example.org)