I Am the Law and the Light 3 Nephi 12-16
The lesson "I Am the Law and the Light" has really taken me on an amazing scripture study journey. I can usually read through the chapters in the first few days of the week and then start going back over it and reading sections and studying more for the rest of the week. That wasn't really the case this week.
There is so much to learn and know from these chapters that I could be studying them for another week and still not get everything I could from them!
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I have always kind of struggled with understanding the beatitudes, whether I read them in the Bible or the Book of Mormon. Words like MEEK are hard for me to actually understand. Elder Bednar gave a talk not too long ago that helped a lot!
You can review that talk here if you'd like: Meek and Lowly of Heart
Then, as I went looking for more things to study I stumbled on a video that was quite entertaining and explained things i just the kind of simple tone that I needed. I added this video to the challenge cards for kids this week, but really it's a great video for everyone if you need things explained in layman's terms like me. (I will link it in the resources below).
What does it mean to be bless-ED?
This week I discovered something new in my study that made the beatitudes really mean something more to me. Especially right now as I am feeling a little down about life.
It was a suggestion in my book "Your Study of the Book of Mormon Made Easier" by David J. Ridges. I have talked about this book a lot in the past, and it has been such a helpful resource for my study both this year and last year, when I used the New Testament books as well!
Brother Ridges says to go back and read the verses again, only substitute the word happy for the word blessed.
It was a great idea! It brought new meaning to the verses, and I actually understood them in a different way. If you've never done this before, you should definitely do it.
The other thing I really loved about Brother Ridges book in this lesson is his comparisons with the sermon on the mount. He points out the differences, and I think it helped me understand both sermons a lot more.
On Being Perfect and Perfectionism
There are a MILLION lessons to be taken from this week's study, so whatever your lesson is, it may be something totally different from mine. We are all at different places in our lives, and need different things.
This was my personal message:
The idea of the Savior telling us to be perfect like He is, and like our Father in Heaven is, can be very disheartening. (Brother Ridges' book gives some really enlightening context for this as well!)
Even though I know that I will NEVER be perfect in this life, it still feels like disappointment when I fail at something, or recognize weaknesses that I have been trying to overcome popping up again. The same bad habits, the same things that I have struggled with for years... they never seem to really go away.
The real message that I got out of this lesson is all about my obsession with perfectionism. I get these motivated feelings and charge forward, and then things don't go the way I'd planned and it does a number on me.
My battles with perfectionism
On a side note, there are some areas of my life where I think perfectionism is okay. Wanting to glue elements on a scrapbook page and get them straight is okay, or wanting to get all the laundry done, folded and put away in one day is also fine.
The perfectionism that haunts me is the big stuff. When I catch myself gossiping when I have been trying hard not to. Or I find myself judging others because they do things differently than I would do them. Or ridiculing others when they make mistakes. I may do it privately, or only in my own head, but that's not really much better.
We all have things like that. It requires repentance and there is always a new day and a new chance to try again. But where I struggle is letting go of my weaknesses instead of beating myself up with them.
There were a few talks that go with this lesson that really helped me a lot with this problem. I have a new goal now, and that is to stop the self flagellation and learn to start over.
Everything we need to know for life summed up in one verse
Really, when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can sum it all up with this one verse, found in 3 Nephi 15:9:
I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live.
That enduring part is getting to me some days, but I'm working on it.
Challenge Cards and Links
I hope you love this lesson like I did! There is so much to get from it that it really does take a lot of study to get through it. You can grab the challenge cards below, and as always, I have the links for the activities on them at the bottom of this post.
Beatitudes, Pathway to the Savior
Be Ye Therefore Perfect--Eventually
Why is 3 Nephi Sometimes Called the Fifth Gospel?
The Good Shepherd and Other Sheep I Have
Come Follow Me: The Sermon at the Temple (this is the video mentioned in the post)