Five Essential Changes towards Godliness
Updated: Jan 1
As we continue to see the world in commotion, we look forward to the day when Christ will come again and fulfill His promises. Do you feel like you will ever be ready to meet your Savior and stand in His presence? We know that He loves all of us, that He died and atoned for our sins, and that He is merciful. I know that when I sin, I feel ashamed and sometimes as though I am not good enough. I think to myself, how can Christ be patient with me? Why does He love me so much? These are things I cannot comprehend at this time, but I am truly grateful that His grace covers all my inadequacies.
I have pondered the Christlike attribute of godliness for some time now. I felt that this post should be more about what we can do to be ready for His second coming rather than a post about what defines godliness. A synonym for godliness is holiness. With that in mind, how can we develop an environment of holiness wherever we go?
To surround ourselves with holiness, we must make some changes. Here are what I consider to be five essential changes towards godliness.
Give up worldly ideals and idols
Immerse ourselves in the study of His word
Adorn our walls, phones, and thoughts with images of Christ and His works/creations
Acknowledge His hand in our lives by counting our blessings and being grateful
Stand in holy places
1) Give up worldly ideals and idols
I recently heard a speaker state that we must leave our party cottage and go to our house temple full time. What does that image look like for you? I started to think of Lot and his family. Their house was in Sodom. When the angels came to warn Lot and his family that they needed to leave before Sodom was destroyed, Lot hesitated.
Genesis 19: 15-17
15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
I wonder why did Lot linger, or hesitate? What was holding him back? What worldly ideals and idols are holding us back? Maybe we do need a little push to get out of that party cottage, much like Lot and his family needed the help of the angels. Who can help us?
Make your list of worldly ideals and idols that you know you should leave behind. Then make a list of people that can help you if you don’t think you can do it on your own. First and foremost, Christ and His atonement can help you. In the scriptures, mountain appears as a symbol for a temple. Like in verse 17 says, “Escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed,” or in other words, escape to the temple. Escape to your house temple full time!
2) Immerse ourselves in the study of His word
An aid to strengthen us as we leave our worldly ideals and idols behind is the word of God. His word has power. It has the power to change our lives. We learn what we need to do to be better, to become who He wants us to become, to return to Him once more, and so much more. Quoting my previous blog post, How Gospel Knowledge Provides Stability and Strength:
“If wisdom and knowledge are to be the stability of our times, then we need to put our efforts into making sure our spirits are incessantly fed. We may not be able to control the situations that revolve around us, but we can control what we want to learn.”
As the word of God becomes a part of your daily life, your desires and your commitments change and turn heavenward. What made you linger in your party cottage no longer matters. Make a plan to study His word every day!
3) Adorn our walls, phones, and thoughts with images of Christ and His works/creations
In How to Increase Virtue, we touched on the subject of letting virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly (D&C 121:45). We need pure images to enter into our minds to help us have virtuous thoughts. As we build up a godly or holy home, we need to take care of what images adorn our walls. At a friend’s wedding last year, the couple was counseled to adorn the walls of their home with things worthy of a Garden of Eden. I really loved that statement. We can make our home like a Garden of Eden, a safe place, for ourselves and our families. Think of ways you can do that in your home.
Most of us have electronic devices which we use constantly. Would it be helpful to have a scripture or an image of Christ as your lock screen or wallpaper? Would it help remind you of what you should or should not browse for on the Internet? Just a thought. The Internet bombards us with so many images. I know when I am looking through my Facebook newsfeed, most of that is now a never ending stream of videos. Some are very informative, some not so much. It can be hard to have virtuous thoughts if the images that we encounter as we browse the Internet are not all wholesome. What changes do you think you can make in that aspect?
4) Acknowledge His hand in our lives by counting our blessings and being grateful
Heavenly Father gave us our lives to grow and learn. We will all have different experiences, some good, some not so good. But in all instances, we can find His hand in our lives. We can be grateful even in the hardest of circumstances. We can focus on the small things like ‘I can breathe, I can walk, I can pray.’ What are things that you are grateful for? Make a list and add on to that list periodically. Someone once suggested to take the time to pray and thank Heavenly Father for all of the things you are grateful for rather than asking for things in that specific prayer. Let’s pray in that manner often!
5) Stand in holy places
Picture your most favorite place in the world where you can find peace and solace. Now take the previous four changes and add them on to this particular location. Is it now a setting where you can commune with God without distractions? That to me, would be a holy place. You can develop the ability to discern what a holy place is and what is not. It all starts in our hearts.
As we look to Christ as our greatest example of how to become the best we can be, He will send help and show us the way. Keep trying day by day to increase your surroundings with godliness. We don’t know when Christ will come again, but we know that He will. Make the commitment now that if Christ’s second coming was in your lifetime, that you would want to be doing all that you can to be holy and/or in a holy place at His coming. Prepare yourself now!
2 Peter 3:10-14
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
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