Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Thoughts about the Beatitudes

Blessedness: a well-spring of real joy, flowing from the inside out 
Fortunate: lucky, lucky, lucky me.

Which got me thinking, if the Sermon on the Mount read something more like this: 

Fortunate are the Poor in Spirit or Fortunate are the Peacemakers or Fortunate are They who are Persecuted . . . I have a pretty good feeling I wouldn't feel very fortunate at all.

I would just be terribly, terribly unlucky.

* * * 

The Beatitudes and My Baptismal Covenant

I'm discovering that the Beatitudes are not just a well-known list of blessings promised by the Savior. They are also a powerful reminder of my baptismal covenants.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

For all my life I have thought “the kingdom of heaven” is the place where I hope to go one day. You know, back to heaven, after I die.

And then, this week, I realized that the definition of the, "kingdom of heaven” is the code word for “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” And the purpose of the Church is to prepare its members to live forever in the celestial kingdom or kingdom of heaven. Even the scriptures sometimes call the Church the "kingdom of heaven," meaning that the Church is the kingdom of heaven on earth.

And today, I understand more clearly why we are commanded to meet to together oft. Because when I come to ready to partake the sacrament with a poor spirit, coupled with a broken heart, I can be, for a short moment each week, a part of the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

The scriptures are replete with examples of those who mourned. In fact, current events are headlined with the mourning of the sick, the sad, the dying, the lost. And I am learning that the dawning of each new day brings mourning.

The word mourn comes from an Old English word murnan, meaning ""to mourn, bemoan, long after." But even older than Old English, it comes from the PIE root *(s)mer - "to remember." 

Mourning, then, is not only a way to grieve, it is a way to remember. Perhaps a powerful way to remember our covenants. Because mourning is something we covenanted to do when we were baptized. We covenanted to be willing to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort.

Thirteen years ago, the day before Mother's Day, the 2 year old son of a dear friend of mine was killed in a tractor accident. The next day she had the lesson in Relief Society. And much to the surprise of all of us, she showed up and gave her lesson.

I remember she had us all stand in a circle, holding hands. I don't remember what she said, but I remember how I felt as we wept and mourned together. And because of that one Mother's Day Mourning, there is not a Mother's Day that goes by that I don't remember my dear friend, her son and God's great plan of happiness.

There is comfort knowing that families can be together forever.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

I’m going to be honest, I don't have a pure heart. As much as I try,  most of the time it is filled with its share of impurities.

I am learning that I cannot purify my heart all by myself. A pure heart requires receiving God’s pure love. And understanding how to receive His pure love into my impure heart began the day I was baptized.

First of all, God’s love is not envious, puffed up, or easily provoked. His love thinks no evil and rejoices not in iniquity.

In addition, God's love suffers long. It is kind. It rejoices in truth. It bears and hopes and endures all things.

And most importantly, God's love never fails.

Not ever.

Once we are baptized, the gate back to the kingdom of heaven (the actual place we can go when we die) is opened. And on that path, we are to "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men" (2 Nephi 31:20).

Which brings me back to why I need to be poor in Spirit, why I need to mourn with those who mourn, and why I must pray to be filled with His love - those actions are part of the covenant I have made.

And His blessing comes when He bestowed His pure love on me - purifying me - even as He is pure, so that when He shall appear, I could be like Him and see Him like He is . . .

and sit down with Him forever, in the kingdom of heaven (Moroni 7:48).


  1. Thank you for all your inspiring posts! I learn so much from you and appreciate your insight! I'm so glad I read your blog today! I needed it! I just love you, Darla!

  2. Seriously! You do such a great job on these. Thanks for working so hard!
    Bro. O.