My goal as a blogger is to write about those things that will help each of us draw nearer to the lord. The Lord said, “draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.” With that image in mind I would like to discuss the following scripture.
And Elijah…said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him… 1 Kings 18:21
Halting between two opinions, or being double minded (James 1:8) is part of the makeup of the natural man. To one degree or another each of us struggles with it. Laman and Lamuel, Nephite’s older brothers, provide numerous examples of this undesirable quality. They would cycle from obedience to rebellion over and over again until the Lord finally warned Nephi to depart from them.
The Book of Mormon also provides a counter example, showing those who were firm in their faith, and “would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin”. Using the descendants of the vacillating Laman and Lamuel, the Book of Mormon gives an account of the Lamanities who were converted by the four sons of Mosiah. Of those converts the record says: “once they were converted unto the Lord, they never did fall away” (Alma 23:6-7).
Each of us can evaluate who we’re more like, Laman and Lamuel or the converted Lamanites. Are we halting between two opinions, being doubled minded? The apostle James seeing this characteristic among the saints of his day wrote:
Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. James 1:8 (New Living Translation)
In our day, the Lord taught David Whitmer of his double mindedness saying:
1 BEHOLD, I say unto you, David, that you have feared man and have not relied on me for strength as you ought.
2 But your mind has been on the things of the earth more than on the things of me, your Maker, and the ministry whereunto you have been called; and you have not given heed unto my Spirit, and to those who were set over you, but have been persuaded by those whom I have not commanded.
3 Wherefore, you are left to inquire for yourself at my hand, and ponder upon the things which you have received. D&C 30:1-3
Each of us who are like David Whitmer, are left to ponder upon the things we do that divide us from God and thereby reduces the blessings the Lord intends for us.
The Book of Mormon prophet Jacob plead with church members afflicted with double mindedness teaching them the solution, the remedy for double mindedness:
5 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I beseech of you in words of soberness that ye would repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you. Jacob 6:5
Repent and come unto Christ with full purpose of heart! Therein lies the solution.
As we enter the holiday season, I hope each of us will draw nearer to the Lord by dedicating our hearts with full purpose to doing those things we should be doing, and moving away from those things that draw us towards the things of this world.