Friday, October 20, 2006

The Pure in Heart

Recently I was reading Jacob 3:1-2 (in the Book of Mormon) about the pure in heart. Jacob gives many marvelous promises and blessings to those who are pure in heart: "...console you in your afflictions...plead your cause...send justice upon those who seek your destruction." He also warns his people about their destruction and the cursing of their land if they are not pure in heart.
This got me thinking....What does it mean to be pure in heart?

Being the English nerd that I am I looked for things in the scriptures that would help me to better understand what it meant to be pure in heart. The only solid thing I could come up with is in verse2: "...for ye may,[meaning receive all the blessings mentioned above and more] if [we know this" if" is going to refer to the pure in heart] your minds are firm, forever.

So part of being pure in heart is to have a firm mind. What does that mean?

I would love to hear what you think it means to be pure in heart?


Kyles said...

When I asked my co-workers this same question today here is what they said:

Someone without sin
Someone who is honest
A person who thinks good thoughts
Someone who serves

Just a few thoughts to get you going!

Jason Graham said...

In the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord states that Zion is the pure in heart (D&C 97:21). There are a number of examples of Zionistic societies recorded in the scriptures. Examples include the people of Alma (the older) who had "their hearts knit together in unity and love one towards another" (Mosiah 18:21). The people of Enoch who "were of one heart and of one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them (Moses 7:18). There were the people to whom Christ ministered to on the American continent shortly after his crucifixian and ressurection in Jerusalem who were a covenant people, had no contentions, did deal justly one with another, and all things were common among them (4 Nephi 1:1-3). There were the people in King Benjamin's day who "no longer had a disposition to do evil, but to do good continually" (Mosiah 5:2). And the list may continue... we learn from the temple that our hearts are a place where the pure doctrines of God are to be placed. As we allow that pure doctrine to flow into our mind and as we gain the witness of the Holy Ghost as to the truthfulness of those words they are written "in their hearts" (Jer. 31:33), literally by the hand of God... (Also see Ether 3:4, the Lord touches the stones, after the faithful prayer of the Brother of Jared, in order to provide 'light' while they journeyed across the 'sea'). Thus, the pure in heart have the Law of God written in their hearts, their desire is to keep the celestial law of God (see D&C 88:14-29 and D&C 76:50-64). Jesus taught that the pure in heart shall see God (Matt 5:8). What are the qualifications to see God? This ought to give a handy definition to the pure in heart. D&C 93:1 says, "It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth upon my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am." Interesting that the Lord couples "seeing his face" with "knowing that I am". This suggests that the pure in heart also know the Lord. Scriptures are abundant in definitions on how to come to know the Lord. Here are a few of my favorites. "For how knoweth the man the master whom he hath not served and is a stranger unto him and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart" (Mosiah 5:13). Alma 5:46, "I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know of myself...". Matt 7:21 "He that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven..."

ANYWAY, leave it to me to be rather long-winded. Hope this helps in the journey towards understanding truth.