So – today is “All Saint’s Day.” Traditionally, it is a Catholic holiday – not celebrated by Mormons, but I like thinking about it – and what it represents. – All Saint’s day commemorates those who have seen God…
We, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a different definition of what a saint is.
King Benjamin teaches that a saint is what we become when we put off the natural man.
” 19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” – Mosiah 3:19
We learn that we can become a Saint through Christ’s atonement.
Nephi explains how to follow Christ
” 13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.” – 2 Nephi 31:13
– So, we follow the Savior by following Him into the waters of baptism…There, we are cleansed and take upon His name.
Through the baptismal covenant, we, as King Benjamin taught:
- Become like a child
- show submission to God’s will and Christ’s power
- Show meekness by readily admitting we are natural men and need Christ to cleanse us.
- Show humility by doing as the Lord has instructed and putting off natural instincts.
The baptismal covenant also blesses us with the Holy Ghost, and it is the Holy Ghost that purifies us. We are then able to continue our refinement and ability to become saints and finish obtaining the qualities outlined by King Benjamin:
- Patience – I know that it is the Gift of the Holy Ghost that has comforted me in times of trial and has helped me to be patient. Whether I need to be patient with afflictions, circumstances, my kids, or even myself – I know that I cannot be patient without the help of the Spirit.
- Full of Love (or Charity) – It is my opinion that we cannot be charitable without first feeling God’s love for ourselves. We feel God’s love when we covenant with Him and keep His commandments. I don’t know how to describe it, but I have felt God’s love in my life. His love builds my confidence and gives me support. As I feel His love, I’m prompted to share that love with others. I know that Heavenly Father Loves me, and I know that He loves all of His Children.
- Willing to Submit to all things – It is interesting that submission is listed twice. I think that submission happens over and over again – true discipleship, or becoming a saint, is all about putting our wills on the altar of the Lord – daily. That is hard to do.
I love that we can all be saints. It is a lot to live up to. When I think of the examples of the righteous people I have known; when I think of the prophets of old, I wonder if I am up to the task – to be a saint. Yet, I’m also filled with confidence – If the Lord thinks that I can be a saint, then I know I can. Above all, I know that cannot do anything alone. I know that I can only become a saint through Christ. But I feel pretty excited – knowing that Heavenly Father sees my potential, believes in me, and blesses me so that I can one day be what He sees in me. I just have to follow the pattern taught in the scriptures.
So…All Saint’s day – a really cool time to remember the saints who have gone before us and how we can become saints through the atonement of Christ.