Today I read James 1, the chapter that started it all. As I knew this was on the menu for me today, I got to thinking, do you think that James knew Joseph Smith would some day read his words and it would usher in the last dispensation? Obviously when he passed away I'm sure he was told, but do you think he was like Moroni and Mormon who were shown in vision the importance of what they were doing? I like to think that he was and that perhaps those words were even given to him by inspiration.
I was surprised a few weeks ago in Sunday School to hear that a good chunk of the modern Christian world doesn't like James and some go as far as to think he is not divinely inspired. I was really shocked to hear this and can't really understand why they feel this way. The facetious part of me likes to think it is because James' doctrine kind of proves them and their theories wrong. But I that's just me being silly. I don't know for sure why they think James is not inspired writings. Personally I think anything written by the half-brother of Jesus Christ is worth reading! But that's just me.
As for the chapter itself, there is obviously verse 5 which all Latter-day Saints are familiar with this verse and it's significance. But this chapter has other verses that strike me as significant. I particularly liked verse 22 which says that we need to be doers of the word and not hearers only. This strikes me as being very significant in conjunction with what James says about faith in the next chapter. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a passive faith. Rather it is a faith that demands action. We cannot be saved if we just sit around waiting for things to happen to us. We have to go out and grab what we want. We have to actively repent of our sins and make sure that we are doing all we can to be the best men and women we can be. If we are sitting around only listening to the words and nodding our heads in agreement and telling ourselves that it is so true, we are not really living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Everyone who is truly honest with themselves will admit that when they feel the Holy Ghost resting upon them, they feel compelled to go shout about it from the rooftops. That is why Latter-day Saint fast and testimony meetings always have those Saints that talk about how they felt the Spirit so strongly and knew they had to get up and bear their testimony. That is because the Holy Ghost prompts us to action. We have to DO and not just sit around like the Greeks of old and think about things. Heavenly Father wants us to be anxiously engaged in a good cause He said in the Doctrine and Covenants. One of my favorite hymns is "Have I done any Good?". It exemplifies this philosophy quite nicely. The chorus says, "Then wake up, and do something more, than dream of your mansion above". The song goes on to say doing good is a pleasure, and it really is. The more good we do, the more the Holy Ghost will be a part of our lives. And I think we all want that! Make sure you do something today that is worth reporting to your Heavenly Father in your personal prayers tonight. You won't be sorry you did! Until tomorrow.