I was reading the Book of Mormon the other day and came across this scripture in the book of Jarom 1:11
Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the ateachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people tobdiligence; teaching the claw of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to dlook forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come eas though he already was. And after this manner did they teach them.
As I read it, I tucked away the thought of being taught diligence away and didn’t think of it too much until I got to church today (In the middle east, church occurs on Fridays). I saw that diligence had an associated footnote and ran down two of the references, both in the Old Testament. They are as follows:
But take adiligent heed to do the bcommandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the charged you, to clove the Lord your God, and to dwalk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to eserve him with all your fheart and with all your soul.
Ok…now, stay with me for a second. I’ve read these scriptures before. Many times. I’ve heard the generic definitions of the word ‘diligence’ and ‘diligent’, but today I wanted to see how the dictionary defined them. This is what I found:
persevering application : assiduous
Persevere: to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement
Application: an act of putting to use
Assiduous: marked by careful unremitting attention or persistent application
The top definition is that of diligence. I then worked through the definitions of the words presented and something clicked that had never clicked before regarding diligence. Diligence is not merely acting in a consistent manner towards some goal. It involves careful attention and continues in spit of opposition and/or discouragement. Diligence then is much more than I had ever thought of before.
Even more, in terms of the Gospel and our diligence there, it becomes even more pronounced. If we are to be diligent, we are to have careful attention to our life. This means that every action we take will be analyzed to ensure we are on the right path. We will not be detered simply because we fail. Diligence is not a perfect state, but it is a careful exectuion of our plans.
Now, having this definition of diligence in mind, go back and read the three scriptures I listed. Do you see the deeper plea of the Lord as he asks us to be diligent? In Isaiah, the clarity is obvious now: careful attention to our choices will have us evaluting our choices and choosing those that will offer true satisfaction. We give more thought to our activities.
This may have always been clear to you, but for me it has been a revelation. As I move forward, working out my salvation with diligence, I now understand that it requires careful attention, not perfect consistency. The commandments have been laid out before ever since I was a young man. I understand everything that must be done and diligence, with faith in Jesus Christ, is what will allow me to partake of His salvation when my life is over.