#20 – Greater Consecration

HYPOCRITE:

The behavior of people who DO things that they tell others not to do

or

Behavior that doesn’t agree with what someone claims to believe or feel.

 

What is the difference between these two definitions?

Elder Lynn G. Robbins, in his April 2011 Conference address, teaches that there are two types of hypocrites.

1.  Do without be –>portrays a false image to others

2.  Be without do–>portrays a false image to oneself.

Matthew 23:3-5 • What does hypocrisy look like in the scriptures?  What are some phrases in these verses that describe hypocrisy?

Read here for more information on phylacteries and borders of the garments.

Matthew 23:13,14,15,23,25,27,28,29 all contain the same phrase that the Savior uses to describe how he feels about hypocrites.  What phrase does he use?

The word WOE means sorrow, grief, or misery?  Why are these words a good description of a hypocrite?

MODERN-DAY HYPOCRISY

In a 1992 Conference talk, Neal A Maxwell, describes some modern-day hypocrisy:

  • Members who are skimming over the surface instead of deepening their discipleship and who are casually engages rather than anxiously engaged.
  • They pass through the holy temples, but, alas, they do not let the hoy temples pass through them.
  • Such members accept callings, but not all of the accompanying responsibilities.
  • While casual members are not unrighteous, they often avoid appearing to be too righteous by seeming less committed than they really are–an ironic form of hypocrisy.
  • They know the doctrines of the kingdom, but more as a matter of recitation than of real comprehension
  • Casual members are usually very busy with the cares and the things of the world.
  • One common characteristic of the honorable, but slack is their disdain for the seemingly unexciting duties of discipleship, such as daily prayer, regular reading of the scriptures, attendance at sacrament meeting, paying a full tithe, and participating in the holy temple.
  • Some find it easier to bend their knees than their minds.
  • Lacking real knowing, they cannot defend their faith and may become critics instead of defenders.

HOW DO WE OVERCOME HYPOCRISY?

Matthew 23:26 – What solution does the Savior provide for overcoming hypocrisy?

President Monson quoted a news article about Jabari Parker:  “In an interview published in a national magazine, well-known American NCAA basketball player Jabari Parker, a member of the Church, was asked to share the best advice he had received from his father.  Replied Jabari, ‘[My father] said, Just be the same person you are in the dark that you are in the light.’

THE OPPOSITE OF HYPOCRISY

If hypocrisy is being double-minded (James 1:8), then the opposite of double-minded would be single-minded or having an eye single to the glory of God (D&C 82:19). This new way of seeing things is a “call for greater consecration” (Neal A. Maxwell).

“Consecration is the only surrender which is also a victory,” Neal A. Maxwell

Moving from hypocrisy to consecration is a process.

Warning from Elder Maxwell: “Likewise it is only fair to warn that any determination to seek greater consecration will soon expose what we lack, a painful but necessary thing.”

A CONSECRATED LIFE

Mark 14:3-11 gives us an example of what both consecration and hypocrisy looks like in the scriptures.  What evidence to you see of both?

spikenard-anointing-feet-of-Jesus

Thoughts on consecration from Elder Neal A. Maxwell:

  • It is not a question of losing our identity, but of finding our true identity.
  • When, at last, we are truly pointed homeward, then the world’s pointing fingers of scorn can better be endured.
  • As we come to know to Whom we belong, the other forms of belonging cease to mean very much.
  • Likewise, as Jesus begins to have a real place in our lives, we are much less concerned with losing our places in the world.
  • When our minds really catch hold of the significance of Jesus’ atonement, the world’s hold on us loosens.
  • Increased consecration is not so much a demand for more hours of Church work as it is for more awareness of Whose work this really is!
  • For now, consecration may not require giving up worldly possessions so much as being less possessed by them.
  • Becoming more like Jesus in thought and behavior is not girding and repressing, but emancipating and discovering.
  • If we shrink from deeper consecration, then we are not worthy of Him who, for our sake, refused to shrink in the midst of His deepening agony during the Atonement.
  • Whatever we embrace instead of Jesus and His work will keep us from qualifying to enter His kingdom and therefore from being embraced by Him.

What is something you have been more consecrated in?  How did it affect your life?

What is something you can be more consecrated in now?

Is there something you have conveniently betrayed God with?

“True success in this life comes in consecrating our lives—that is, our time and choices—to God’s purposes.”  Elder D. Todd Christofferson.

More to read:  Reflections on a Consecrated Life by Elder D. Todd Christofferson

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