[He Hath] Chastened Them Because He Loveth Them – Helaman 15:3

3 Yea, wo unto this people who are called the people of Nephi except they shall repent, when they shall see all these signs and wonders which shall be showed unto them; for behold, they have been a chosen people of the Lord; yea, the people of Nephi hath he loved, and also hath he chastened them; yea, in the days of their iniquities hath he chastened them because he loveth them.
(Helaman 15:3)

We all know that correction is part of true love. A “friend” who never advises or warns us, who always tells us we’re doing great even when we’re making a terrible mistake, isn’t much of a friend at all. Why would we expect God, who loves us with a perfect love, to withhold information that would benefit us, even if we don’t want to hear it?

As Elder D. Todd Christofferson has reminded us, “Our Heavenly Father is a God of high expectations…. If we are to meet our Heavenly Father’s high expectations, [we need to] willingly…accept and even seek correction…. Though it is often difficult to endure, truly we ought to rejoice that God considers us worth the time and trouble to correct” (“As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten,” General Conference, April 2011).

At work, we’ve been holding mid-year review meetings. Each employee meets with their manager to discuss their performance so far this year and to talk about expectations for the rest of the year. I have given both positive and corrective feedback to my employees, and have been so grateful for the attitude in which the feedback was received. I believe that a key reason for the success of my team is the willingness of team members to accept correction graciously and non-defensively and to act on it.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth” (Hebrews 12:6). And speaking for the Lord, the Apostle Paul wrote, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten” (Revelation 3:19). In the following verse, the Lord tells us that he stands knocking at the door, waiting for us to open so that He can bless us. Perhaps one way He knocks is by giving us correction, and we open by accepting and acting on that correction willingly.

Today, I will recognize God’s chastening as a sign of His love for me. I will strive to accept His correction, and even seek it. I will remember that God has high expectations of us because He loves us and knows what we can become with His help.

To my readers: the next few days, my posts will have a different format. Instead of selecting a specific passage from the scriptures, I’m going to provide an overview of some of the sermons in the Book of Mormon which we have covered in June and July. My hope is that looking at the big picture will give us new insights into the messages and the priorities of the authors. I hope you will find these posts interesting, and I welcome your feedback. – Paul

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