More Holiness Give Me

Consider the story of the rich young man, as found in the Book of Mark:

“17 ¶ And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.” (Mark 10:17-22)

Sometimes I wonder, “Am I even as good as the rich young man?” I am neither rich, nor young, nor a man. I do not have wealthy possessions and I do not live in the time of the Savior. Yet I don’t think I have spent enough time in my life asking if I am keeping all the commandments and what more do I need to do. And if I asked would I do as bidden or go away sorrowing?

Repeatedly in our current culture, I hear the phrase, “You are enough.” The scriptures say things more like:

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt 5:48)

“O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.” (Mormon 9:27)

“12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” (Philippians 2:12-15)

There is work that I still need to do before I am enough. My salvation has not yet been worked out. I need to obey more. I need to repent more. I need to perfectly keep all my covenants. I need to gain knowledge. I need to despise not, doubt not, and hearken more. I need to live so as to always have the Holy Ghost with me as promised in the Sacrament prayer. I need to continually ask the question of the rich young man: “What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” And then, unlike the rich young man, I must do as commanded.

If I want to receive eternal life, I cannot afford to waste away my days believing I am enough or that I have done enough. I must choose not to be satisfied with where I am today. To be satisfied is to stop progressing.

In my head, I often compare the phrase, “You are enough” to the hymn More Holiness Give Me. This is my desire.

More holiness give me,
More strivings within,
More patience in suff’ring,
More sorrow for sin,
More faith in my Savior,
More sense of his care,
More joy in his service,
More purpose in prayer.

More gratitude give me,
More trust in the Lord,
More pride in his glory,
More hope in his word,
More tears for his sorrows,
More pain at his grief,
More meekness in trial,
More praise for relief.

More purity give me,
More strength to o’ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom,
More used would I be,
More blessed and holy–
More, Savior, like thee.

(Hymns, 131, More Holiness Give Me, 1985)

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Diane Robertson

Diane Robertson

Diane Robertson is just a plain old ordinary person with nothing terribly special about her. She's a homeschooling mother blessed with 11 kids, Diane spends most days in yoga pants taking care of her children, teaching, cooking, and cleaning while never actually doing yoga. Motherhood has helped Diane develop a passion for protecting the family and children. She blogs about political family issues at unitedfamiliesinternational.wordpress.com and journals about her family at thoserobertsons.blogspot.com
Diane Robertson

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About Diane Robertson

Diane Robertson is just a plain old ordinary person with nothing terribly special about her. She's a homeschooling mother blessed with 11 kids, Diane spends most days in yoga pants taking care of her children, teaching, cooking, and cleaning while never actually doing yoga. Motherhood has helped Diane develop a passion for protecting the family and children. She blogs about political family issues at unitedfamiliesinternational.wordpress.com and journals about her family at thoserobertsons.blogspot.com

4 thoughts on “More Holiness Give Me

  1. Rozy

    Oh I know what you mean! We attended a branch where the Branch President continually told us that we were awesome. It drove me crazy, I mean, the Saints in the City of Enoch were awesome; I imagine if we were too we’d be with them! Plus it had the effect that no one wanted to change or improve, after all, how can you get better than awesome?

    I am not enough; that’s why I so desperately need the Savior and his mercy, grace, and love.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I too, love the hymn More Holiness Give Me.

  2. Rachel

    I agee that we shouldn’t fall victim to an attitude of complacency. What a mercy it is that we don’t have to “be more” and “do more” with our own limited and fallible strength! We will always fall short. Jesus Christ will bless and magnify our righteous efforts to follow Him. His grace extends to helping us accomplish all that is required. 🙂

  3. Rachel snider

    I think one of Satan’s biggest tools is discouragement, because good people who are trying so hard to please our Father in Heaven are not prone to addiction, or loss of testimony, or loss of the spirit due to standing in unholy places, or many other temptations. But in an age of Pinterest and Instagram we are succeptible to comparison and self-doubt and plain old fatigue. Of course, when we keep our eye focused on the Savior, He strengthens us and helps us through thee things. I do think there is a message that is and timely for our current culture in “you are enough”, but it should be more like “the Savior loves you as you are and will help you to ride higher.”

    I love your comparison to “More Holiness Give Me.” Instead of striving to accept ourselves, we just need to accept God’s love and strive to be who He needs us to be–which takes a lot of faith. I love your thoughts on this.

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