Poor in spirit
By derek
12/13/2006 9:19:44 AM
Matthew 5:3 — Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
After reading and blogging about hungering for righteousness I thought it might be kind of cool, ESPECIALLY at Christmas time, to ponder on each major teaching and promise in the Sermon on the Mount, one day at a time. After all, it has been called the single greatest sermon of all time. And why not, when it came from the Master himself.

I think it's very interesting that the Savior begins his sermon with this blessing. Because I guess, that's really what it all comes down to. If we are poor in spirit, all the following conditions and promises will be automatic. Being poor in spirit is so hard to achieve (see Josh's blog on the paradox of humility). To me, being poor in spirit means that I will submit to any and everything the Lord sees fit to inflict upon me. But is that all? Or is it something else completely? What does it really mean to be poor in spirit?


"Lately I've been thinking back to the peacegiver book and fireside and thinking about the concept of being broken - about how all of us are inherently broken - not inherently worthless, just broken. I've also been thinking about the term "broken heart and a contrite spirit." A few blogs ago when I stated that "repentance was a lifestyle, not an event" I think this is what I meant. The gospel is all about us being broken, and needing fixed from the Master, who alone has the power to fix us. When we are repentant, we recognize our own "brokenness" and it moves us to a reliance on the Savior to heal us. Pride takes us away from that sense of "brokenness." So does sin, although the recognition of our errors and the subsequent repentance often humble us. No matter who you are, or what sins you have or haven't committed, you need the Savior to heal you. Those that truly and continually recognize that, regardless of their status, I believe, are the "poor in spirit." What does it mean to be poor? It means we don't have enough of something, usually money. It implies NEED. If we are poor in money, it implies we have a need of more money - or that we don't have enough money to meet our needs. Chances are, obtaining more money is always on our mind. If we are therefore poor in spirit, I take it to mean that we have a need of more spirit. Our current spirit, or spirituality, or righteousness - whatever you want to call it, is not enough to meet our needs. And what are those needs? True happiness, healing, progression, and ultimately to return back to our Father in Heaven. We can never, on our own, meet those needs. And like the poor in money continually seek to find ways to ameliorate their situation, so too do the poor in spirit continually seek greater spirit, continually striving to improve their relationship with God.

I think on another level it is simply analogous to humility. I think King Benjamin defined this aspect of "poor in spirit" very well in his speech about our own nothingness, our indebtedness to God, our need to be servants not just to God but also to our fellow man.

Anyway, just my thoughts.

I think blogging a beatitude, or teaching from the sermon on the mount each day is a great idea, and I look forward to your other blogs on this. There, now you have some accountability. I'll be waiting...
posted at 11:14:38 on December 13, 2006 by josh

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"The Savior teaches that we will have tribulation in the world, but we should "be of good cheer" because He has "overcome the world". His Atonement reaches and is powerful enough not only to pay the price for sin but also to heal every mortal affliction… He knows of our anguish, and He is there for us. Like the good Samaritan in His parable, when He finds us wounded at the wayside, He binds up our wounds and cares for us. Brothers and sisters, the healing power of His Atonement is for you, for us, for all. "

— Dallin H. Oaks

General Conference October 2006