(September 17, 2013)
So many of the elements of character that we need to develop are seemingly contradictory. For example, it is (relatively) easy to develop humility if we so choose by abasing ourselves like the aesthetics. But we are not to live in that fashion. We are not to become passive, but rather we are to remain active and diligent in our service to the Lord. By the same token, diligence is far easier to achieve if we believe that everything in life relies upon the arm of flesh. If we eat only what we kill, so to speak, we are more likely to hunt. But that is also not correct. We are to be diligent even when we understand that we are not the source of anything that actually is accomplished.
On the one hand, these apparent contradictions are difficult to understand. But, after thinking about it, it becomes clear that they are not opposites but rather independent traits to be developed concurrently. Intelligence and strength are not opposites, but time spent reading is time not spent exercising. So they might seem in opposition. But to be fully rounded, but should receive attention. In the same fashion, to be fully rounded and achieve our divine potential, we must concurrently develop each of the attributes discussed by Alma.