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"Betimes"

lds.org
Doctrine and Covenants 121:41-44 says,
"No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
"By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
"Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
"That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death."

Most people interpret betimes as sometimes, but that is incorrect. The Institute manual explains, "Many people assume the word betimes means “occasionally” or “sometimes,” but this is not its primary meaning. To reprove betimes means to do so “at an early time, . . . in good time, in due time; while there is yet time, before it is too late, . . . in a short time, soon, speedily” ( Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “betimes”)."

With this definition in mind, the meaning of verse 43 changes, showing how important it is to correct mistakes early on before they become too severe and harder to fix. The time to reprove someone ("when moved upon by the Holy Ghost") is as soon as they take the first step off the strait and narrow path, before they wander off too far. Then we are to show the person extra love so they know we are correcting them because we love them and want them to progress, not because we want to punish, hurt, or judge them.

Challenge: Correct mistakes, especially your own, early on.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Good article. This is correct.
Mom
Anonymous said…
thanks for posting-DAD

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