The glory of those “who overcome evil, in good take delight”

There is an old hymn, “Thanks for the Sabbath School,” the chorus of which ends with these words:

Great be the glory of those who do right,
Who overcome evil, in good take delight.

This morning I was reading in the 4th chapter of Ephesians, in which Paul speaks of the change that occurs when we leave

the vanity of our minds, and
our darkened understanding,
having become “alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in [us],
because of the blindness of [our] heart[s],”
which has caused us to be “past feeling”
because we have “given [ourselves] over” to uncleanness

and, through Christ,

“put off . . . the old man,
which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
and be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
And . . . put on the new man,
which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

Putting on the new man is the description of being born again. It describes a change in our nature. It means we pattern our thinking, conversation and behavior after the holiness that is in Christ and in our Heavenly Father. We awaken to the deceit of the adversary and “abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

The 2nd and 3rd verses of “Thanks for the Sabbath School” describe the process of denying ourselves that which is ungodly and embracing that which good, seeking, in the end, eternal salvation through Christ’s mercy and grace:

Now in the morning of life let us try
Each virtue to cherish, all vice to decry;
Strive with the noble in deeds that exalt,
And battle with energy each childish fault.

May we endeavor through life’s devious way
To watch and be earnest, true wisdom display;
Try to o’ercome each temptation and snare,
Thereby full salvation eternally share.

This battle against childish faults, the overcoming of each temptation and snare, is possible, for “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations,” (2 Peter 2:9) and can, through our faith in Him, cause “a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2). What is the result of seeking this change in our lives?

Great be the glory of those who do right,
Who overcome evil, in good take delight.

Changing our hearts through service

Henry B. Eyring
In the Master’s service, you will come to know and love Him. You will, if you persevere in prayer and faithful service, begin to sense that the Holy Ghost has become a companion. Many of us have for a period given such service and felt that companionship. If you think back on that time, you will remember that there were changes in you. The temptation to do evil seemed to lessen. The desire to do good increased. Those who knew you best and loved you may have said, “You have become more kind, more patient. You don’t seem to be the same person.”

You weren’t the same person because the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. And the promise is real that we can become new, changed, and better. And we can become stronger for the tests of life. We then go in the strength of the Lord, a strength developed in His service. He goes with us. And in time we become His tested and strengthened disciples.

You will then notice a change in your prayers. They will become more fervent and more frequent. The words you speak will have a different meaning to you. By commandment we always pray to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. But you will feel a greater confidence as you pray to the Father, knowing that you go to Him as a trusted and proven disciple of Jesus Christ. The Father will grant you greater peace and strength in this life and with it a happy anticipation of hearing the words, when the test of life is over, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

President Henry B. Eyring, “In the Strength of the Lord,” Ensign, May 2004.