Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Accept God's Will

                We can bring the greatest of all liberties into our individual lives by living true and correct principles.  This liberty comes to us as we live as though Jesus Christ were walking beside us. 

                The liberty principle for today is the fourth in a series of true principles suggested by Elder Richard G. Scott in his book 21 Principles – Divine Truths to Help You Live by the Spirit.  I will merely introduce the principle and suggest that you obtain Elder Scott’s book in order to truly understand this principle.  Elder Scott explained that principles “are concentrated truth, packaged for application to a wide variety of circumstances.  A true principle makes decisions clear even under the most confusing and challenging circumstances.”  You can see principle #1 “True Principles of Freedom” here, principle #2 “Trust the Holy Ghost” here, principle #3 “Try New Things” here, principle #4 “Accept Promptings” here, and principle #5 “Decisions Determine Destiny" here. 

                Principle #6 is the simple counsel to accept God’s will for us instead of opposing it with questions.   When we accept God’s will we gain great peace in the present time and better understanding over time.  Elder Scott explained that it is hard to give up dreams and accept an answer of no.  “At such times, to ask, `Why does this have to happen to me?’ `Why do I have to suffer this, now?’  `What have I done to cause this?’  will lead you into blind alleys.  Rather ask, `What am I to do?’  `What am I to learn from this experience?’  `What am I to change?’  `Whom am I to help?’  `How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial?’

                “Willing sacrifice of deeply held personal desires in favor of the will of God is very hard to do.  Yet, when you pray with real conviction, `Please let me know Thy will’ and `May Thy will be done,’ you are in the strongest position to receive the maximum help from your loving Father.

                “This life is an experience in profound trust – trust in Jesus Christ, trust in His teachings, trust in our capacity as led by the Holy Spirit to obey those teachings for happiness now and for a purposeful, supremely happy eternal existence.  To trust means to obey willingly without knowing the end from the beginning (see Proverbs 3:5-7).  To produce fruit, your trust in the Lord must be more powerful and enduring than your confidence in our own personal feelings and experience” (pp. 33-34).

                When we put our trust in the Lord, we exercise faith in Him and in His ability to bless our lives.  When we are willing to accept whatever the Lord gives us, we open ourselves to receive the blessings of heaven.

                A new acquaintance was sharing her faith in God recently.  She is a real estate agent, and she found her “perfect house.”  It is everything that she has always wanted as well as being in her price range.  Yet when she and her husband prayed about buying the house, they received a firm “no.”  It is still her dream house, but she now realizes that there is something else that the Lord has in store for her family.  She and her husband are searching for whatever it is that the Lord wants them to do instead of going ahead with the purchase of their dream home.

                Another young woman thought her family was complete with four children.  Then she felt prompted that she should have another child.  She discussed her feelings with her husband; with his blessing she accepted the prompting as the Lord’s will and went to her doctor to have her IUD removed.  Several months after she shared her prompting with me, I had the opportunity to ask her if she were pregnant; her answer was no but she is at peace because she feels that she did as God directed.  I told her that she may never become pregnant again because just maybe the Lord wanted to know if she were willing to set her own plans aside to do His will.

                I remembered my own test of whether or not I could put my trust in God as to the timing of my children.  I already had four children in just over five and a half years.  Did I have enough faith to stop using birth control and let the Lord take care of our family?  I learned that the Lord was much better at spacing my children than I had been!  My fourth and fifth children were nearly three years apart, and my fifth and sixth children were five years apart.  Then my family was complete.

                It is not always easy to put our trust in the Lord, but it is always worth the effort and whatever sacrifice we have to make.  God has a plan of happiness for all of us whereby we can be happy for all eternity.  He also has a plan for each of us as individuals.  When we put our trust in Him, He can lead us through the various tests of life and bring us to best place for us personally.

                Elder Scott explained, “To recognize the hand of the Lord in your life and to accept His will without complaint does not immediately eliminate the struggles that will come for your growth.  But I witness that it is the best way there is for you to find strength and understanding.  It will free you from the dead ends of your own reasoning.  It will allow your life to become a productive, meaningful experience, when otherwise you may not know how to go on (see Doctrine and Covenants 24:8).

                “The Lord’s plan is to exalt you to live with Him and be greatly blessed.  The rate at which you qualify is generally set by your capacity to mature, to grow, to love, and to give of yourself.  He is preparing you to become as He is.  You cannot understand fully what that means yet, He knows.  As you trust Him, seek and follow His will, you will receive blessings that your finite mind cannot understand here on earth” (p. 35).

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