Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Step 3: Trust in God

"Reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not ot the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved" --2 Nephi 10:24

What does it mean to live in harmony with the will of God?

Joseph Smith said that true faith required a knowledge that our actions could please God, that it was possible to know the will of God and do it. That we had to have "actual knowledge that the course of life which [I am] is pursuing is according to his will" (Third Lecture on Faith).  If we don't know God's will, we can't exercise faith by adhering to it.

So the first question is, how do we know God's will?

1. We have the Holy Ghost. God's will for us is to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost to do good in the world (D&C 58:26-27), to fulfill the measure of our creation (interesting that sexuality and procreation are just one part of our purpose on earth, and yet it takes up so much emotional space in the world.  Interesting that the command to multiply and replenish the earth is as much a commandment to be a christlike parent in raising my children as it is a commandment to actually procreate.  We multiply, sure, but we also must replenish the earth).

2. So if the first item of business is to follow the Holy Ghost, then the second item must be to live worthy of the Holy Ghost? And how do we do that?  By being obedient and virtuous (D&C 121:45), by repenting (3 Nephi 27:20), and by serving God and others (Mosiah 5:13). 

So the idea of living in harmony with the will of God is not merely about obedience to stated commandments, to prophetic council, and to scriptural doctrine (though that is the foundation of living in harmony with God's will), but it is about living according to the guidance of the Holy Ghost that comes as a consequence of doing all these things.  When we are obedient to the basic stated standards of discipleship, then and only then can we truly live in harmony with God's will for us.

It's really simple, actually. If I am unworthy of the personal revelation and inspiration from the Holy Ghost, how can I truly live by God's will for me.

That's a motivating and scary thought--that God's will exists for all mankind--there are certain things he wants and expects from humanity in general, from his Church as well--but there are also certain things he expects of me.  God knows me. He knows what I am capable of and he expects to collect.

I had a mission president once tell me, "I've made an investment in you, and I expect to collect."  I think God feels the same way.  He invests in us that we might increase our talents in order to bless others.

How smart then for Satan to bind me ( or attempt to bind me ) with addiction.  If I am caught in the cycle of addiction, I can't follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, I can't know God's will for me, I can't increase my talents, I can't bless the world according to God's will for me.  I miss out. My family misses out. The people around me miss out.  The effect snowballs.  Satan wins.  Life sucks.

So, what to do then? 

Start with the foundation of obedience.  Seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Follow promptings as they come.  

This will become easier.  Certainly his yoke is an easier burden than the yoke of addiction.

Today I will be obedient to God's will.

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