If you haven’t read “Part I”, scroll down and do so now.
I think that I left off with, “So how can we do this? How can we always choose to follow the Savior?”
In my mission we have what we call “The Four S’s”–Scripture Study, Sincere Prayer, Strict obedience and Service (okay, I don’t actually remember what the fourth one is, but “service” seemed like a good fit.) Two zone conferences ago, President and Sister Gilbert added a fifth S–Submission. Submission is the key.
The secular world has a twisted view of the word “submissive”–it is almost always used with a negative connotation. But in order to become a good misssionary (or a true disciple of Chirst), we need to learn how to submit–how to fully turn our will over to the Lord.
It’s not enough to just look the part of a missionary (or disciple), we have to be one. if we always choose to follow Christ but do it grudgingly, we won’t be blessed, we won’t be3 changed and we won’t be redeemed. If you don’t want to do the things that naturally lead to happiness (keeping the mission rules/following the commandements of Chirst), then you won’t be happy, even if you do those very things.
President David O. McKay taught, “The greatest battles you will ever fight will be within the secret chambers of your heart.” That is where we decide to let our will be subsumed by the Father’s, where we decide if we will cheerfully do all things that the Lord wants of us, or if we will do them grudgingly.
In this context, the opposite of submission is resentment. If we obey the commandments with resentment, we can never be happy. No, never!!!
We must submit everything–our whole will–over to the Father. The missionary call letter states, “As you devote your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs…” It says “all other personal affairs”–not just those unrighteous ones, but all of them. And it isn’t enough to just stop doing/actively pursuing these desires, we have to give them up in our hearts as well.
Is pursuing a righteous profession or further education a worthwhile desire? Yes. But thinking about “what I’ll do or become after the mission” is a waste of energy that should be consecrated to the Lord. So, too, family and friends are wonderful, but thinkning about them constantly distracts from the work. In order to become the missionary that my Father wants me to become, I need to pack away all other thoughts, worries, and desires. I need to submit everything to the Lord. This same concept applies to those who aren’t full-time missionaries, but are seeking discipleship as well. We must “wake up and do something more” (Hymns, 223). The Lord wants us to have righteous desires, but He wants our righteous desires to be His righteous desires for us. He doesn’t want us to daydream of righteous things, but trust that as we press forward doing His will that our righteous desires will be fulfilled.
Becoming fully submissive to the will of the Lord–fully consecrating oneself to Him–is not easy, nor is it the work of a moment, but it is possible.
I am out of time, so stay tuned for part three (which will hopefully be the concluding part).
I love you all and pray for you always.