I have learned a lot this week about aligning my will with the Father’s. I had been praying to know what to do to come closer to Christ, and what was left for me to repent of so that I might more fully devote myself to His work. I had been getting some impressions, but I didn’t really understand them. Then we had a training with our mission president on Thursday, and I got my answer loud and clear. It started with the following quote, which I’ve read over and over again:Christ says, “Give me all. I don’t want so much of your time, or so much of your money, or so much of your work, I want YOU. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here or a branch there, I want the tree down! I don’t want to drill the tooth or crown it or stop it. I want it out! Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires; the ones you think are innocent, as well as the ones you think are wicked. You give me the whole outfit, and I will give you a new self, in fact, I will give you myself, and my will shall become your will.” The terrible thing, of course, the almost impossible thing is to hand over your whole natural self, all your wishes and all your precautions to Christ. But that is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do instead is to remain what we call “ourselves”, to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time to be reasonably good. We’re all trying to let our mind and our heart go their own way, centered on money, or sex, or pleasure, or ambition, and hoping in spite of this to behave honestly and humbly and that is exactly what Christ warned us we could not do. He said a thistle could not produce figs. If I’m a field that contains nothing but grass seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short, but I shall still produce grass and never wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be plowed up and re-sown. It is the difference between a paint which is simply on the surface and a dye or a stain that soaks right through. He never talked vaguely. He said, “be perfect”, and He meant it. He meant that we must go in for the whole treatment. See, I have chosen you, you haven’t chosen me. You come to this on My terms, and I want you for the full treatment. Now, that’s hard. But the sort of compromise we’re hankering after is harder still, in fact, it’s impossible. It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird, but it’s a jolly sight harder for an egg to learn to fly. We are like eggs at present, and you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. Someday, you will have to be hatched or go bad… It is hard for an egg to become a bird, but it IS impossible for an egg to learn to fly. -Jeffrey R. Holland
For some reason, this really grounded me. I guess I hadn’t realized that even my righteous desires are still MY desires. The following italicized portion is an excerpt from a talk by Neal A. Maxwell, called Consecrate Thy Performance:We tend to think of consecration only as yielding up, when divinely directed, our material possessions. But ultimate consecration is the yielding up of oneself to God. Heart, soul, and mind were the encompassing words of Christ in describing the first commandment, which is constantly, not periodically, operative (see Matt. 22:37). If kept, then our performances will, in turn, be fully consecrated for the lasting welfare of our souls (see 2 Ne. 32:9). Many ignore consecration because it seems too abstract or too daunting. The conscientious among us, however, experience divine discontent because of progression mixed with procrastination. Hence, loving counsel is given with the confirmation of this direction, encouragement to continue the journey, and consolation as we experience individually the inherent degrees of difficulty. So many of us cling tenaciously to a particular “part,” even treating our obsessions like possessions. Thus, whatever else we may have already given, the last portion is the hardest to yield. Granted, partial surrender is still commendable, but it resembles, more than faintly, the excuse, “I gave at the office” (see James 1:7–8). A stumbling block appears when we serve God generously with time and checkbooks but still withhold portions of our inner selves, signifying that we are not yet fully His!
I can wrap my head around the idea of it all, but it’s devastating to consider yielding up the things that are most precious to us. I found a some scriptures in D&C 58 that really helped calm my heart. I don’t know how much faith I have in my own strength, but I know that Heavenly Father will keep His promises:…he that is cfaithful in dtribulation, the erewardof the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven. 3Ye cannot behold with your natural aeyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the bglory which shall follow after much tribulation. 4For after much atribulation come the bblessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be ccrowned with much dglory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand. 5Remember this, which I tell you before, that you may alay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow. 6Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be aprepared to bbear ctestimony of the things which are to come; 7And also that you might be honored in laying the foundation, and in bearing record of the land upon which the aZion of God shall stand; 14Yea, for this cause I have sent you hither, and have selected my servant Jayci Barrus, and have appointed unto her, her mission in this land. 15But if she repent not of her sins, which are aunbelief and blindness of bheart, let her take heed lest she cfall. 16Behold her mission is given unto her, and it shall not be given again.
I really take that to heart, because some of the innermost things I feel the need to turn over to Heavenly Father are by far more difficult to turn over than anything I ever could have imagined. Be careful when you ask Heavenly Father to help you grow, because I can guarantee it will be harder than you expect. The part where it says my mission is given me and shall not be given again really struck home, because this is the only opportunity that I have to be on a mission here and I had better make the most of it:
Consider this: What of Jesus’ ministry if He had performed additional miracles but without the transcending miracle of Gethsemane and Calvary? His other miracles brought blessed extensions of life and lessened suffering—for some. But how could these miracles possibly compare with the greatest miracle of the universal Resurrection?
I am so grateful for the guidance Heavenly Father offers us, because I know I could never grow this much on my own. I want to learn and grow and improve, but mostly I desperately desire to fulfill the Lord’s purposes for me to the very best of His expectations. I know that with His help, I can meet my potential: