If the entirety of a friendship was founded upon purity, selflessness, and singularly good intention, the relationship would be perpetuated into a realm of perfection casting no shadow of envy, self-gain, or manipulation.
The application of effort alone is not sufficient for the establishment of said perfection; humanity is flawed and thus every effort is inherently imperfect, yet the idealism and perfection is always the destination for wistful thinking and hard progress. The yearning was not introduced by the temporal, but was exemplified by Jesus Christ- the only perfect being to have walked the earth- thus, he loved perfectly and fostered perfect friendships, with perfect desires and perfect intentions.
John 15: 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
The servant might despise the master and yet still faithfully and obediently serve Him, but what happiness is to be found in such service? When we accept Christ’s extended friendship we serve because we love Him, we have the desire to please Him and he does not withhold the solid unchangeable embrace of His love for us; no longer are we the unwilling servant that knows little of the Master, but an acknowledged friend with the opportunity to learn more of Him everyday- we simply have to choose it and pursue it. He has already invited us.
Over the course of the past few months, I’ve been developing my ability to follow the Spirit in the work that I do. You may recall reading about some of the growth I’ve been going through in Who is That Angel on Your Shoulder or because he said so. Recently, I had a unique experience that made me seriously question my ability to recognize the Spirit and His promptings. I felt really confident that I HAD followed a prompting, but the result was rather unexpected, and I was pretty shaken. As I asked my Heavenly Father for understanding, for the peace of mind in knowing I had followed Him, I came to this scripture:
Ecclesiastes 11:1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.
Although it took me a little while to be confident with this answer, I was immediately comforted. My responsibility, as a missionary, but also as a daughter of God, is to learn to receive and act on revelation, and then trust Heavenly Father. Once I’ve acted (cast my bread upon the water, or sowed the seed), I just have to be patient in waiting for the seed to prosper or the bread to return, so to speak.
We may not know the ways of the Spirit, but we must decide whether we’re going to trust Him or not. And once we’ve decided to trust Him, we can further build that relationship by showing Him that we trust Him, by acting on what He asks us to do- whether we understand the purpose of it, or not.
Lately, as I’ve observed many people of various gifts and talents, I’ve found myself wishing I, too, could have some of their attributes. In these moments, if I’m listening in my heart, the still small voice whispers, “But I didn’t make you that way”. As I’ve thought about this, I’ve decided to trust my Heavenly Father on it. He knew exactly what He was doing when He made me, with a specific purpose in mind. With that perspective, not only do I feel better about myself, but it’s so much easier to commend others for their strengths. As my eyes are opened, I can see the harmony that Heavenly Father has created with a tapestry of rich, various designs for each of His children.
I’ve been especially enlightened as a missionary, because we’re often assigned a companion with whom we might never have otherwise been willing to work. Yesterday, our mission president’s wife, Sister Christianson, said that, “transfers are right, but Heavenly Father expects US to make them work!”. Once I learned to trust that President Christianson made our assignments by inspiration, I became very motivated to find out what Heavenly Father wanted me to learn with each companion. Even when it was difficult, in each companionship that I’ve had, we’ve stuck it out until we learned to work together. In doing so, I’ve discovered strengths that I never knew I posessed- Simply because I had never been around someone who illuminated that side of me! Heavenly Father created each of us differently so that our strengths could cooperate in accomplishing His plan.
“Through… teachings… which are found recorded in the sacred scriptures, the Savior left all mankind sufficient teachings for each one to understand himself, and to find his own true identity. It comes only through knowledge of and obedience to the commandments. Once it does come, the thoughts, “I’m not worth anything—I’m just a nobody,” will have no place in our lives… “Scripture reading enables [man] to see life, not alone from the human point of view, but in some degree from God’s”
“In the scriptures man finds that he belongs to a whole, of which God is a part. Belonging to such a whole gives him a sense of the value of his own soul, but seen in relation to God reveals his dependence and hence his subordination. … Thus, a devout use of the scriptures nourishes the spiritual life with a calm that displaces the doubts and anxieties which paralyze mankind.” (Finding One’s Identity)
Heavenly Father doesn’t expect us to stumble along, blindly running into one gift here and maybe a talent there. He gave us the tools to get to know Him, and in turn to get to know ourselves- the way He knows us.
According to competent advice and in correlation with gathered experience, the hierarchy of law in regards to creative writing cannot always be associated with the general laws of logic and common sense- unless they are applied with acquired skill plus natural talent.
Critical thinking brands the majority of mankind as lacking in either or both.
Putting pen to paper with minimal process of thought and involvement often yields the more satisfying product of unlimited, boundless creation– free of grammatical restrictions, free of paranoia, bred by the prospect of readership and judgment, free of self made obstacles that measure intelligence and individuality through style and vocabulary. Once the draft is complete, these other laws- that are available and acquirable by most of mankind- can be applied to the refining and improving of the work once the foundation of the masterpiece is laid.
Such is the same in allowing the Spirit to guide us in the various walks of life we each take. In being open and unhindered by the restrictions of mankind, the more magnificent part of ourselves is available for our Heavenly Father to direct and mold into flourishing characters in thrilling plots that we are then able to refine and improve by following the laws and principles that He has made and that we are all able to acquire and apply… Heavenly Father is our limitless Creator and He created something truly magnificent, for He created you and me.
Our message is applicable to everyone individually, so if you’d like to learn more, your local missionaries would love to visit you and teach you more about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ!
In the year 1820, a boy named Joseph Smith yearned for truth, so one day, he asked God, and in answer to his prayer, the world was changed…