Thoughts on Being Mormon: The One Thing I Can Give God
Mosiah 4:22 says “And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.”
I’m not going to write about the obvious moral taught in this verse. Instead, I want to focus on the secondary lesson. I find it interesting to consider that our “substance” or our stuff, including our money, food, clothes, etc. do not belong to us. Everything belongs to God, and He has allowed us, or granted us, the use of it. Some people require more and some less. Some people earn more and some less. And some people “petition” for substance just to survive. But it all is God’s. When we die, we take nothing but our spirits, our experiences, and our relationships with us. Everything else is left on the Earth for the use of others.
There is one thing we have that God gave us that is our own, and that is our agency, or our will. This is the one thing we freely give God when we covenant to serve and follow His son, Jesus Christ. Elder Neil A. Maxwell taught: “As you submit your wills to God, you are giving Him the only thing you can actually give Him that is really yours to give” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2004, 48; or Ensign, May 2004, 46).
I have learned that when I submit my will to His, and let go of my desire to control every outcome in my life, things go much more smoothly, blessings seem to fall into my lap, doors open, and my mind is clear. When I submit myself to His authority, He leads me in ways and to places that are always wonderful and joyous and bring me happiness and peace. It’s always an exercise in faith—to let go of my will and submit to His. But it always pays off.
This image is a simplification of the principal, but it’s effective:
Often what we are holding on to is not in our best interest, not just a lesser blessing. Often what we want to do isn’t going to help us achieve our ultimate goal of eternal life with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and we need to trust and have enough faith that when prompted to move on, we do so.
So today's goal is to pray for guidance, for humility and to give my will over to God. He knows better than I do. This doesn't mean I give my ability to choose to Him. It means I choose Him. I choose a higher law, a better way, and release my grip on my pride. It means I trust Him, and I choose to walk with Jesus on His path instead of staying on one I have to hack away at alone.