I “do what He does, to serve the way He serves” – Henry B. Eyring
I “serve without expectation of reward” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The scriptures tell us to learn line upon line through faith. A good example of this is from the below verses of revealed scripture we can see that Adam was performing an action out of faith. He did not understand why he was doing it at first but “after many days” of showing faith, the meaning of the commandment was revealed to Adam.
And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.
I’m sure we all have had commandments that we followed out of faith, despite not understanding the why behind it; however, that are also times when through a journey of faith, study, prayer, and patience, we come to understand it better. Having been on this journey we get the privilege of greater understand and experience.
With this greater understanding and experience, we are now able to take on greater challenges of learning and growing our understanding. As it says in scriptures such as: Isaiah 28:10,13; Doctrine and Covenants 98:12; and 2 Nephi 28:30, we can follow this pattern to learn “line upon line, precept upon precept” as we continue to gain greater understandings about the gospel and our purpose on earth.
Why not All at Once?
May times people wish they could just skip ahead and learn it all at once, but as we can see from these scriptures, this is not the way that God works. I believe there’s a good reason for this. The answers we seek are often unobtainable to us because we haven’t taken the journey of learning and growth that is needed to prepare us for a more challenging journey required to gain the knowledge we seek.
It would be like trying to run a marathon when you haven’t ever done any running before in your life. You’ll likely fail very early on in the journey to the finish line. Or trying to understand calculus before learning basic algebra. We need to first understand the basics, and show faith in what we have so far before we are ready for the more challenging and deeper understandings.
Jesus learned Line Upon Line
The scriptures even tell us that Jesus himself did not have all his knowledge at once:
And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
We too must learn a little at a time, and not expect to have all the answers we seek all at once. Many times we just need to have faith.
“The service I render… [helps] me build my testimony and anchor my life in the gospel” – Bishop Gérald Caussé
“the spiritual gift of revelation will attend [my] call to the work” – David A. Bednar
In the October 2017 General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson reminded us of the importance of the Book of Mormon by reiterating President Monson’s encouragement to study and ponder the Book of Mormon. He asked us three interesting questions:
- What would your life be like without the Book of Mormon?
- What would you not know?
- What would you not have?
I got to discuss these in Elders Quorum today, and felt I should share a few things here.
- The knowledge found in the Book of Mormon has brought a great deal of peace to my life. Without this knowledge so may unanswered questions would make life seem so much more uncertain.
- I wouldn’t know a lot about gospel principles that are further enhanced and clarified over what we know from the Holy Bible. The confusion found in the world about the gospel is undone for those who have studied and understood the Book of Mormon.
- Without the Book of Mormon, wouldn’t have the blessings of the Priesthood in my life. I wouldn’t have knowledge that brings peace to my life. I wouldn’t have clear direction and purpose in my life.
I agree with President Nelson when he said:
Immersing ourselves regularly in the truths of the Book of Mormon can be a life-changing experience.
The Book of Mormon provides the fullest and most authoritative understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to be found anywhere.
…as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day. I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life. I promise that as you daily immerse yourself in the Book of Mormon, you can be immunized against the evils of the day…
I testify that Joseph Smith was and is the prophet of this last dispensation. It was he who, through the gift and power of God, translated this holy book.
I “determine to follow the Savior’s example by being kind, loving, and charitable.” – Thomas S. Monson
“making and keeping covenants are the most important goals [I] can set” – M. Russell Ballard
I recently listened to an audio book called “The Entitlement Cure – Finding Success in Doing Hard Things the right Way“. In this book, the author Dr. John Townsend gives five biblically based attitudes we can have to defeat feelings of entitlement within ourselves:
- Humility – We are complacently dependent on God. Accept the reality of who God is, and who you are. God has the best plan for your life, look to him for direction. Acts 17:28, Exodus 19:5,
- Relationship – We are social people, and we need each other within healthy relationships. Love God and your Neighbor. Connected people are healthier, more motivated, and happier. Ecclesiastes 4:10, 2 Corinthians 6:11-13
- Responsibility – We are responsible for your own choices. We have the freedom to choose for ourselves, but we must also accept the consequences of those choices. Own your part of your job, marriage, problems, etc. You’ll never fix a problem until you take ownership of it. Take the beam out of your own eye first. Joshua 24:15,
- Accept Your Flaws – The judge in our own head is always the toughest. Don’t run from your flaws. God still loves us despite our flaws, and so should we. Once we accept them we can deal with them in positive ways. Jesus atoned for your sins and flaws, and through him we can be made whole. Psalm 139:14, Romans 15:7,
- Have Purpose – Life is best when you know your passions and talents, and use them to engage with the world the make it a better place. Be actively engage in a career, a hobby, or calling that helps you fulfill your role in life. Genesis 1:28
The most important thing I got from this book is the idea that we can choose one of two ways to live our life. The hard way or the harder way. When we try to choose the easy way out, essentially trying to avoid responsibility for our actions, we are actually choosing the harder way because those consequences will catch up to us. On the other hand if we choose the hard way, by working at our lives in the right way, life is easier, and happier then it will otherwise be.