The Power Is In Them

I’ve talked about agency in some of my past posts. It’s an important topic because our free will is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. So great, in fact, that He allows some of the most horrendous things imaginable to take place because He respects the freedom He has granted to His children. It is also the only thing of ourselves we can offer God. Everything in this world belongs to Him. Anything we give Him, he already has. Our time, however, is something we can give him. Of our own free will, we can choose to offer our time and talents to the Lord.

This time and talents isn’t just for Sunday, nor do they only pertain to the ten commandments and such. God gave us agency so we could think and act for ourselves. That’s why we’re here, to choose to come unto Christ. Through modern revelation, the Lord has instructed,

For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.

Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; (Doctrine and Covenants 5:26-27)

Here, the Lord basically says that anyone who has to be told to do everything is a lazy disciple, and that we should always be seeking to do good, not just when we’re told to.  It makes sense. Surely the Lord wants us to think for ourselves. After all, the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about creating a mighty change of heart within us. It’s about making us into good people, not just people that do good things. From God’s commandments, we enhance the light of Christ within each us and develop our ability to perceive and act upon goodness.

Continuing in verse 28,

For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.

The power in us is the light of Christ. God has given us the ability to know good from evil and choose between the two. In this way, when we come unto Him, it is because we desire it, not because we were forced to it.

Our God given agency is so important because it is the only way to truly come unto Christ and learn to be better people. So choose today to do something good. We have already been given the power. Let’s use it.

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Waiting

What, then, does it mean to wait upon the Lord? In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust. To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end. ~ Elder Robert D. Hales

Life can sometimes be a struggle between wanting to do what we think is best and trusting that the Lord knows best. In regards to the latter, sometimes it takes patience and sometimes it takes initiative. But in all cases, it takes humility and an acknowledgment of the fact that any decision made solely upon our own intellect is going to be a fair idea at best.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

If we expect to get anywhere in life, we can’t allow ourselves to make our decisions only on what we see with our eyes. We can only see the present and learn from the past, but the Lord knows what lies ahead in our life’s path. He loves us and wants our success. We can and must trust that He will only lead us in the right directions. Any good solution I’ve come up with has most definitely been inspired by the Lord’s infinite knowledge. My own intellect only takes me so far… which is not very far at all.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (verse 6)

In every decision we make, in every action we take, we must always ask for the Lord’s guidance. This means we need to have patience and faith in Him, and be willing to submit ourselves to time and, if necessary, trials. Things won’t always seem like they’re going work out. I’m sure that Moses, at least for maybe a second or two, thought, “Oh… crap.” when he saw the Red Sea. But the Lord didn’t lead him to the ocean only to let the Egyptians come and slaughter them.

The Lord we not lead us to an impossible obstacle. If we must cross a sea, He will divide it. If we wait upon the Lord, and have faith in His knowledge and time, He will direct us.

Awake and Alive

Every Christian knows what the book of Revelation is. John the Beloved saw in vision the resurrected Christ, who showed him, essentially, the last days and the things that would go down. This book contains a lot of material that has become well known throughout the world: the mark of the beast, the mark in the forehead and hands, Babylon the mother of harlots covering the earth, the book of life, the seven seals, angels and trumpets, wars and catastrophe, etc.

When most people think of the book of Revelation, they think of bad things happening in the last days. The wars and catastrophes and the beast. These things don’t sound particularly fun. In fact, it sounds downright terrible, and somewhat hopeless. But many forget that all these things are not why John wrote Revelation. He did not want us to get caught up in all the calamities that would occur. The book of Revelation is not meant to be a warning of bad times approaching, but instead serves as a message of hope.

Yes, there will be wars. Yes, Babylon will cover the earth. Yes, people will worship the beast and the devil will mimic the miracles of God. Yes, there will be calamities. But the message John wants us to get from this is that it doesn’t matter, because Jesus is going to win in the end. Despite all of Satan’s efforts to destroy the work of God, he will not succeed. Revelation is a message of hope, not of warning.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

All the awful things of the world will pass away. Christ will conquer Satan and there will be no more sadness or pain. Eternal happiness will be what we will enjoy, so long as we are on the Lord’s side.

Gordon B. Hinckley, the last prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, once said, “The time has now come to turn about and face the future. This is a season of a thousand opportunities. It is ours to grasp and move forward. What a wonderful time it is for each of us to do his or her small part in moving the work of the Lord on to its magnificent destiny.

Never be discouraged. This is an awesome time to be alive. Amidst the bad news that gets thrown at us, we so often forget how many good things are happening right under our noses. These are the last days. These are the days in which Jesus Christ has restored the fullness of His gospel to the earth. His church is here. We have living prophets on the earth again that communicate God’s will to us. Christ’s priesthood authority is in effect. There is revelation. There are miracles. It’s awesome! Be happy. Get excited. Jesus can bring us salvation and eternal life if we only repent and turn to Him. The hand of God is with mankind more than it has ever been. I’m grateful to have been born in this day and age when I can witness of all this firsthand. You should be too, ’cause it’s a great time to be alive.