The Will of The Father... Accepting or Doing
Last week was Father's Day... we had a great celebration with a good friend and father that turned 40!
I thought about this time last year, what a crazy time of year.
I thought about my dad's passing.
I thought about him on Father's Day.
I taught the lesson in Relief Society and the subject matter was “I Seek Not Mine Own Will, but the Will of the Father”.
As I studied and thought for the week I reflected on how often we relate the will of the Father to situations of trial and struggle.
Sometimes we think of the father's will as something we just have to accept, deal with.
I read this part of the lesson...
I feel that whatever I have accomplished that it is not Lorenzo Snow, and the scenes that have brought me to this position as President of the Church—it is not Lorenzo Snow, but the Lord has done it. When Jesus was upon the earth He made this remarkable expression; I have thought of it and it is before me constantly in all of my labors: ‘I can of myself do nothing; as I hear I judge, and my judgment is just.’ Now, why did He say that His judgment was just? He says, because ‘I seek not my own will but the will of my Father who sent me.’ [See John 5:30.] That is the principle, my brethren and sisters, that I have endeavored to act upon ever since it was revealed to me that my Father in heaven, and your Father in heaven, exists. I have endeavored to do His will. …
Reading this passage from this dear man caused me to reflect on the difference between trying to accept the will of the father and doing the will of the Father.
There is a difference to me.
I do feel that we need to align our will with Heavenly Father's. As any parent he sees more than we do, is working with greater understanding and perspective than we have. But even aligning our will with His is different than just accepting His will.
'Accepting' sounds like we have no control, which often is what life feels like. Hard things that happen to us are often out of our control. It sounds and sometimes feels like we have no say and just have to 'deal with it', and attribute 'it' to God's will and let it go by, maybe feeling like a victim.
'Doing' the will of the Father is faith in action. Doing is an action word. Faith is vivified, vitalized, living belief. (Talmage) Doing the will of the Father is us in control. It's us choosing. The word 'aligning' is an action word. It's me working to change to put myself on the same course as the Father.
Do you suppose our heavenly father wants to inflict awful things upon us, those that he supposedly loves so much? I don't think his intention is to 'inflict', but this mortal life is a time that we go through mortal things... death, sickness, hardship, physical pain, emotional pain... all of those things are part of our experience.
Life just happens. Sometimes people make choices and we are caught in the crosswire. Agency is our gift, sometimes our own or other's choices hurt us. It's all part of our experience. Do we sometimes put all bad things on the back of our God? Does it go there? We are responsible for our choices. The awful things of this world are not of God, but of man!
Anyway... tangent... sorry!
I was thinking about the death of my dad. I had said my goodbye to him over the phone the morning I was packing to fly out.
I was so anxious. I felt out of control. I knew it was almost time. I knew I couldn't get there any faster.
I knew it was likely I wouldn't be able to be with him for his last moments here on earth.
After crying my eyes out I knelt in prayer... please help him hold out until I get there... please. Thy will be done, but please hear me... help him hold on for me...
In my desperation I think I was trying to 'accept' the Lord's will, my father would die before I could be with him. I had no control, something was happening to me, I couldn't change it, help me accept it. I was hoping, of course, to perhaps change the course of nature itself, the course that was already in process. I felt little peace and anxiety remained.
I was trying to accept something that I didn't like that was happening to me. Really this goes against human nature right? Who wants to accept awful things?
But there is a difference in doing the will of the father.
After I took the kids to the bus stop I came home and knelt again in prayer.
This time my desperation was gone and I intended to dig deeper into my faith.
I prayed for peace and comfort. I prayed for strength that I know comes from the healing power of the Savior's atonement. I prayed that the giant wound in my heart would somehow now swallow me whole, that He would sustain me.
And I felt calm.
Right after I stood up, the phone rang and my mom told me my dad was gone.
And I felt calm.
Was there any difference in behavior? I prayed both times.
Praying is doing the Lord's will right?
What is the will of the Lord?
I think He wants us to know Him, to seek Him, to minister for Him. He wants us to lean on Him, partake of the Savior's atonement.
The first time I knelt I was asking Him to change or help change something that couldn't be changed. I wasn't doing anything. I wasn't practicing faith.
The second time I knelt I called upon Him. I exercised my faith, I was doing. I wanted Him to make me whole, to heal my heart, to give me strength. Only when I engage in doing can I put Him to the test. He answered with calm, peace, perspective, strength and healing.
These experiences strengthen our faith, encourage us to do it again, develop our relationship with Him. We come to know Him by doing His will.
Question... Does doing the will of the Lord apply only to the portion of struggle in our lives?
Answer... Of course not!
It applies to all areas of our life.
Part of this lesson talks about Moses and other prophets of old, how God had a work for them to do, how most of them didn't feel they were up to the task.
It is a great reminder that He sees more in us than we can see, but what is most important to him is that we are willing to do His will.
And we see again, that as these men trust Him and call upon Him they indeed can do what He wants them to do. He gives them power beyond themselves.
Do I listen? Am I willing to do what He asks? Can He work through me?
If I am trying to do His will, and it applies to all areas of my life, am I forgiving as I should, loving as He would, seeking to serve? If I feel I don't have the capacity or capability, do I call upon Him to help me? I want to. I want it to be my nature.
This scripture was part of the lesson and I'm going to print it off and put it in my house somewhere... I LOVE it!
“If your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you, and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things. Therefore sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God.” [D&C 88:67–68.]
If I am looking towards Him, I am filled with light.
When I am feeling dark... keeping my eye single to Him will swallow that up.
I love... that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.
When our eye is single to Him, we get it! What a perfect promise! He will enlighten us, help us understand as we sanctify ourselves and make ourselves worthy for it!
It is in the light and the light is Him!
This was a great reminder for me. I can do more than I am doing... and I want to!
There is more in me than what I'm currently tapped into.
How do I get to the rest?
By doing the will of the Lord... He will help me find it.