Monday, January 23, 2012

as a little child

About a week ago, my wife and I attended the temple at a particularly busy time of the day, so we were able to sit and ponder for about 40 minutes in the chapel before entering our endowment session. Whenever I have time before a session, I like to open the scriptures and read the first chapter I open to, as well as pondering and praying about how I can align my will more with the Father's. On this particular occasion, I happened to open to 3 Nephi 11, the chapter I often used as a missionary to teach those not of our faith about Jesus' visit to the Nephites in the Americas. I love this chapter because of its simple statements of truth and its powerful testimony of the love of our Savior. Toward the end of the chapter, Jesus states His gospel in clear and simple terms: "And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God" (3 Nephi 11:38). I've been baptized and try to repent on a regular basis, but I wondered what the Lord meant by telling us to become as little children, rather than something like memorizing the scriptures or doing everything the same way that Jesus would do it.

In Mosiah 3:19, we read that a little child is "submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." What struck me then, and continues to shape my perception of God's expectations of me now, is that all of these attributes have to do not with becoming a great man by any normal measure of greatness, such as power, wisdom, financial stability, or even doing the right thing all the time. The Lord simply wants you and me to rely on Him, accept His will, and love everyone no matter what trials might befall us.

I know that as we humble ourselves and submit ourselves to God, He will bless us and lift us up. I love the statement in Helaman 3:35 that says, "sanctification cometh because of [our] yielding [our] hearts unto God." I seek to do this by making a list of priorities in my life, putting the things the Lord has taught me first, and then following that list each day as I decide how to spend my time. So far, whenever I've been able to follow my list, I've finished the day feeling content, happy, and full of thanks to God for blessing me with such a wonderful life. When I've failed to keep my priorities straight, I haven't enjoyed such blessings. I hope each of us can "[seek] not [our] own" by submitting ourselves to the Lord and following His will each day by setting priorities and following them.

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