I just had what I feel was a great meeting with Jason. We talked about humility, pride, and submitting our will to God on a consistent basis.
He asked me a few questions that I thought were appropriate:
What are your plans moving forward to be as consistent as you’ve been the last few days?
Why do you feel you’ve been this consistent?
These questions have caused me to reflect on WHY I’m doing what I’m doing and HOW I plan to continue.
I decided to go to lds.org and do a little searching. I searched for the word “submit” and found a great talk by Elder Neal A. Maxwell titled “Willing to Submit“. There are so many things he says that are quotable. There are many things that are hard to understand. But the entire talk is full of insight that hits a homerun with where I’m at right now.
Here are some things that stood out:
While we see this quality in the quiet but spiritually luxuriant lives of the genuine, spiritual heroes and heroines about us, the lack of it keeps so many of us straggling in the foothills and off the peaks in the adventure of full discipleship. I refer to our hesitancy and our holding back in submitting fully to the Lord and His purposes for us.
This holding back is like leaving Egypt without journeying all the way to the Holy Land, or waiting in Nauvoo for the railroad to come through, or staying permanently at Winter Quarters.Though possessed of other fine attributes, we may still lack this one quality. Such was the case with the righteous young man who knelt sincerely at Jesus’ feet. Lacking one thing, he went away sorrowing and unsubmissive when a particularized challenge was given. (See Mark 10:21–22; Luke 18:22–23.) Whether it is walking away without looking back from “great possessions” (Mark 10:22), or from a statusful place in the secular synagogue (see John 12:42–43), or from proud but erroneous attitudes accrued over the years, or merely “straightway” from fishing nets (Mark 1:18), the test is always the same…
Wow! My “…hesitancy and my holding back in submitting fully to the Lord and His purposes for me” is where I’m at right now! Yes, I have some “fine attributes”, but if I don’t submit completely, I’ll be as the man that “went away sorrowing and unsubmissive…” I have a “proud but erroneous attitude accrued over the years”.
…It is so easy to be halfhearted, but this only produces half the growth, half the blessings, and just half a life, really, with more bud than blossom.
Here the question is simple: what am I missing out on that the Lord has prepared for me and for my family IF and WHEN I submit completely. Currently I’m only “half blessed” due to my stubbornness and unwillingness to give my life and agency freely to the Lord.
The submissive soul will be led aright, enduring some things well while being anxiously engaged in setting other things right—all the time discerning the difference. (this reminds me of the “Serenity Prayer”)
As the Lord communicates with the meek and submissive, fewer decibels are required, and more nuances are received. Even the most meek, like Moses (see Num. 12:3), learn overwhelming things they “never had supposed.” (Moses 1:10.) But it is only the meek mind which can be so shown and so stretched—not those, as Isaiah wrote, who “are wise in their own eyes.” (Isa. 5:21; see also 2 Ne. 9:29 and 2 Ne. 15:21.)
To me, this section is all about my issues with work. I have the attitude of being “wise in my own eyes” and trying to change things I simply cannot change, thus lacking the wisdom to know the difference.
Yielding one’s heart to God signals the last stage in our spiritual development. Only then are we beginning to be fully useful to God! How can we sincerely pray to be an instrument in His hands if the instrument seeks to do the instructing?
What do I really, truly want to be for God?
How important is it for me to serve multiple missions?
Why do I want to serve? to be seen of men or because I really love God?
Sometimes, our holding back occurs because we lack faith or we are too entangled with the cares of the world. Other times, there is in us an understandable tremulousness which slows our yielding, because we sense what further yielding might bring.
Yet we need to break free of our old selves—the provincial, constraining, and complaining selves—and become susceptible to the shaping of the Lord. But the old self goes neither gladly nor quickly. Even so, this subjection to God is really emancipation.
I’ve only gone through the first third of this article in my writing here, but already I understand a little more how important it is to submit my will to God.
I found one other talk that was a bit easier to read and understand the first time 🙂
It’s by Bishop Richard C. Edgley and it’s titled: “Behold the Man”
One of the biggest highlights is this:
1. A true man is strong enough to withstand the wiles of Satan.
Ben, some burdens that we are called to bear are so heavy that we can only conquer them through humility, submissiveness, and contrition. That sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it—gaining strength and power through humility, submissiveness, and contrition. But that is one of the great ironies of life—we can receive power beyond our natural ability by submitting our will to the Father. We all fall victim to the tempter to some degree. Sometimes we even get entangled in serious transgression—transgression that has eternal consequences. Those who have committed serious transgression must follow the carefully planned path of repentance provided by the Savior and often directed by a bishop or stake president. This becomes the true test of manhood, and not all are man enough to meet this challenge.
I love this talk too.
A true man does not need Satan to lead him down the easy path with his everlasting chains of destruction. A true man is strong enough to withstand the wiles of Satan and humble enough to submit himself to the redemptive powers of the Savior.
Moses, in a moment of both motivation and rebuke, charged the Israelites, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” (Ex. 32:26). What he was really asking was, “Whose man are you, anyway?” Our Father in Heaven is called “Man of Holiness” (Moses 6:57; Moses 7:35). That is a title we reserve with reverence for the Supreme Being. It is not a title we take upon ourselves, Ben. But every priesthood bearer should seek to be known simply as a man of God. That, my dear friend, is manhood.
I know that, only through Jesus Christ, can I become a “true man” and realize the potential God has in mind for me.
It’s a process but I feel I’m going in the right direction.