Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your task. –Phillip Brooks
This quote hangs in our aparment where we can see it every day. It has motivated me in those moments when stupid Satan tells me I can’t do anything because I’m not good or strong enough. I’m a huge question-asker, and that is my way of praying for powers equal to my task. Not only do I get the satisfaction of being surrounded by the Spirit of God at General Conference, but I get to find out in detail what powers I have, and what He wants me to do with them. Here are three of my questions from this time around.
Q: What are the rewards for the exact obedient? Now this one, I got millions of answers to. It seemed to be yelling at me throughout the whole Conference. Did anyone else notice that? I cheated, though…I asked this question a week previous…and studied it before. So, most of my answers did come from the Conference, but some are from this month’s Ensign. Elder Paul V. Johnson wrote, “Sometimes we become so focused on our quest for peace that we forget it is one of the fruits of a righteous life…peace can come only to an individual by an unconditional surrender.” Elder Quentin L. Cook on Saturday said, “Righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace.” But then, ElderRichard G. Scott pointed out the scripture that topped it all for me, “…he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” Okay, okay, I get it already!
Q: How can I make sure to keep up my mission habits forever? My mission is part of my “blueprints” of life. It still add detail as I live, but what I learn here is what I base everything off of. With daily prayer and scripture study, as Elder Scott said, it is promised that “simple, consistent habits will lead to full and bountiful blessings.” Specifically however, I need to focus and pray about 1-2 people a week to invite to church and/or activities that we have when I return home…members are really the key to bringing others into the church. It’s part of Elder Andersen’s talk when he said, “Returned missionaries find your nametag…paint it on your heart…and put it where you can see it. In everyday conversation…speak of the light. Declare that we have found the Christ.” Every person coming into the Church needs a true friend, and that’s where we have to put all of our trust in someone that will live by them for a lot longer than us missionaries do.
Q: How can I pray with more real intent? I need to admit I do not know what I am, in fact, seeking to know. That’s what Joseph did–the preliminary feeling he had to asking God was admitting he didn’t know. Then, offer a sacrifice with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I need to give the Lord the reigns to my heart. Depending on how “broken-in” my heart really is, the Holy Ghost can teach me. Sacrifice means being open to the promptings of the spirit while living our daily lives. Being contrite means to be willing to act, or willing to change. Alma points out that we need to “humble ourselves even to the dust.” Dust is broken up particles of other things, and they are willing to go wherever. It’s not like I have to sacrifice my food and a warm bed every night…it “mostly refers to living day to day as a true disciple of Jesus Christ.” -Elder Erich W. Kopischke (Notice none of these answers have to do with being on my knees.)
When I ask questions, it’s not that I don’t already know some plausible answer that could work. Of course, those are the primary answers. Pray, read your scriptures, go to Church. But I am looking for the best answer, and the best possible way the Lord wants me to live my life accordingly. This isn’t my life though, I am just His vessel that needs to be apt to go wherever He needs me to go. I don’t let negative things penetrate into my mind, because it’s not about me anyway. My whole focus is positively building others, and the rest just falls into place.
Try asking Him questions sometime, if you haven’t, because answers can come at all times of the day…or night. (It happened last night.) It’s amazing what you can do when you let your “eye be single.” Because then, “thy whole body shall be full of light.” (-Matthew 6:22)