I can do that

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A few months ago I was called to be the ward relief society president.  I think we can all agree that I am not the kind of person you think of when you think of a relief society president.  I am not compassionate or empathetic.  I don’t know how to decorate anything.  I don’t even have a Costco card (which according to the bishop is not actually a requirement, weird).

I spent a lot of time praying, pondering, and studying looking for a way I could use my personal talents and gifts to fulfill this calling and build up the sisters in my ward and a scripture came to my mind over and over again:

“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life–” (Mosiah 18:9).

The scripture may not be surprising, but the inspiration that came along with it was.  I am not great at mourning with those that mourn or comforting those that stand in need of comfort, though I am striving to work on those things.  However, something is absent in there that I never really noticed before.  Nowhere in that verse does it say that I need to solve all the problems that need to be solved.

The part of being a relief society president that scared me the most was having to deal with problems I don’t know how to handle.  But those problems are not mine to solve.  That is the Lord’s job.  I don’t need to take over His job.

Of course, I want to be loving, supportive, and kind.  I want to make sure they have ministering brothers and sisters.  I want to help connect them to the resources that are available to through the church and the community, but the burden of solving the problem is not mine.

When I can look past the name, it turns out that being a relief society president is just like any other calling.  My job is to listen to and act on revelation.  And I can do that.

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Follow the Prophet

IMG_3286If you want to see an example of what makes middle school interesting, attend a cross country meet.  There you will see these people who aren’t kids anymore but who aren’t quite teenagers trying to be competitive in what is essentially an individual sport without standing out or drawing any undue attention to themselves.  The juxtaposition is fascinating.

I recently attended such a meet to watch my oldest son, Tyler.  I love running and cross country and I am so thrilled he “chose” to participate in the sport.  At every meet, I cheer at the top of my lungs and run all over the course enthusiastically cheering him on.  He loves it.  Well, hopefully, he will someday look back on it fondly.

Prior to the start of the races the race director walked all the runners around the clearly marked course.  One lap on the track, two laps around the perimeter of the fields, then back onto the track to complete the one and a half mile race.

The girl’s race started off strong.  They ran around the track and one lap of the perimeter with no problem.  The lead group was starting to create a gap on the pack.  But then the lead runner made a mistake.  Despite the fact that a course marshall was shouting instructions, she ran back down to the track to the finish line.  The girl in second place, who was also warned by the course marshall, took a few steps the right direction, but then followed the leader back to the track.

If you haven’t ever run a race before you may not understand how hard thinking can be when you’re running as hard as you can  Decisions that otherwise would seem so simple take way more energy than you have.  Simple things become convoluted.  What is so obvious to a spectator is not as obvious to an exhausted runner.

Racer after racer hesitated at the junction, and then followed the leaders down to the track despite the efforts of the course marshall and the now involved spectators.  It wasn’t until one-third of the runners had passed by before a runner stayed on the correct course, leading the way for the rest of the racers to follow.

Most of the racers who went off course hesitated, recognizing that there was something wrong before they followed the crowd.  Why did they not heed the race marshall and the previously given instructions?  Why did they choose to follow the person in front of them even when they suspected it wasn’t right?

I don’t pretend to be able to understand middle school girls, I didn’t even understand myself when I was one, but I do see the lesson to be learned here.

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I have previously written a post about following the prophet and how we don’t do it blindly, but the importance of his role was highlighted to me again at the race.

Before we started this mortal life race against sin the course we were to run was explained to us.  As we run there are course marshalls along the way to guide us.  But still, in the exhaustion of the race, choices are more difficult than we expected and it is hard to know where to go.  But Heavenly Father gave us something those girls didn’t have, someone reliable to follow.  His prophet.

He will not be distracted or influenced by what other people are doing.  He is not perfect, but he knows how to follow the course and trust the course marshals.  No matter how tired we are, even if we lose our way on the course, we look to him and follow him.

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We worry way too much about whether or not we trust our spouse

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Image from LDS.org

I tried about 17 times to think of a suave introduction this topic, but I can’t think of one (okay, maybe I tried three, but I am inherently lazy and I tend to exaggerate, also I don’t think I’ve ever been suave in my entire life).  I have had this topic on the tip of my tongue for months and I haven’t written it up because I know how easily it can be misconstrued.  So, I’m just going to say it:

We worry way too much about whether or not we trust our spouse.

(If my life was a sitcom I would insert a spit take right here.  Also a laugh track, not for this moment specifically, but because I think having a laugh track may be the only way to get people to laugh at my jokes.)

I know, I KNOW, we all want to be in loving and trusting marriage relationships, and in no way do I want to undermine how wonderful it can be.  But for many marriages this is not the case.

The reasons you may not trust your spouse may happen for a variety of valid reasons, or maybe the lack of trust is even keeping you from getting married.  None of this precludes you from having a successful marriage.

Here is the thing:  Instead of worrying about building a trusting relationship with your spouse who may or may not have earned it, worry about building a relationship of trust with God, learn His will for you, and then do that thing with confidence.  That’s it.  If you are doing God’s will, you are doing the right thing.  Don’t worry about the rest.  This is what we are asked to do regardless of the depth or type of problem.  .

O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

(2 Nephi 4:34)

I see so many comments and questions about how to rebuild trust with your spouse after betrayal.  These questions are coming from men and women who have been so deeply hurt and so badly want to learn how to be emotionally healthy again!  Trying to force yourself to trust someone prematurely can be so damaging!  If this is you, please don’t let this be a stumbling block on your road to recovery!  Set this piece aside for later, and work on building a trusting (aka faithful) relationship with God.  I promise, I promise, this is the quickest and most efficient way to heal.

If that means that God is asking you to stay in a marriage where you don’t trust your spouse, stay in and trust God.  If that means God is asking you to leave and find a new path, then leave and trust in God.  If that means that God is asking you to do something that makes no sense to you, then do that thing and trust in God.  Even if there is not even a smudge of a trust problem in your marriage, give your loved one a high five, and then trust God first!  (Maybe that should be the other way around, trust first, then high five.)

When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives.

(The Great Commandment – Love the Lord, Ezra Taft Benson, April 1988)

So the question to ask ourselves is:  Do I trust God to the point I will act on whatever He tells me to do regardless of my perception of things?

If right now you are thinking “How do I build a trusting relationship with God?” you may be disappointed by my answers.  It’s stuff you’ve heard before a million times.  There is no shortcut, there is no spiritual infomercial product, we just have to buckle down and commit 100% to the standard answers:

  • Go to church with the intent to renew covenants and worship through Jesus Christ
  • Read your scriptures with the intent to be taught by the Holy Ghost
  • Pray with the intent to communicate with Heavenly Father

Every day, every day, every day.  (Okay, you don’t have to physically go to church every day, but you can live your covenants and worship every day.)  When you do these things with both a sincere heart (a true desire to learn) and real intent (when you get an answer you’re actually going to ACT on the knowledge) you will get answers.  You can’t just be curious to see what the answers would be, you need both the sincere heart and the real intent for the personal revelation to come.  But then you will build trust with God.  You will feel His love for you.  And unlike all the infomercials where the results they show are not typical, these results are guaranteed.

Pain

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When I encounter a difficulty in life, whether through sin or affliction, I’ve recognized that I tend to fall back on three basic reactions to the pain.  To illustrate, I’m going to relate each of the three methods with going to the dentist, not because I don’t like going to the dentist, I love it (seriously, it’s weird, but I totally do), but because the parameters fit so well!

The first reaction to pain is avoidance.  This is like having a known dental issue, and pretending it doesn’t exist.  The dislike of the dentist is greater than the discomfort at the moment so I put it off either by telling myself that I’ll “eventually” make an appointment when I’m not so busy, or that the problem isn’t that bad so it doesn’t really matter.  I compensate by chewing on the other side of my mouth, or by avoiding certain foods that are too hot, cold or sweet.  Sure, we can get away with avoidance for awhile, years even, with relatively  minimal discomfort but eventually it will catch up to us.  It will eventually come to a head and other greater problems will emerge, a cracked tooth, problems on the side of the mouth you were using to compensate because of the increased load, gum issues, infections, root canals, etc.

When we are experiencing a trial, or delaying repentance, it can seem like avoidance is possible.  Months and years go by with relatively minimal discomfort.  As long as you avoid that person, or stay away from that place, or don’t bring up that topic, you can keep on skipping down the lane whistling a tune and pretending the problem doesn’t exist.  Unfortunately, just as with the tooth, eventually it will get to the point where you cannot avoid the problem anymore, and it will be compounded with greater issues and manifest itself in a variety of ways.  Anxiety, depression, marriages fall apart, you lose those who love you, guilt, shame, and the list goes on.  I am not saying that these things only happen as a result of sin or affliction, in fact some of these very things are often the affliction we are dealing with in the first place.  I only want to point out that they compound on each other when we avoid the initial problem.

The second method is when we become proud of our pain.  This is like going to the dentist for a root canal without anything to numb the pain.  Maybe you hate needles so you don’t want a shot.  Maybe that pinch of the shot is so terrifying that you’d rather just not have it.  You know the problem needs to be solved, and so you white knuckle your way through it so you can survive to the end.

This one is so common and is done by righteous and well meaning people everywhere.  We recognize that we are to learn from our sins and our trials and so we don’t avoid the work involved.  Maybe we don’t like that pinch of confession or repentance.  Maybe we don’t want to forgive someone.  Maybe we just don’t think this problem is serious enough for pain relief.  We become proud of our pain, as if the pain itself is the lesson we are supposed to learn.  We are hurting like crazy with tears streaming, but we put a smile on our face and are so impressed with ourselves that we are fixing the problem.  We hang onto our pain like a badge of honor.  Look at what I survived.  Look at how much I can handle.  Look at how brave I am. Unfortunately this is just as unnecessary as dental work without any pain relief.  Which leads us to our third method:

The third method is when we allow the atonement of Jesus Christ to take the sting out of our pain.  This is like what most of us do when we have work to be done at the dentist.  We go to the dentist, we close our eyes when they put that big needle in our mouth and we are relieved when they start the work and we feel nothing.  The work is still being done, the problem is still being solved, but we don’t feel the pain.  It may be uncomfortable as your mouth is stretched as big as it can go and 27 instruments and hands are in your mouth at the same time, but it is not painful.

When we process our sins or afflictions using the atonement of Jesus Christ the work will be done.  We may feel uncomfortable as we are stretched and grow, but we will not feel the pain.  We will see that the real lesson to be learned is the understanding of how great the atonement of Jesus Christ is and how to enact that more fully in our lives.  We recognize that when we have faith in Him, and on Him, He truly can accomplish all that He has promised us.  The work that needs to be done hasn’t changed one bit, but our ability to bear it has significantly increased.

But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.

Mosiah 16:8

The sting of death, the sting of sin, the sting of affliction, is swallowed up in Christ through the atonement and resurrection.  He felt all the pain so we did not have to.  So how do we enact the atonement in our lives so the work can be done without us feeling the pain?

11 . . . for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

12 ¶Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:

13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and repent, turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and he will turn away the evil from you.

Joel 2:11-13 bold emphasis added, italics from JST

He is strong that executeth his word: This is the biggest difference in whether you feel the pain or not.  Do you sit in church, or do you worship in church?  Do you read the scriptures, or are you actively becoming what the scriptures are intended to help you become?  Do you believe Jesus Christ is who he says he is, or do you also have that he can do the things he says and allow him the space to do those things in your life?  Executing his word is greater than just listening, it is to carry out or put into effect.

Turn ye even to me with all your heart:  We know we are children of God.  When you encounter a difficulty, as yourself “How would a child of God solve this problem?”  It seems silly, but so often I’ve found myself trying to solve problems myself instead of remembering that I have a divine nature and I can call upon the powers of Heaven to help me and angels to guide, direct and protect me.  I need to know with all my heart that I am a child of God, and live my life that way, with all my heart.

And rend your heart, and not your garments: Rending  garments was a way that people in the Old Testament times expressed their grief and sorrow.  In this verse we are being counseled to focus more on the inward expressions than the outward ones.  Focus on the methods and solutions that change our eternity, even if that means short term discomfort, and don’t worry about the rest.  We will recognize how little it matters.  Don’t get distracted by what you think you’re supposed to do, or ways you think you’re supposed to act, or things you’re supposed to feel.  Focus on the counsel you receive from God.    It doesn’t matter what other people think of us, it matters what God thinks of us.  It doesn’t matter what our consequences are if they are returning us to the path that leads to God.  It doesn’t matter what the cause of our affliction is if it is teaching us of the infinite nature of the atonement.

The more I understand the atonement the more I recognize that it truly has the power to take away the sting of pain.  It truly can stretch us and help us grow efficiently and quickly without breaking us.  We do not have to just survive this mortal journey, but we can thrive in it.  We do not have to grin and bear it, we can become glorious in it.

Motherhood – as to my strength I am weak

meme-motherhood-ballard-1246791-galleryFamily scripture study at my house doesn’t look like it does in the church videos.  It usually looks like this:

“…The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the ear-rings; The rings, and nose jewels…”  (2 Nephi 13:20-21) My husband is reading, barely holding it together because he says men still aren’t any better at describing women’s clothing than Isaiah was.

“What’s a nose jewel?”  my 9 year old asks.  The response he gets is “Maybe it’s a booger.”  That doesn’t come from my 7 year old, or my 9 year old, it came from my 36 year old husband. Since I am the only girl in the whole family, not counting the dog (which I don’t, mostly because she would side with the boys anyway), that reply went over exactly the way you imagine it would.  Laughter trumped all, significantly delaying bedtime because although outwardly I was rolling my eyes I can’t resist those moments where we are unified in joy, and my kids know it.

Oh well, we will have to save those life changing, soul saving family scripture moments for another night.

When it comes to motherhood I wholeheartedly echo the words of Ammon who said “Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak.”  (Alma 26:12)  I’m not just being modest, it is 100% true, and it is 100% okay.  It is supposed to be that way.   My greatest desire as a mother is for my children to be worthy to receive exaltation. But no matter how hard I try I can’t do that.  In fact, it is not even my job to achieve that!  That is the job of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, it is their sole purpose.

“For behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39)

Even if I am the best mother in the world I cannot atone for my children.  I cannot bring to pass their eternal life.  It is the work of God.  When I rate my success as a mother based on how well I am doing Heavenly Father’s job I will come out feeling like a failure every time!  Do you have faith that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are actively working towards their purpose?  When we act with the knowledge that they are doing their part we can stop being distracted and focus on our portion of the task.

So what is our purpose in parenting?

Elder Bednar loves to cross reference Moses 1:39 with Doctrine and Covenants 11 and as I read the section with parenting in mind I saw my role as a parent in a whole new way.  My friends, the entire section is a treasure trove of parenting advice, I hope you will choose to study it, but here are a few highlights (verses as noted):

“4. Yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God.

“8. Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you desire of me so it shall be done unto you; and, if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation.”

I love that these verses point out that if we have a desire to assist in the raising of this generation, we are called to the work.  Mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, leader, friend, whatever your title you have a stewardship and can have be a positive influence in this work.

“9. Say nothing but repentance unto this generation.  Keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work, according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed.”

In essence repentance means more than just repenting of sin, but implies a change of mind and heart that draws us closer to God.  It also points out that we are His assistants in this work, that sure lets us know who the boss is!

“20. Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength.

“21. Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men.

“”23. . . . Seek the kingdom of God, and all things shall be added according to that which is just.”

This is the essence of our work, to keep the commandments.  We cannot assist in converting our children unless we are converted ourselves.  Period.  Everything else, including parenting, will follow.  As Elder Packer famously told us decades ago “The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior.”  (Little Children, October 1986) It will not be a study of the best time out methods, or chore charts, or grades, or activates that make us better parents. I am not trying to say that a study of the doctrine will negate the need of the study of the other things or, for parenting will always require consistent and deliberate effort.   Parenting without works is dead.  But that as we draw closer to Jesus Christ we will have greater ability to discern the truths and methods needed to teach in the best possible way, independent of cultural trends, pressures and distractions.  We will find ourselves becoming partners with Him in the raising of the souls that we have been entrusted with and we will be successful  in our role.

Although the deepest desires of our hearts for those we love is “most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World) it is not a guarantee that they will choose to be successful in that quest.  Remember that even a perfect father, Heavenly Father, still lost 1/3 of His children, and they didn’t even have the excuse of not remembering!  Don’t beat yourself up for things outside your stewardship that go wrong.

Chances are if you are keeping your covenants, if you are doing your best to become like Him, if you are seeking personal revelation and action on that revelation, you are probably a pretty fantastic parent.  Righteously act as if you have all the powers of heaven behind you, because you do.  Have faith that Heavenly Father has His eye on things, because He does.  Believe that you can be successful in your role, because you can be!

Prints of the Nails

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A couple months ago I was given the opportunity to share some of my experiences and my testimony in a way that when completed has a possibly to have a large outreach.  Before the appointed day I was confident knowing that this opportunity was something I was supposed to do and I could see the guidance Lord leading up to it.  On the way home, all the doubts started creeping in.  I shared some very personal things about me and my family, and all of a sudden all the worst case scenarios of how people could react started overwhelming me.  I was lead to, and found great comfort in, these familiar scriptures:

Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.

And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

(3 Nephi 11:14-15)

Whenever I had read these scriptures previously I had always thought about what it would be like to be physically present at that moment, to feel for myself the prints in His hands and feet, but after this experience I thought about it from Christ’s point of view.  As I imagined what it would be like to have a multitude come up to me, and feel my hands and feet and thrust their hands into my side I realized what a truly personal experience He allowed each person to have.  To allow a multitude to come up and physically touch my hands and side would be an uncomfortable thing for me, and yet Christ allowed each person individually to do so.

As I was pondering this, my focus shifted to the scars, why did our perfect resurrected Lord have these scars?  He tells us in the above verses, so that others “did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.”  His scars are not blemishes as we may mortally view them because those scars only add to the testimony of His identity.  He is perfect and unblemished, scars and all, because those scars magnify the testimony of His love for us and His ability to save us.

The Holy Ghost taught me that like the prints on Christ’s hands and the wound in His side my mistakes and imperfections, healed by the atonement of Jesus Christ, are not blemishes, but they enhance my ability to testify of Christ.  If I did not have them, if I did not have personal experience having my wounds healed through the atonement, my ability to testify of Christ would not be as strong.  There are times that I will be asked to allow a multitude of people, sometimes even a vast multitude, to feel my scars, to thrust their hands into my side, in a very personal way, for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.  (Romans 1:16)  But not only that, I am not ashamed of how I learned the gospel of Christ.  I am not ashamed of how I know, without a doubt, that the atonement works.

Sure, there are some who will see the spiritual scars I carry as blemishes and chances are they will be vocal in their judgement of them.  The temptation to feel bad about them and to hide them can be so strong, but I have made covenants and promised to take upon myself the name of Christ.  I have promised to do what is asked of me, and He asks nothing of me that He has not done Himself.  His wounds healed mine.  When He asks me to allow others to get up close and personal with my scars He is not asking me to focus on how I got the wounds, but how Christ healed them, and can heal yours.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

(Mosiah 14:5)

 

Be Who You Really Are

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I’ve noticed a trend in people I admire and want to be like.  The most common thread between them is that they know who they are, and live that way whole heartily.  They have complete integrity in their actions.  That consistency is what makes their example so powerful.  No matter where they are, or who they are with, they are true to who they are.

Sometimes it is easy to think that it takes an insane amount of courage to be ourselves, or that it takes some special talent, but really we are all capable of being ourselves if we focus on how little truly affects us eternally other than our own choices.

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The temptation to let things that have happened to us guide our actions can be very strong.  We have all had things happen that affect us, whether we wanted them to or not.  People around us sin and their choices have consequences that affect us (click here for more); or there are gaps in our education, whether secular or spiritual, that we want to blame our choices on; or there are people who want to keep us in boxes or categories.  When we think that others have more influence over us than they really do is when things get muddled.  The bottom line is no one, NO ONE, other than yourself and Jesus Christ have any bearing on YOUR eternal salvation.  (Click here to read more.)

Parents didn’t teach you something you were supposed to know or were (in your mind, or in reality) completely terrible to you?  Okay, be willing to learn it now, and the atonement will cover the rest.  Someone close to you has sinned and the consequences are difficult to bear?  Be steady and as righteous as you can be, and their choices will have no effect on your opportunity for exaltation.  We could go on and on, but the bottom line is Heavenly Father respects our agency so much that because of the atonement of Jesus Christ nothing has bearing on your opportunity for exaltation other than your own choices.   You will not be judged on what you had no control over, only on the choices you made. Isn’t that awesome?

Knowing this, the imitation that Satan puts out there to “be you you really are” as a means to justify sins of all types and sizes makes so much sense.  He is in essence trying to convince us that because you came to earth with these weaknesses, or they have been developed since for reasons that are out of your control, it is who you are going to be forever, so don’t bother fighting it.  Who you really are is a being that with the help of Jesus Christ is capable of achieving eternal glory.  There is not a single person put on this earth who is not capable of that.  Sins and weaknesses will not be a part of our exalted eternal being.  I’m not saying it’s easy to overcome these things, just that these things are not an excuse to settle for less than exaltation.  Just because they seem bigger than our abilities now doesn’t mean that they will be like that forever.  The atonement of Jesus Christ is truly infinite, it is capable of, and will, cover our every need eternally if we do our best and believe in Him.

The scriptures are absolutely filled to the brim of people who know who they are and recognize that no one else has power to make choices for them.  The stories of Daniel and the lions den; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being thrown into the furnace; Nephi; 2,000 stripling warriors; Esther; Moroni; and so many others are all examples of this.  We often talk about their faith in Christ, but we don’t often talk about what that does for their individual worth.  That faith leads to the knowledge that the natural man consequences of righteous choices have no being on their eternal glory.  That knowledge and faith gives them the confidence to both life for and die for their testimony of Christ.

A very interesting thing happens as we continue on the journey to discover and be true to our eternal selves:  Our will becomes swallowed up in the will of the Savior, whose will has been swallowed up by the will of God.

Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father.

Mosiah 15:7

We begin to realize that we have a desire to become who Jesus Christ wants us to become, because we recognize He wants us to become is our very best selves and we have faith in His power, sight, and ability to make that happen and we humbly are willing to listen to His counsel and advice on how to achieve His plan for us.

We are who we really are when we look in our spiritual mirror and see Him.