Roads and Currant Bushes

I spent a significant portion of the previous school year working towards a singular goal, and after a summer of awaiting an answer from an outside party I received the answer that my goal wasn’t going to be possible.  It was disappointing to get that news, but I felt the peace and knew it was the correct answer.  One of the first things that came to mind was this video from Elder Holland – please watch it!  It’s phenomenal!  (Besides, the rest of the post doesn’t make much sense without it.)

I felt extremely guided in my goal.  I sincerely thought it was going to happen because of the amount of support, guidance and encouragement I had received from the Holy Ghost.  I knew I had reached a dead end, but my pride (of which I seem to have a never ending supply) was sticking around preventing me from turning back.  I wanted the road not to be a dead end, which brought to mind another video, this one from Elder Anderson:

(I recently posted this one my blog facebook page, but if you didn’t watch it, do!  I love the Mormon Messages!)

I want to be the tree.  The Lord is telling me I’m a current bush.  I don’t know how to be a current bush.

I know what the dead end road looks like, but I don’t know what the right road looks like.

I know I’m barely making sense at this point, by brain is a crazy place to be!

I have received a lot of guidance recently telling me what I am not supposed to be doing, but it hasn’t seemed like I have received much about what I should be doing instead.  This morning I woke up feeling a little stubborn about the whole business.  During my semi-heartfelt study this morning I opened right up to a section in the book Power to Become by David A. Bednar that deals directly with how to know if what you are doing is the Lord’s will.  Thank goodness the Lord answers our prayers even when we are throwing spiritual temper tantrums.  Elder Bendar poses these questions:

  1. Am I incrementally and steadily increasing in learning about the things of eternity that matter most, such as the nature of the Godhead, the plan of salvation, the reality and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the efficacy of the Savior’s infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice, and the Restoration of the gospel in the latter days?  Is my capacity expanding to obtain answers to important spiritual questions through diligent study and the power of the Holy Ghost?
  2. Is what I am learning incrementally and steadily reflected in how I act in doctrine of Christ?  Can I detect progress in reducing the disparity between what I know about the gospel and how I live the gospel?  Am I turning from self to Savior?
  3. Is what I am learning and how I am acting in doctrine enabling me to incrementally and steadily receive the power to become what God yearns for me to become?  Am I pressing forward on the pathway to perfection?
    (David A. Bednar, Power to Become, p.173)

With insight and reflection that these questions have brought about I have recognized that I have indeed received a significant amount of guidance about what I should be doing, in fact an entire lifetime.  I just discounted it because there was nothing new about the inspiration.  It was the same I’ve received all my life.

Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
(2 Nephi 31:20)

I may not yet know how to be a currant bush, but I know that if I trust the gardener I will eventually bear fruit.  I don’t know where the right road leads me to, but I can drive forward with confidence because I know without a doubt that I am on the correct road.

The thing is, I do not know what my mission here on Earth is.  I do not know exactly what I need to learn or to do to accomplish it.  But I do know who I need to become.  I need to take upon myself the name of Christ and become like him.  Christ came to this earth and was sinless and perfectly accomplished his mission on this Earth, of which the most significant part was his atoning sacrifice for us.

I am not perfect (surprise!) and the mission I was foreordained to do takes that into account.  Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, through his guidance and direction I can be just as perfect in accomplishing my mission on this earth as he was in his.  I do not need to know in advance what it is, because with faith in Christ I will be ready for it, and I will accomplish it.

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