Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thy will be done - 3 Nephi 15:11-18

11 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he said unto those twelve whom he had chosen:
12 Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of the house of Joseph.
13 And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you.
14 And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem.
15 Neither at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell unto them concerning the other tribes of the house of Israel, whom the Father hath led away out of the land.
16 This much did the Father command me, that I should tell unto them:
17 That other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
18 And now, because of stiffneckedness and unbelief they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them.

(Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 15:11 - 18)

My comments:
Jesus pulls his chosen disciples aside and explains to them that they are to be a light to this people. He explains that those in Jerusalem do not know about them, because of their (the people in Jerusalem) iniquity.

My favorite part of this passage is in verse 18, where the Lord states that He didn’t tell the people in Jerusalem more because He was commanded to say no more.
Everything that the Savior does is because it is His Father’s will. In the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.” That was not a one time occurrence. He has completely turned His will over to His Father. Seeking to do exactly what the Father wants Him to do. There’s a profound lesson there for me.

I am expected to keep the Lord’s commandments. In similar fashion I need to be willing to say, “Not my will, but Thy will be done,” to the Savior. The unenlightened could suggest that if I’m simply doing what someone else wants then I’m a blind automaton, with no free will of my own. Nothing could be further from the truth.

My agency, my free will, to paraphrase Elder Neal A. Maxwell, is the only unique thing that is mine that I can give. Everything else that I have in life is a gift and a blessing from God. I lay my free will on the altar of sacrifice to my Lord and Savior, and by doing so, I receive it back several fold.

Let’s think about this for a second. Let’s say that I’m doing only what I want. I am trying to live as luxurious of a life as possible and enjoy the finer things of life. If I’m foolish, I buy this life with credit cards and other forms of debt. I now have to do the will of the credit card companies and banks, i.e. sacrifice other things I might want to pay them back.

Perhaps more easily seen, what if I’m addicted to drugs, gambling, pornography, alcohol, tobacco, shopping, etc? I am now a slave to my vices. My free will is no longer my own, because I have carelessly given it away and have become a slave to whatever addiction I might be struggling with. My ability to choose what I want to do with my life has been decreased by my own doing.

However, if I give my free will to my Savior, it is always mine to do with as I will. He will never take it away from me. Also, since He only wants what is best for me, by giving my will to Him, I will receive what is best for me, even though, I might think that I want other things at any given time.

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