Saturday, June 26, 2010

"When the Lord Commands"

Recently I have been frustrated with myself as I have reflected on my efforts to obey counsel from the Lord.  Why is it so hard to obey some of the commandments while others are easy?  Why does it seem so overwhelming sometimes to be good? 

In contemplation I reread Elder Carlson's recent talk entitled, "When the Lord Commands."  In speaking of our inability to keep the commandments we may some times do three things.  The first is that we say that the commandment does not apply to me.  His second thought was that we convince ourselves that the commandment is not important. His final observation was that perhaps we don't keep a commandment because it is just too hard.  Mmm. Yeah. Ouch.

In evaluation I've concluded that I've progressed through each excuse with great participation in them.  The last several months has seen me mastering the third; it's just too hard.  I need to interject that sometimes we as women have a tendency to really beat ourselves up for not being perfect and for not being able to do everything we want to do.  Then after a thorough thrashing to our self-worth we go to the other extreme and say that God doesn't really expect us to do so much and so we can be excused out of these activities.  I have done that.  It helps me feel better about myself.  It's how I rationalize myself back to the place in my mind where I can believe God loves me.

I've been missing a couple of points though. 
  1. God's love is of course unconditional, regardless of my obedience.
  2. God doesn't expect me to be perfect, but He expects me to keep trying.
  3. When I fall short I'm still expected to repent.
  4. And then I'm are expected to go forward in faith believing that God will pave the way.
  5. I've forgotten to have hope.  Hope that I can do it. 
  6. Lest I forget, God will not give me any commandment that I can not keep.
Elder Carlson said,
"At times we may rationalize that the Lord will understand our disobedience because our special circumstances make adherence to His laws difficult, embarrassing, or even painful."
Then Elder Carlson adds the hope and promise,
"However, faithful obedience regardless of the apparent size of the task will bring the Lord's guidance, assistance, and peace."
So what is faithful obedience and how to I do it?  For me the first step of faithful obedience means I make a plan.  My spiritual plan.  How am I going to do this?  Where have my hold-ups been?  How can I overcome them?  I ponder a lot.  I write my plan down.  I make step by step goals; small, short-term goals and long-term goals.  Then on to the physical creation.  This step as two parts.  A favorite quote from President Brigham Young reads,
"Pray as if every depends on God and then work as if everything depends on you." 
Elder Carlson goes on to say,
 "Obedience to the Lord's comments provides us confidence in our chosen path, qualifies us for His guidance and direction as we pursue our efforts, and offers us the potential to become like our Savior, Jesus Christ, and return to our Father's presence."
To be a mother who knows I will be steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God.   As I strive to keep the commandments I will excercise "faithful obedience" and then I will be a mother who also knows Christ.


Rebekah said...

Good post. I too often use the It's too hard excuse. For awhile now I have been reading a lot. More in depth about TJ Ed, Headgates among other topics. But I wasn't DOING anything about what I have learned because it was overwhelming. In the past week or two I have started to DO and it's been great! I frequently find myself out with the family smiling and thinking to myself I am happy, really happy. It took me actually APPLYING and LIVING all the great things I've been learning to put me in that happy place even though I am only about half-way to the point I want to be. I'm enjoying the journey!

Being A Mother Who Knows said...

Great thought Rebekah! I am also really good about taking the time to learn so many wonderful things that will bless my family. However it is in the applying and living that I often fall short also. Best wishes as you implement your goals.

Misty said...

I have also used excuses--myriad excuses--and have often tried to convince myself that there is some kind of free pass for me because I have gone through this or that hardship....

Sometimes, as I look at what I am lacking, I feel like Isaiah, who, when he finally saw himself in comparison with Christ, cried out "I am undone!" It hurts.

I finally realized that as long as I fall short (which I presume will be the rest of my life), I will use the searing pain to burn the impurities out of my life. Sometimes I wonder if it just has to hurt in that way, because I would not change enough if it didn't....