For almost two years now I’ve been sharing bits of our journey with you. I would imagine that some parts have made you roll your eyes and others have produced a spontaneous chuckle here and there.
My hope is that some of them have made you stop and think, even if for just a moment, and then ask yourself pertinent questions.
I like to refer to it as ponder and wonder.
One of my favorite ponder and wonder topics is faith. I know that it is the first principle of the gospel and that by 48 I should probably have it down by now, but we all know that I’m just a bit simplistic.
It takes me a while for it all to sink in.
Hence, the pondering and wondering.
Our Savior’s example in the Garden of Eden of submission to the will of His Father at a point when He would have the bitter cup pass has been one I have spent a lot of time trying to emulate.
I can’t remember the exact moment when it happened, but after going through blood clots, malfunctioning neurologic conditions, misdiagnosis of Huntington’s, and the realization of several mental illness disorders that fight against each other (with treatment of one exacerbating another), and all the while trying to get a handle on being attracted to the same sex but desperately wanting to be worthy of a temple marriage to the magnificent Ann and a useful father to Alex and Nick . . . ,
(phew, that’s a LONG list, I need to take a breath)
. . . but I have found true peace in accepting my Father’s will for me, even when I would have had the bitter cup pass from me.
That’s something to ponder and wonder about for a minute, isn’t it?
- I know that His will is always the best.
- I know that I continuously seek to fully submit my will to His.
- I know that none of the things on the above list were results of my willful rebellion; rather, they are just part of the life we all chose in the preexistence. All of my trials that aren’t self-inflicted are carefully tailor-made to help me be more.
- I know that I’m happy and that I like myself so much better now than I did before.
- I know that He wants me to think for myself and choose for myself and be accountable for not only my actions but my words and thoughts.
- I know that at this point in my life I will probably be judged more harshly for my sins of omission than my sins of commission.
One may think these contradictory statements. But in fact, they are perfectly compatible.
The quest has now grown from “not my will but Thine be done” into “please help me to make Thy will my will and together we can get it done.”
Embracing submission brings a more acute ability to think for ourselves.
And this brings us back to our first principle of the gospel: faith.
On my mission while working with the incredible people of Latin America I would get a bit frustrated when the reply to a challenge was “si Dios quiere”, or “if God wants it to be.”
My response to this was “He does want it for you. Do you?”
That’s the real question, isn’t it?
Do we want for us what He wants for us?
I have tried to pray in faith, nothing wavering, for things that I feel are righteous desires. Yet when I get up off my knees I have that momentary doubt that this may not be part of the plan, or that it really can’t happen, or that I’m just going through the motions of asking but not really believing that the miracle is possible.
“Si Dios quiere.”
Well, to want what He wants, I have to KNOW what He wants.
And I can.
So can you.
Think of it this way: baptism is only valid through complete immersion; not toe, nor finger, nor even a hair of the head can be above water.
We are all in.
I really think that faith has the same requirement.
The question isn’t simply “what is Thy will for me.” That could leave a little room for wondering if I will actually do His will, or do it grudgingly, or modify it to better fit my wants.
The question may just be “I have thought for myself and done my research and compared my findings with scripture and modern prophets and truly want what I am asking for. Does my will match Thine?”
When the answer is yes, we enter an unstoppable partnership. Reservation, hesitation, and doubt are gone.
Real faith is being all in.