Is exercising faith a matter of being “all in”?

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.

jesus christ 4I have a firm testimony that whatever my Heavenly Father’s will and direction is for my life is ALWAYS better than what I could scrape together on my own. It always has been, and always will be.

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.

At least in my own silly, mortal way.

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.

pain2So, I guess the question now would be if I could go back and have a do-over, knowing what I know now, would I still have had my bitter cup pass from me?

No.

That’s something to ponder and wonder about for a minute, isn’t it?

Let’s review:

  • 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.”

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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?

prayer2I 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.

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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.

prayer4 (2)We just have to make sure we don’t have a loose hair floating above the water.

Real faith is being all in.

Ponder and wonder about that for a while. I think you’ll like what you discover.

 

8 thoughts on “Is exercising faith a matter of being “all in”?”

    1. Greg, again and again your words “ring true” in my heart and mind. Thank you. Your words are true, profound and insightful. They are timely. They are a continual source of strength, power and wisdom. We are blessed by your effort and willingness to share your thoughts, feelings, experience with us. We are sincerely grateful.
      Exercising Faith, moving forward with faith, struggling with a trial or challenge but “mustering faith” to survive? Understand? Endure it well? Learning opportunities? Yes. Blessed by faith? Absolutely.
      I am grateful for the faith and commitment of parents who have always been “all in”. We have received, acknowledged and witnessed many blessings (including miracles) because of their faith.
      “Move forward in Faith” is the standard they live by. It’s how they have always been. It’s who they are. Faith is such an important part of their everyday life, it seems to be part of their DNA.
      I see their faith and faithfulness as their legacy. I am and always will be eternally grateful for them. They teach the principle of faith by example everyday. They always have. There is no doubt in my mind that they always will.
      The principle of faith is powerful.
      Move forward with faith. Be “all in.”
      Hope, happiness and blessings will follow.

      1. Uncle Ron and Aunt Nila have always been the example to shoot for in our lives. They are completely one and focused. “True love does not consist of gazing into each other’s eyes; rather, it is two looking outwardly in the same direction.” Faith brings happiness and love; I don’t think we can truly experience the depths of love and joy without real faith. It is impossible to not love and laugh when we are filled with faith.

  1. I realized a few months after Ross dies that my life was not as in control as I would like and I went to The Lord and said, “I will do whatever, I will walk in whatever path , I will march, I will crawl, whatever it is, just put me where I need to be and I will go. I will do whatever you want me to do, I cannot do this alone, so point and I will go.” And I have done this. It has not always been easy, I have done things I have thought were completely crazy, but knowing there had to be a reason and trusting that reason. So I keep walking and marching and the days are not so bad. It’s interesting how that works.

    1. Geniel, you remain constantly in our prayers. Embracing submission to His will opens the door to so many unimagined opportunities and blessings. May you receive every one of them.

  2. Greg, I’m glad you posted this because I had wanted to thank you for what you said on Sunday- basically about choosing to ’embrace’ God’s will vs. choosing just to ‘endure’ it. Oh how liberating it is to begin trusting Him in such a way that you can embrace His will. I, like you, would not trade my life experiences if I had the chance, because doing so would surely mean trading in my understanding too. And it’s my growing understanding that opens the way to genuine peace, gratitude, love and hope.

    Thanks again for sharing your wisdom.

    1. Thank you for summing up so succinctly what I was trying to communicate. With trust such as this, miracles can’t be stopped. May you have every possible miracle continue in your life.

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