Thursday, March 24, 2011

How Can I Know?

I have found in my life a constant struggle to recognize God's influence. It is consistent with God's plan for it to be this way. This is because it is given to man to choose. "Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other" (2 Nephi 2:16). I think that I often lose sight of this. However I'm so grateful for it. God trusts me to make right choices. That's some serious responsibility right there. However, sometimes I don't have confidence in myself to make the right decisions. How can I know if I am making the right choice?

One way I can know that I am following God's will if I am keeping His commandments. When I sin the answer is pretty simple. The gospel is easy. We must have faith in Christ, repent, partake of the sacrament (or be baptized), and let the Holy Ghost sanctify me. In this way I can be forgiven and know that I am following God's will. Be careful however to over-complicate things. In the Book of Mormon we can see the effect of that through the story of Lehi and his family. 

In this account Lehi was led through the wilderness over to the Americas by a golden compass called the Liahona. As long as they were righteous and kept the commandments the spindles on the compass pointed the course they should follow. Unfortunately however, "Because those miracles were worked by small means...They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey." (Alma 37:41) Since the way for them to be guided was so easy they began to be slothful and they halted their progression. We too should not slip because of the easiness of the way.

The way to judge is simple: if it is good and inviteth to follow Christ then it is from God, if it is bad and enticeth to do evil it is of the Devil. So how can I tell if I'm being guided? If I am moving closer to God. Mormon teaches us this principle. We read: "Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually. But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God." (Moroni 7:12-13) Simple enough?

I'm thankful for this counsel. Through it I can find hope as I strive to make correct decisions. Even though some decisions are hard, God will support us as we strive to find him in our lives. I know that when we follow God we become happier and we can see his influence in our lives. Through these results we can know that something is from God. As we live the gospel we see the progress of our journey. In order to know for yourself, you must do it.

I invite everyone to come unto Christ and find out for yourself that these things are true. Joseph Smith was a prophet. Jesus Christ lives today. He is our Savior and Redeemer. There is life after death. Only through the Gospel can we experience the fullest measure of joy in this life and eternal life in the next.

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