Knowing the Lord’s Will for You

Last September in the General Relief Society Meeting, I was really touched by a talk Sister Anne C. Pingree gave called, “Knowing the Lord’s Will for You.”  It made me think a lot about who I am, what I’m doing, where I’m going and what the Lord needs ME to do at this point in my life.  I know we are all faced with so many difficult questions right now. What is my main purpose in life? Am I living in the right place? Where should I go to school? What kind of job do I need to find? When will I get married?  Should I go on a mission?  The truth is, the Lord has an individual plan mapped out for each one of us and it is our responsibility to seek out His will and be obedient to it.

In fact, knowing God’s will and living in obedience to that will is the key to spiritual growth and happiness in life.

So, how can you find out what the Lord’s will is for you?

  1. Read your Patriarchal blessing . There are many specific things that the Lord wants me to focus on in my life. I read my patriarchal blessing often because it brings me comfort and direction in my life.  It also gives me protection against Satan, whose temptation is always ever-so-present, unfortunately.
  2. Fasting and praying. Receiving personal revelation through the Holy Ghost.
  3. We need to humble ourselves and be ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be.  It is so important to have this mindset of “not my will, but thine be done.” As Christ said in the garden of Gethsemane.

D&C 112:10 states: “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.”

I think this means: Be open to letting the Lord help you.  We have our free agency, but basing our decisions on what the Lord would have us do can bring us greater joy than following our own instincts or those of Satan.  Allow the Lord to work through you, guide you.  I heard a talk by Jane Clayson Johnson at Education Conference last year, and I like how she said to be a pencil in the hand of God.

In this time of both pressure and uncertainty, the Lord can be there to guide you through your important decisions in life and to support you in times of trial.  But first we need to humble ourselves. Then, listen to and faithfully and willingly follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

Think of any humbling experiences when you made a decision on your own, then received a totally different answer from the Lord.  Maybe you received an answer to a prayer that you were a bit skeptical of?  Or a time when you found it tough to accept the will of the Lord but then you overcame it?

Take my decision to move out to Boston to go to college. I was trying to make a decision between BYU and BU. My first instinct was to stay in Provo for practical reasons. I could stay with my parents, still have my friends from High School around, it’s a comfortable decision, I told myself. I would save tens of thousands of dollars that I would otherwise spend on i alone at BU.  Besides, I didn’t know a single soul out here.  So, I thought I made the right decision. But for some reason, even though that decision made sense, something didn’t feel right. Ok, so I should pray about it.  To make a long story short, the Lord made it clear through providential circumstances that I should pack my bags and move to Boston.  It was the best decision I ever made. And I am convinced more than ever that the Lord has a plan for every single one of us.  He really is looking out for you and me.  We need to trust that His way is the right way, even if it might not seem so at first.

1. We can seek the Will of the Lord through, or in connection with, the Word of God.—the scriptures. When the Holy Ghost guides us, He will do it according to the Scriptures.

When I need guidance, I never hesitate to go directly to the scriptures and learn from the experiences of the ancient prophets and Book of Mormon heroes.  People like Noah, Moses, and Abraham, and Nephi, Alma, and Moroni-to name a few-all had such great faith and trust in the Lord. They knew what God’s will was for them and they were obedient to His commandments.

Sometimes I’ll just close my eyes, open my scriptures to a random page and point to a verse.  Without fail, I always find something that comforts me or guides me in that verse.

Recently, I’ve been praying about what I should do about a particular trial in my life. What does the Lord want me to do in this situation?  How can I know that what I’m doing is the Lord’s will?  Last night, I randomly opened up my scriptures to Alma chapter 36 in the Book of Mormon.  In this chapter, Alma is bearing his testimony to his son Helaman.

Verse 3 reads, “And now, O my son Helaman, (and here I substituted, And now, O my daughter Krissy) behold thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.”

2. Ask God in sincere prayer to reveal his will.  We can always Pray for guidance and receive personal revelation through the Holy Spirit.  Elder Neal A Maxwell has said, “Only with revelation can we do the Lord’s work according to His will in His way and according to His timing.”

We need to rely on the Lord and seek earnestly for personal revelation.  We can receive answers to our prayers if we live worthily to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost with us.

Maybe you will receive personal revelation to aspire to become a great lawyer or doctor.  Maybe you will become a musician and help others feel the Spirit through your music.  Maybe you have an open, friendly personality and your call is to be a great example to others.  Maybe right now the will of the Lord is for you the serve a mission, like in my case. And never be afraid to aspire to be a wife and mother, because that is indeed a great calling.

We should humble ourselves, search the scriptures, and pray to know the mind of the Lord.  We also need to show an act of faith, accepting to do the will of the Lord by obeying His commandments.  Then, we can enjoy the abundant blessings that are promised to us.

For many, following the Lord’s will, will be a lifetime challenge.  Why? We are constantly bombarded with temptations, trials and the influence of the adversary which lead us away from the right path.  Even our own pride and selfishness can prevent us from keeping the commandments.

We’ll read the oft-quoted scripture, Mosiah 3:19

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit” to the will of the Lord.

I really like what Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught about free will, ““The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we ‘give,’ … are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!”

There are many great examples to us in the scriptures of people submitting their will to the Lord.  Nephi, the son of Helaman, was very faithful in this regard.

Helaman 10:4-5

4 Blessed• art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness• declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will•, and to keep my commandments.

5 And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all• things shall be done• unto thee according to thy word•, for thou shalt not• ask that which is contrary to my will.

We should all strive to have the Lord tell us, “Blessed art thou, for those things which thou hast done.”

We are all aware of the many blessings we receive from the Lord and how many more are promised to us—including peace, joy, and eternal life, the greatest gift of all the gifts of God!  Have you ever asked yourself how you can show your love and appreciation for the abundant blessings we receive?  Know the Will of the Lord for you and be obedient to his Commandments.

Although we may encounter different trials in our lives, we can learn from each other about submitting our will to the Lord by sharing our experiences and testimonies. We are each daughters of God with various spiritual gifts and talents.  God knows you and what you can become. And What we become depends on how we follow righteous principles and do good works.

Sister Pingree says, “Wherever we live, whatever our circumstances, no matter our marital status or age, the Lord needs each one of us to fulfill her unique part in building His kingdom in this final dispensation…We CAN know what the Lord wants us to do.”

I know that the Lord will bless us in our personal quests to know His will for us.  When we serve Him, our lives will be enriched in the most wonderful ways.  Let us be examples of what is good and what is right. He loves us, and has promised to direct our paths if we trust in him, as it says in Proverbs 3:5-6.  Then, we can enjoy an earthly life full of peace and happiness and eventually return to His presence and have eternal life.

I’d like to end with one of my favorite scriptures:

Mosiah 2: 41.

41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy• state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed• in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful• to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

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