Swallowed up in the Will of the Father

This past weekend, I felt prompted to seek out the advice of a couple from our old ward regarding a stupid, bothersome trial we have been dealing with.  We love this couple with all of our hearts and both of us think of them as spiritual mentors and parental figures.  One of the hardest things about moving from our old ward  to this one was leaving behind these treasured friends.

We walked away after two hours of counseling with them with some terrific advice that I have been thinking about.  The counsel they gave was to submit our will a little more in one particular area of our lives.  It reminded me of this talk that was brought up one day at Institute last Spring.  (Man, I miss Institute!  Can't wait til that starts back up in the fall.)

I have included parts of the talk here.  It is from Elder Neal A. Maxwell and it's called "Swallowed up in the Will of the Father.".

I think I have some room to improve .... 

To the extent that we are not willing to be led by the Lord, we will be driven by our appetites, or we will be greatly preoccupied with the lesser things of the day. 
... only by aligning our wills with God’s is full happiness to be found. Anything less results in a lesser portion (see Alma 12:10–11). The Lord will work with us even if, at first, we “can no more than desire” but are willing to “give place for a portion of [His] words” (Alma 32:27). A small foothold is all He needs! But we must desire and provide it.
As one’s will is increasingly submissive to the will of God, he can receive inspiration and revelation so much needed to help meet the trials of life. In the trying and very defining Isaac episode, faithful Abraham “staggered not … through unbelief” (Rom. 4:20). Of that episode John Taylor observed that “nothing but the spirit of revelation could have given him this confidence, and … sustained him under these peculiar circumstances” (inJournal of Discourses, 14:361). Will we too trust the Lord amid a perplexing trial for which we have no easy explanation? Do we understand—really comprehend—that Jesus knows and understands when we are stressed and perplexed? The complete consecration which effected the Atonement ensured Jesus’ perfect empathy; He felt our very pains and afflictions before we did and knows how to succor us (see Alma 7:11–12;2 Ne. 9:21). 
Since the Most Innocent suffered the most, our own cries of “Why?” cannot match His. But we can utter the same submissive word “nevertheless …” (Matt. 26:39).
Thus, brothers and sisters, 
consecration is not resignation or a mindless caving in. Rather, it is a deliberate expanding outward, making us more honest when we sing, “More used would I be” (“More Holiness Give Me,”1985, Hymns, no. 131). Consecration, likewise, is not shoulder-shrugging acceptance, but, instead, shoulder-squaring to better bear the yoke.
Consecration involves pressing forward “with a steadfastness in Christ” with a “brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men … [while] feasting upon the word of Christ” (2 Ne. 31:20). Jesus pressed forward sublimely. He did not shrink...
Each of us might well ask, “In what ways am I shrinking or holding back?” Meek introspection may yield some bold insights! For example, we can tell much by what we have already willingly discarded along the pathway of discipleship. It is the only pathway where littering is permissible, even encouraged. In the early stages, the debris left behind includes the grosser sins of commission. Later debris differs; things begin to be discarded which have caused the misuse or underuse of our time and talent.
Along this pathway leading to consecration, stern and unsought challenges sometimes hasten this jettisoning, which is needed to achieve increased consecration (see Hel. 12:3).
 If we have grown soft, hard times may be necessary.
 If we are too contented, a dose of divine discontent may come.
 A relevant insight may be contained in reproof.
A new calling beckons us away from comfortable routines wherein the needed competencies have already been developed. 
One may be stripped of accustomed luxury so that the malignant mole of materialism may be removed.
One may be scorched by humiliation so pride can be melted away. 
Whatever we lack will get attention, one way or another.

Therefore, we will not always understand the role of God’s hand, but we know enough of his heart and mind to be submissive. Thus when we are perplexed and stressed, explanatory help is not always immediately forthcoming, but compensatory help will be. Thus our process of cognition gives way to our personal submission, as we experience those moments when we learn to 

“be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).
Then, the more one’s will is thus “swallowed up,” the more his afflictions, rather than necessarily being removed, will be “swallowed up in the joy of Christ” (Alma 31:38).
In conclusion, 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,” brothers and sisters, 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!
Consecration thus constitutes the only unconditional surrender which is also a total victory!
May we deeply desire that victory, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


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