18 O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day….
When Lamoni’s father heard the gospel preached by Aaron, he immediately recognized its value. His first instinct was to offer to pay the necessary price to receive the blessings Aaron had described: a changed heart, the Spirit of the Lord, and ultimately eternal life. At first, he tried to do it his way, offering earthly possessions in exchange for these heavenly gifts: “Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy” (Alma 22:15).
But God wasn’t asking the king to give up his kingdom. He wanted Lamoni’s father to give up something much more difficult: his sins. Aaron said, “If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest” (Alma 22:16).
Then the king prayed and offered the needed sacrifice. “I will give away all my sins to know thee,” he said, “and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day.”
Neal A. Maxwell taught:
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 to God, however nice that may be of us, are actually things He has already given us…. But when we begin to submit ourselves by letting our wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him. And that hard doctrine lies at the center of discipleship. There is a part of us that is ultimately sovereign, the mind and heart, where we really do decide which way to go and what to do. And when we submit to His will, then we’ve really given Him the one thing He asks of us. And the other things are not very, very important. (“Sharing Insights from My Life,” BYU Devotional Address, 12 Jan 1999).
Today, I will follow the example of Lamoni’s father, choosing to abandon my sins and my will in order to draw closer to God. I will remember that the time, talents, and material possessions I sacrifice to Him are a very measly offering in the end. But when I choose to prioritize His will over my own, then as Elder Maxwell taught, I am really giving Him something meaningful.