Why Is It Good to Be Submissive?

King Benjamin taught that our natural state is contrary to God’s will. He further explained that God is willing to help us overcome this state and become saints through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, in order to receive this gift, we must be “submissive.” Specifically, we must be “willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us]” (Mosiah 3:19).

Why is submissiveness a requirement for a disciple of Jesus Christ? Because God can only change us if we are willing to be changed. His goal is to help us become something infinitely better than we are today. But this gift cannot be forced upon us; it must be willingly received. Only by intentionally submitting our will to His, including suffering all that He allows or causes us to suffer, can we receive all that He has to offer. We choose to submit our will to His because we trust Him and because we believe that He knows what He is doing.

When the people in the city of Helam prayed for deliverance from their captors, God comforted them, strengthened them, eased their burdens, and promised to deliver them. Therafter, even though they remained in bondage, they were able to be happier. They “they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord” (Mosiah 24:13-15). Eventually, they received the promised blessing of deliverance.

When the Savior visited the American continent, one of the first things He emphasized was His complete submission to the will of His Father. He explained that He had “drunk out of that bitter cup” which His Father has given Him. By so doing, He “suffered the will of the Father in all things” (3 Nephi 11:11). He had achieved the full purpose of His mortal life and had opened the gate of heaven to us all, because of His perfect submission to His Father’s will.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said that the intentional submission of our will to God is “the only unconditional surrender which is also a total victory” (“Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father,” General Conference, October 1995).

Today, I will choose to submit to the will of my Heavenly Father. Trusting that He loves me and is committed to my progression and happiness, I will cheerfully and patiently endure everything He sees fit for me to experience. I will strive to follow the perfect example of the Savior and suffer the will of the Father in all things.

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2 Responses to Why Is It Good to Be Submissive?

  1. Aaron Roome Gmail says:

    Thanks Paul. I love that last phrase, “suffer the will of the Father.” Seems so ironic to apply that verb to ourselves when we know that His ultimate will or end-game is to give us eternal life and any suffering will be for a very small moment!

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    • Paul Anderson says:

      Thanks for the comment. I agree with your observation about irony. Find your life by losing it? Act for yourself by letting your will be “swallowed up” in the will of the Father? Submit to all that God sees fit to inflict upon us in order to receive every blessing that God can give? As our perfect example, the Savior descended below all things in order to rise above all things. The hymn “Jesus Once of Humble Birth” is all about these ironies in the Savior’s experience. It shouldn’t be surprising to us that we will experience similar ironies as His disciples.

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