Willing

Yesterday, I wrote about King David’s final sermon, in which he acknowledged God’s power and glory. Earlier in that sermon, he had a message for his son, Solomon, who was to succeed him as king:

And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts.

1 Chronicles 28:9

God knows our hearts and our minds. He knows whether we are obeying Him begrudgingly or because we really want to. Consider the following:

  • We witness our willingness to serve and obey God by being baptized. (See 2 Nephi 31:13-14, Mosiah 18:8-10, Mosiah 21:35.)
  • We again witness our willingness to follow Him each Sunday as we partake of the sacrament. (See 3 Nephi 18:10, Moroni 4:3.)
  • King Benjamin taught that a core characteristic of a saint is a willingness “to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him [or her]” (Mosiah 3:19). His people responded by expressing their willingness to enter a covenant with God “to do his will and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days” (Mosiah 5:5). That is a long-tenured promise!
  • Nephi asked, “Can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?” (2 Nephi 31:10). Willingness is an essential element of discipleship.

God’s most valuable blessings cannot be forced upon us; they must be willingly received. He therefore wants to help us adopt an attitude of heart and mind which will enable us to receive those gifts.

Isaiah promised:

If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

Isaiah 1:19

And the Savior reiterated this promise in an 1831 revelation to the prophet Joseph Smith:

Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.

Doctrine and Covenants 64:34

Today, I will approach God with a willing heart and mind. I will remember that my decision to be baptized years ago, as well as my decision to partake of the sacrament days ago were both attestations of my willingness to follow Him. I will remember that His greatest blessings can only be received by those who choose to be willing and obedient.

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