I actually felt something enticing me to read it as I looked at the different options before me, but for some reason I can’t fully explain, I shied away from it. At length, not finding the indication I sought elsewhere, I turned to it and began reading. As I read, what I sought was everywhere in spades.
Why I should focus here I have no idea. But as the title of the address implies, when the Lord directs, we should do it. When you think about it, that actually fits perfectly with our discussion last week about walking by faith and journeying with vision.
Adopt a deliberate humility
Elder Clayton begins by describing Mary, the mother of Jesus, at a wedding feast in Cana. When the wine for the feast had been exhausted, Mary turned to Jesus. After a brief consultation, she then instructed the servants, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5). They did, and thus we have the miracle we know of turning water into wine.
Elder Clayton then described Mary’s original insertion into the Savior’s story when the angel Gabriel announced she would give birth. Mary was of course startled at first. Then as Gabriel began to explain the message he had been sent to deliver, Mary became filled with many questions. But as Elder Clayton explains,
What an amazing example of faith and humility! Instead of insisting to know the end from the beginning before taking the first step, Mary simply submits her will to the Lord. How many of us would do likewise? How many of us singles insist on knowing when we will marry and how it will happen before taking the first step towards eternal blessings?
Display a deliberate obedience
We all face challenges in life. And sometimes we get so focused on finding the solutions to our problems that we forget the “simple practices of faith.” Elder Clayton acknowledges these struggles in our lives while at the same time declaring that those simple practices provide the strength we need to confront our challenges.
We hear about those simple practices so often we call them Sunday School answers. And it’s easy to think of those simple practices providing answers only to routine living; they give us a structure for what we do everyday. But when it comes to real living filled with problems that feel unique and have no easy answers, we often want something more than Sunday School answers.
As seemingly unrelated as they may seem to our unique challenges, simple practices of faith are the answer to whatever challenge we face in life. Elder Clayton declared,
“Those who are deliberate about doing the ‘small and simple things’” aren’t living life on autopilot. They consciously choose what they do and why they do it. They consciously choose to be faithful in all the little questions regardless of if or when they get answers to their big ones. That’s the mark of true walking by faith.
Receive deliberate blessings
Adopting this deliberate form of obedience can do more than strengthen us in our moments of trial. It can also open the windows of heaven to unfolding before us the revelation we need to resolve concerns and overcome challenges.
When we think of revelation, certainly the First Vision comes to mind. It’s hard if not impossible to imagine the Restoration happening without the First Vision. But can you imagine the First Vision happening without the simple practices of faith that the boy Joseph Smith practiced before witnessing that marvelous revelation?
Elder Clayton spoke of the connection between the simple practices of faith and the revelation we seek.
Adopting a deliberate humility before the Lord will help us to display a deliberate obedience to all the small acts of righteous living. That in turn will strengthen us in our search for eternal blessings. Consciously choosing to do what the Lord wants us to do today without insisting on having any answers to questions about the future will qualify us to receive the rewards of faith, diligence, and patience. And receiving those rewards will bring us more joy in our journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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