Saturday, September 18, 2010

Inquire of the Lord

This an excerpt from a speech Harold Glen Clark gave to a group of BYU students at a devotional. (I recommend reading the whole thing.) I've underlined/bolded the bits that caught my attention.

Inquire of the Lord
Just one word to the hundreds who, in their secret hearts, have come here to find someone with whom they can share companionship and a love which will last forever. Let me tell you that you too must do your homework. So many storm the Lord to get him on their side, with all his blueprints. This is a poor start, especially when we've never "studied it out first in our own minds," to quote the Lord's word to Oliver Cowdery. Let not that person think that he should receive anything from the Lord, for the Lord will leave him alone with his problems. He is not teachable by the Lord or anyone else, and he will be driven by the wind and tossed while waiting in vain for the Lord to give him a picture of the girl he's to marry. One of our great prophets, Jacob, said:
Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works. [Jacob 4:10]

When we have lived the commandments, when we have learned to know and follow his will, and the person we want to marry does the same thing, we will both be drawn together in the Lord because we have much to share with our Father and with each other. We put ourselves beyond serious doubts and fears and foolish errors. Our whole bodies will be filled with light when our eyes are single to the mind and will of our Father in heaven, and we will comprehend all we need to know to make a good choice, and our companion will also (D&C 88:67). Why is this so? It is because our affections are based on eternal principles. When are two Latter-day Saint people in love worthy of each other? When can a couple be truly sealed for time and all eternity in the temple? It is when they love their Father in heaven enough to say, "Father, we have thought through our marriage, we have our own ideas, but we know that you ordained marriage, you made us male and female, you told us to leave father and mother and twain be one, and we want to be guided by you. We want to know, for we love you. We want to keep and make, make and keep sacred promises with you in your house, and in your own way."

Is it possible to love any woman, or any man, any more than we, or they, can love God, covenant with him, and follow his will? The answer is no. That's why marriage in the temple has so much potential for those who come here with an eye single to his glory. The successful temple marriage begins when two people want God's blessings in the way he has ordained. Then our Father in heaven can promise these two everything that he has and deliver it. He knows that with this spirit the couple will say more than just "Lord, Lord." They will wait to back it up by being worthy of all the requirements found on the temple recommend. Eternal love, as Erich Fromm says, is more than a feeling, for feelings come and go. How can we be sure on this basis alone that love will last forever? You can be sure only when feelings are supported by a judgment, a decision, a meaningful promise before God. Everything in our lives falls into place when we continually ask and answer the questions "What does my Father in heaven want me to do?" And "What did I do today to fulfill his will?"

In the scriptures, in the quiet of our study, in a clean body and mind, and in the busy and anxious bustle of good causes in our priesthood and Church and civic and home duties, God answers our inquiry. But until we find him and his will, and until he finds us and our will, we begin, as H.G. Wells says, "at no beginning and work to no end," and nothing in the universe or in our lives will fall into place.

{So, we must first learn ourselves to follow the will of the Lord --- but we must also find/wait for our companion to do the same. I will know the right choice to make when I comprehend God's will -- and my companion must know it by the same means and we will thereby have a relationship and love based on eternal principles rather than just feelings. We will be able to make commitments centered in our promises to God (not just to each other). We will do it His way and thereby receive the best possible outcome: His blessings. Nothing will fall into place -- and all of our work will inevitably be fruitless unless we do this. So we MUST inquire of the Lord and do His will.}

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