Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Reflections on a consecrated Life...

Reflections on a consecrated Life... 

“A prophet of God has said: ‘Men are that they might have joy’—a joy that includes a fullness of life, a life dedicated to service, to love and harmony in the home, and the fruits of honest toil—an acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—of its requirements and commandments.
Each time as I have struggled and fought to understand the purpose of my trials, and as I have gone through inner battles desiring things to turn our differently, I have ultimately come to the same conclusion.  Fighting against God's will just gets you really, really tired, but it changes nothing.  Only when we ultimately turn our will over to Him,  trust His plan, and try to work with Him do we actually begin to get somewhere.

In conjunction with my study about turning my will over to the Lord, I have thought a lot about the word ''consecrated.'  In our church we promised to consecrate ourselves to the Lord. That does not mean that we leave family and occupation only to serve in the church, but that we choose to dedicate all that we are and can become to helping do the Lord's work in our daily lives.  We do that in our families, with friends and in the community. By so doing this we grow closer to the Lord and find JOY in His service.  

Matthew 25:40

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me

I have found great direction, peace and hope in attempting to more fully consecrate myself and who I can become to God.
“Life offers you two precious gifts—one is time, the other freedom of choice, the freedom to buy with your time what you will. "
“Every day, every hour, every minute of your span of mortal years must sometime be accounted for. And it is in this life that you walk by faith and prove yourself able to choose good over evil, right over wrong, enduring happiness over mere amusement. And your eternal reward will be according to your choosing."
"True success in this life comes in consecrating our lives—that is, our time and choices—to God’s purposes (see John 17:1, 4D&C 19:19). In so doing, we permit Him to raise us to our highest destiny." - D. Todd Christopherson

5 Elements of a consecrated life

respect for one's physical body

PURITY:  We all make mistakes but those who come unto Him and take His yoke upon them have claim on His grace, which will make them as He is, guiltless and spotless. Consecration therefore means repentance. We must put aside Stubbornness, rebellion, and rationalization, truly humble ourselves, and enact change in our lives.
“The man who so walks in the light and wisdom and power of God, will at the last, by the very force of association, make the light and wisdom and power of God his own—weaving those bright rays into a chain divine, linking himself forever to God and God to him. This [is] the sum of Messiah’s mystic words, ‘Thou, Father, in me, and I in thee’—beyond this human greatness cannot achieve.”-Elder B. H. Roberts
WORK: Honest work is the work of God.  God wants us to be anxiously engaged in a good cause and not to be idle. God has designed this mortal existence to require nearly constant exertion. There is a time and a place for wholesome leisure, but a life full of leisure is an empty one.  Working gives us self- worth, it refines our character, creates beauty and lets us be an instrument of service to one another and to God.
“All true Work is sacred; in all true Work, were it but true hand-labour, there is something of divineness. Labour, wide as the Earth, has its summit in Heaven.” -Thomas Carlyle
RESPECT FOR ONE"S BODY: This may seem strange as an element, but our bodies are a divine creation in the very image of God.  They were gifted to us not for us to abuse, but for us to protect. Also for us learn how to control so that we could because like our Savior, resurrected and perfect, body and spirit combined.

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).

SERVICE:  I believe that God answers our prayers and sends help when we need it, but that help most often comes from other people who are prompted by the spirit.  Learning how to cultivate that listening ear is a worthwhile pursuit in this life. We can literally be GOD"S HANDS if we will look and listen for opportunities.  When we act to help God, he lets us more fully feel his love.  Service is amazing.  It has the power to lift and bring light and hope into your life.  If you are struggling, find ways to serve others.

“If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him” (John 13:14–16).
INTEGRITY: Integrity is having the moral courage to do what we know to be right, good and true. We make our actions consistent with our beliefs.  It is easy to voice a belief, but it is much harder to internalize it and live it.  Integrity is one of the greatest character traits.  A person with integrity can be trusted completely in any situation, whether someone is watching or not.  In the end, we will all be  accountable to God.  That judgement will be based on our integrity.  I love the example of Job who said...

Job 27:5

5 God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.

Learning how to consecrate my life more fully to God has been a beautiful thing.  It has brought be strength, serenity  and satisfaction.  I take courage from examples of others who have followed this path in their lives- People with deep adversity who turn to God and let Him refine them.  I hope that my life can be an example and strength to others in their dificulties.

Moroni 7:48

48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all theenergy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

Reflections on a Concecrated Life

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