Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What lack I yet?

I was asked this question:
"Do you know with surety IN ADVANCE of doing some incredibly hard sacrifice that it is the Lord asking it of you, or do you come to know that it is His will AS you do it?"
My response:

You will know with absolute certainty that the request came from the Lord.
The request will be difficult, or a sacrifice.

HOWEVER, whether the person recognizes at the moment or only in hindsight that it was required for them to develop the faith necessary for redemption is not universal.  Some know at the time, some only know in hindsight.  What is absolutely universal is that when the test has been passed, the faith exists.  When it does, it will be enough for redemption and the promise of eternal life.

Joseph knew he had the promise of eternal life (as recorded in D&C 132: 49) before he went to Carthage to die.  He knew he was going to die.  Death was not his great challenge, but the physical ratification of the faith which already existed in him.  The earlier trials had been enough to prove him and put that power within him.  His death was an extension of existing faith and knowledge.

The order of things is established and can be known.  The details of how it unfolds in individual lives will be specific to the individual.  Whether the person realizes the final great test is underway or not will depend on the person.  I did not.  I only came to realize in hindsight what was underway.
One of the parables in Ten Parables shows how the heavens can interact with man, but man be unaware of the full agenda conducted.  I have referred to that tenth parable several times. By the way, that parable is NOT a description of the test required to obtain the faith for redemption.  It is just a parable about how heaven works to provide missing virtue or grace to a life that is lacking something, but still worthy of preservation.


  1. Seems to me a certain level of faith must be present to know with certainty the request came from the Lord. In my own life I am never certain whether something has come from the Lord or is just my own vain imagination. I have always figured that was because I lacked the faith to know.

    Do you think the "rich young ruler" that Jesus asked to give away his wealth and follow Him knew with absolute certainty it was the Lord that asked him to give away his wealth?

    Is it a once in a life time chance?

    Does everyone who lives a normal life span here have this request presented to them?


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  3. Regarding sacarifice...will you speak to what the scripture means when it says...."and if ye bear it well...." I have heard so many lessons that equate that with bearing trials and sacarifice cheerfully with a smile with no hint of discouragement, depression, downheartedness, etc. Doesn't it mean more that despite all of the negative things you may feel you come out on the other side with faith in tact...even if it was possible to feel discouraged, sad and disheartened while going through your ordeal?

  4. I read that 10th parable the other day. LOVED IT! It really struck me and as I reflected, the Lord taught me a great deal about how he is working with me to prove me. Thanks for sharing it!

  5. With regard to sacrifice and "bear it well" my experience tells me that it absolutely does not mean cheerfully and with a smile. It only means in faith. The difficulty, the distress, the pain and the suffering which were necessary for me were not at all cheerful. I do not discuss my personal experiences, only doctrine. But the true doctrine behind that scripture has nothing to do with an absence of distress, discouragement, disheartening setbacks or pain. Without purging everything, including your pride, my belief is you will not be ready. Stripped, broken, beaten and surrendering; you will be able to understand the Lord because you have tasted somewhat of that same "cup" from which He drank.

    We are all different. We have entirely different make-up, strengths, capacities and needs. But within the context of your own life you will be improved by the things which He alone knows you must suffer to become refined and lose your vanity.

  6. I had a "learning" experience at Wall Mart yesterday. I am ashamed of myself and begged the Heavenly Father last night to forgive me.

    I picked up one item to purchase and went to the express line. Two kind little old ladies were in front of me checking out...one in an electric cart. As I stood behind them and became more and more impatient, I grumbled and muttered under my breath about how long they were taking...I made it clear to all around me how put out, disgusted, and impatient I was and these old ladies needed to hurry it up. The two old ladies didn't really notice me..... but another shopper in the line next to me did.... and the clerk in my line did.... it was clear my behavior made her uncomfortable and hurry.... The two little old ladies were on their way and I was finally purchasing my single item.

    I'm sure they did not see me... but those around me did.... and my impatience and grumbling made those around me uncomfortable. My negative "energy" created unnecessary stress on those around me....it had an effect on others.

    All night last night I tossed and turned as I reviewed my poor behavior....I begged Heavenly Father to forgive me.... I promised to do better....but felt so awful for failing this simple test.

    What lack I yet? to my shame...more than I knew.


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