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Thursday, April 30, 2015

11. Spiritual Ascension Step #5: Consecrate (Part 2 of 3)

Note: This is one of a series of posts devoted to the study of D&C 93:1, and the 11th examining the phrase "keepeth my commandments".

In my previous post, you read how the Lord wants you -- ALL of you! In giving your daily life to Him, by consecrating each and every day to Him, He will kill the natural man or woman and, in return, He will elevate your life in ways you had never imagined.

So, how do you do it?

Daily, Dedicated Devotion In All Things

"Thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times." (D&C 59:11).

The Start of Your Day

Talk to and learn from God when you first wake up.

"A morning prayer and an early search in the scriptures to know what we should do for the Lord can set the course of a day. We can know which task, of all those we might choose, matters most to God and therefore to us. I have learned such a prayer is always answered if we ask and ponder with childlike submission, ready to act without delay to perform even the most humble service." (Elder Henry B. Eyring, "This Day", April 2007 General Conference).

Then, as you arise from your prayer, you keep praying.

During Your Day

Admittedly, it's difficult to pray all the time. After all, let's face it -- you may have kids to get to school, work to do, errands or chores to perform, events to attend, etc. In short, you have life to live. For example, I'm pretty sure the Lord gets the fact that if you're an accountant, you can't very easily work on clients' tax forms if you're praying all the time. I'm also pretty sure it's hard for first-time mothers to enjoy the solemnities of prayer when their two year-old is throwing the biggest tantrum ever recorded in human history.

But what you can do is start whatever task you're doing with prayer. Talk to Him in the car. Say a prayer when you sit down at your desk and start working on stuff.
"But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul." (2 Nephi 32:9)
In other words, via prayer, consecrate your day.

The End of Your Day

Then, before you go to sleep every night, give an honest accounting as you Return and Report to a merciful, understanding, enthusiastic Father. OK, so you screwed up parts of your day. Maybe even the whole day. Yet to Him, the fact that you have sought out Father's assistance and advice in trying to truly consecrate your life to Christ will sometimes cause you to recollect these words:
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things." (Matthew 25:21,23)

The Blessings of Daily Consecration

"God seeks to have us become more consecrated by giving everything. Then, when we come home to Him, He will generously give us 'all that (He) hath' (D&C 84:38)." (Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father", October 1995 General Conference)

As you go about your day, as you choose to serve Him in whatever you do, you pass from a spiritually infantile state to one which is mature before God.

You feel His love and appreciation. You'll come to know His voice better. You'll grow to love Him more:
"I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts...that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you.
"For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?" (Mosiah 5:12-13)
You keep trying -- day after day after day.

And so what if you stumble, fall and feel humbled! I can guarantee (a word I rarely use in my blog) you that if you approach Heavenly Father in your evening prayers, as you seek His voice, His forgiveness and His advice on how to be stronger, He will tell you in your mind and in your heart that in relying upon the Atonement and by pressing forward with a steadfastness in Christ, that He is so proud of you, of who you are, and who you’re becoming.
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." (Luke 9:24)
In my next post, we'll discuss the most profound, most important consecrating act you can ever perform in your life.

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