Friday, March 18, 2011

why it's hard to be good

When I was young I remember complaining to my mother of being bored, and asking her what I could do to occupy myself. She always had ideas—things I could clean or organize, pictures I could draw, letters I could write, books I could read—but coming from her, these ideas always sounded tedious and as undesirable as my bored state. It took my coming up with my own idea, my own way out of the monotony of idleness, to cheer me up and make me happily occupied. I notice this same pattern with other children I observe. The best ideas are their own ideas.

I think the same sort of thing happens as adults with our heavenly Parent. We’ve been taught about the best ways to spend our time. We know what we need to be doing, and yet why does it seem so unappealing sometimes? Maybe some of it has to do with humility.

President Benson said, “Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of ‘my will and not thine be done.’ …Our will in competition to God’s will allows desires, appetites, and passions to go unbridled.”

When I say to myself or to others, “I just want to know what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. If God would tell me, I would know what to do, and I would do it. And it would make me happy.” Even though in my heart I believe this, why don’t I do it? Why don’t I ask Him? And why don’t I then listen to the answers that would come?

Fear? And pride?

I know that if I ask, like asking my mother for a youthful occupation, He will have answers and ideas. And even though He will allow me to choose, I know that I will feel compelled to follow that counsel. If it comes directly from God, through the Spirit, it’s revelation to me, right? And revelation is not exactly a suggestion. It’s more like a commandment. Therefore, not heeding and obeying a commandment is essentially being rebellious and disobedient, and there are consequences for such behavior. I’ve lived long enough to know that. Maybe those consequences won't come in the form of punishment, but rather in the withholding of blessings. So isn’t ignorance more comfortable? If I don’t ask, I won’t know, I can’t disobey, and I won’t even miss the blessings I’m not getting. Right?

I know. It’s not that simple. Especially if, because of my divine nature, there are blessings I’m woefully aware that I’m missing out on. Those little tugs and pulls from my spirit aren’t about to go away. And there’s no satisfying them without proper obedience, or in other words, aligning my will with my Father’s.


  1. I had a friend who once specifically/intentionally did Not counsel with the Bishop before coming in and yelling at the Relief Society (in the middle of church. I adore her for that - she's got a backbone a mile long and she's very passionate and a good person.) But I asked her afterward (as I was admiring her 'spunk' quite out loud) and she said "Oh I KNEW the Bishop wouldn't want me to do that - that's why I didn't talk to him first." =D (oh you shoulda been there. she was amazing) Love people who speak their mind ;D

  2. Well said. I love it when other people can put my thoughts and feelings into words.

  3. Hmmmmm... I'm thinking that when we don't ask, it's because we're not trusting Him. We don't trust that His will will make us happy and brighten our lives. We're pretty sure it will require service of some kind and/ or giving up our favorite sin. :)


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