Jonah

Have you ever been in a situation when you knew–really knew–exactly which direction the Lord desired for you to take? What were your choices? What did you choose? Any regrets?

Do you trust God? How do you know?

Many of the ideas in this post originate from a wonderful article that helped me ponder ‘trust in the Lord’.  “How much do I trust God? What does 100% trust look like? What does it take to trust God?  What stops people from trusting God? Why trust Him at all?” I’ve listed my accumulated thoughts. Is there more you can share?

Why trust in God?

* Your needs are great and varied

* You are His unique child

* He knows you individually

* He loves you

* He wants you to be happy

* He has your best interest in mind

* A lack of trust in Him brings sadness into your life

* He will send you messages of encouragement, correction and direction-fitted to you and to your needs

* He will counsel you personally with His wisdom-He can tell you exactly what you need to do-for your needs

Heartaches.  Grief. Anger. Hopelessness. Contention. Depression. Lack of direction in life. Divorce. Loneliness. Burdens of life. Unfulfillment. Frustration. The list of pain and anguish is endless. Countless long for relief but don’t know where to turn. The joy and happiness longed for can be very elusive.

Every individual on this earth has reason to turn to God. Each longs for a life overflowing with joy and happiness.

“I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.” Alma 29:2

What stops you from trusting God?

* Pride

* Fear

* No idea of how much He loves you

* Don’t know or believe that He truly is mindful of you

* You trust in men’s wisdom

* Lack of belief in His power to make or bring change

* Lack of belief in His power to fill your heart with joy, peace, happiness

* Lack of belief in His power to heal the pain, distress and grief of your heart

* Denial

* Lack of integrity

* Lack of a good heart

* Lack of honesty

* Unwillingness to obey His counsel

* A refusal to repent-that is, to turn and go in the direction he indicates.

Do you agree or disagree? Any more you can add to this list?

 “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy” Jonah 2:8

What is the result of not trusting God?

Recall Jonah’s experience?  The Lord sent him to Nineveh to call the people to repentance.  Jonah boarded a ship going Tarshish-the opposite direction. His plan was to hide from the presence of the Lord. A mighty tempest entered his life while he was sleeping.

Waters compassed him…weeds wrapped around his head. (Denial, engulfed in misery, depression, lack of belief in God’s power, definitely didn’t trust the Lord). He did recognize that he was on this worldly level forever-no progression happening here.

What happens when we leave the presence of the Lord?

* Pain

* No joy

* No peace

* No happiness

* No blessings

* No progression

We reject His plan for our life. This lack of trust in God brings sorrow and misery to Heavenly Father’s children.

Then Jonah says he remembered the Lord- and he prayed.

What does it take to trust God?

* Courage

* Humility

* Honesty

* Remaining in God’s presence

* Desire to develop trust

* Two way communication ( Jonah prayed then he says of God, “ He heard me”, “Thou heardest my voice”)

* Commitment

* Knowing God

* Recognize our salvation is in Jesus Christ

* Willingness to obey His commandments no matter how hard they appear

* Repentance-turn in opposite direction

* Thanksgiving

* Keeping our covenants, promises, vows

And then the Lord ‘spake’ unto the fish. God acted –and saved Jonah. A second time He sent Jonah to Nineveh. Jonah did go and his mission was successful.

“I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” 1 Nephi 3:7

When we trust in God, what do we receive?

* Peace

* Security

* Healing

* Strength

* Greater light

* More faith

* More talent

* Harmony

* Confidence

* Prosperity

* Greater joy

* Greater happiness

“…in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Luke 8:15 (KJV)

Trusting God will bless:

*  Our life

*  Lives of our families

Our communities

Nations

“And if you then go and do what He would have you do, your power to trust Him will grow, and in time you will be overwhelmed with gratitude to find that He has come to trust you.”  Henry B Eyring

Do you trust in God? How do you know?

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Recently, I was contemplating the importance of obedience to the Lord’s commandments and its relationship to revelation. 

That same week Sam, fifteen years old, spoke in Sacrament meeting along a similar line of thought. I thought you would appreciate this young man’s perspective in this guest post. Thanks, Sam!

Good Morning Brothers and Sisters. Last week I was handed a talk assignment and the topic that I was given was “Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth”. Looking at that topic I was a little confused how to open a talk from a quote. The first thing that came to my head was the story of Samuel in the temple with Eli.

1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;

3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;

4 That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.

5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.

6 And the Lord called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him.

8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child.

9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

1 Samuel 3:1-10 (KJV)

Now,  that was all that I could think about from the quote, was the scripture about Samuel hearing the Lord and later that he obeyed the Lord in all that he commanded, and then it hit me- obedience. I can talk on obedience.

Samuel like many other prophets was obedient to the Lord by doing what he asked. Such as Nephi. He was commanded to build a boat. Joseph Smith was commanded to restore the church and Samuel the Lamanite was commanded to preach to the Nephites of Christ’s birth. These are just a few examples of obedience.

Obedience does not just have to be obedience to the Lord. You can be obedient to parents, church leaders and to yourself.

Being obedient to parents includes just doing of what they ask. If they give you a job to do around the house, you do it. If church leaders ask you to give a talk or prayers you just simply do it.

President Uchtdorf told a story of a little rule pilots give to themselves. It is to fly at least 500 feet above the trees so that they do not crash. That is a little example of self obedience.

Now the most obvious part of obedience is to the Lord. Unlike Nephi and Samuel we are not prophets. But we go to God to get personal revelation from Him to us.

We can also get revelation from general conferences, and we do. Twice a year we have general conference where the prophet and apostles give us new headings for the church.

Obedience isn’t only followed straight from the prophet’s mouth. We have scriptures and many other books to help us keep our obedience such as “Strength for Youth”. It teaches the basics of modern day obedience from modesty to language and even spiritual obedience.

Another great source to get obedience is from the commandments, such as “love thy neighbour as thyself”, “thou shalt not kill”, “thou shalt not steal”, and many more.

“The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.” Joshua 24:24

Now what can obedience do for us? If we obey in all that we do we can be blessed.

A great example of that is from Samuel the Lamanite who was commanded to preach to the Nephites about Christ’s birth. While he was preaching, the Nephites attempted to stop Samuel by shooting arrows and rocks at him. But because of Samuel’s obedience he was not hit by anything and was able to leave with no harm.

Now what happens if you are not obedient? Well, there is a story of that in the bible of a prophet named Jonah. Jonah was commanded to go to a city to preach to  the people that were wicked to stop their wickedness.

Jonah thought that was a bad idea and decided to go the opposite direction away from that city, so he took a boat to get away from the commandment the Lord gave him. During his trip bad weather came upon the ship and Jonah was cast off the ship and was soon swallowed by a great fish. Jonah was stuck in the fish for 3 days and 3 nights then he repented of his sin and he was spat out onto dry land.

Now the moral of the scripture isn’t if you don’t be obedient you will be eaten by a whale. It is simply that following commandments are better and that you will be blessed if you do so.

“Love the Lord…obey his voice” Deuteronomy 30:20

Where does obedience come from? Before this time Heavenly Father had a plan known as the plan of salvation. It was to test us to see who is worthy to be with him.

The plan was that we were given a body, and to go to earth and that we have the choice to choose between right and wrong. This is where obedience comes from.  He gave us commandments that will guide us to Him to be worthy. If we are worthy in all that we do we will be able to return to him again.

I’d like to end my talk with my testimony on obedience:

I know that obedience can give us blessings and that if we obey the commandments and leaders of the church we will be blessed and that if we are obedient to Heavenly Father we will be able to return to Him.

 “When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” D & C 130:21