Preparing a Way

The other day, I had the opportunity to answer the questions of a friend on my track team regarding my faith.  He focused specifically on the standards for youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We talked about restrictions and obligations youth have in my church.  At the end of his questions he said, “Wow, you guys have a lot of stuff to follow.  I could never do that!”. I blacked out for a moment, and began to think of how much easier it would be to follow the world’s example rather than live the standard my church has set for me.  Shortly after, I remembered why I chose to live this lifestyle; not merely because I believe the LDS church is true, but because of the promise of the Savior; Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God…and all these things shall be added unto you”.  In the course of my life, I’ve come to know God’s role in providing “all these things” to me when I simply seek first the things of God.

During Christ’s ministry, he taught daily.  He had many followers who traveled from area to area to listen to His words.  After a long day, around 5,000 people had come to listen to Jesus’ words had not eaten at all. Christ’s apostles found “a lad” who was willing to give up his five loaves of bread and two fishes for this group of people to eat.  After this lad’s sacrifice, Jesus blessed the food that they had, and amazingly, the whole multitude was filled.  What strikes me most about this story is the sacrifice of this lad; he gives up all the food he has with him for group of people he may not have even known.   But, after making a sacrifice that may have seemed impossible, his reward was astonishing.  I know that most of us are like this lad; most people have many important things that we may not want to give up right away.  But, throughout my experience, I’ve seen and experienced the blessings that come from giving up all you have for God.

I’ve had a personal witness of the ways that God prepares for those who simply exercise faith.  In school Biology is my most difficult subject.  One day, I was fretting about a test we would have the next day; I had the choice to skip my morning religion class (called seminary) that I go to every morning, and instead use that time to study for this test.  I remembered the sacrifices ofdisciples in the scriptures and the unending blessings those decisions brought.  I chose to attend seminary that morning, instead of studying more.  I ended up receiving the highest grade I had got all year.   In closing, Lawrence E. Corbridge said, “We might think we can’t really follow Him because the standard of His life is so astonishingly high as to seem unreachable. We might think it is too hard, too high, too much, beyond our capacity… [but] while the Lord’s invitation to follow Him is the highest of all, it is also achievable by everyone, not because we are able, but because He is”.

I know that no matter how small or large the sacrifice, God always prepares a way.  Anyone can receive these blessings if they just exercise faith.  Giving up what may seem important for God yields so much more in return.

2 Responses to “Preparing a Way”

  1. Jackson, thanks for sharing this. I too, have had similar experiences–specifically with studying for tests, but in other situations as well. When I do the spiritual things I know I ought to, it helps me feel the Holy Spirit, which guides my mind and my decisions. As we learn in John 14:26, the “Holy Ghost teach[es] us all things” and “bring[s] all things to your remembrance.” Although it is better, of course, to have done the preparation ahead of time and avoid the conflict entirely, not allowing ourselves to compromise when faced with a (seemingly one-off) dilemma will pay dividends in the long run.

  2. Craig says:

    It’s been decades since high school and college, but I witness with Jackson and Eric that when I took care of my spiritual needs and duties first, then my academic and secular efforts have always been blessed. In school, as I kept up with scripture study, prayer and my callings, my school studies were sharptened. My ability to recall and apply the lessons and truths from a class were increased and my life remained balanced.

    The Lord truly blesses us when we place our confidence in Him.

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