Sunday, March 4, 2018

Ether 8:7 - What do you want?

The other day I had the opportunity to sit and ponder on a profound question.  I asked myself, "What do you want?”.  It caused me to think about what I am praying for.  We often pray to have some trial or stress removed from our life.  We pray for peace and protection so we can avoid the challenges that might come to us.  These are worthy things to pray for.  (see Alma 34:218-27).  But do our prayers really match the desires of our hearts.  What is the greatest desire of your heart? What do you really want?  

There is a great story in the 8th chapter of the Book of Ether about Jared.  Now this isn’t the Jared that has a brother and was at the tower of Babel when the languages were confounded.  This is another Jared.  This is the Jared with the dancing daughter.  As you recall, Jared was forced to give up his kingdom in order to save his own life. Then you find this profound statement:   

'And now Jared became exceedingly sorrowful because of the loss of the kingdom, for he had set his heart upon the kingdom and upon the glory of the world.'  (Ether 8:7)

Jared's daughter then put it into his heart to form a secret combination the eventually lead to the murder of the king and Jared being restored to power.  However, this secret combination lead to the entire destruction of his people as well as losing his own life.  With his heart set on power and glory, he was blinded to eternally appropriate heart-felt desires.  

So, back to the questions.  What do you want?  What are you exchanging your life for?

Are our hearts set on the things of this world (D&C 121:35), or is it focused on Jesus Christ? “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:34)

Some may think that if they had more money then they would be happy.  What would you do with it?  Money is good for one thing.  It is used to buy things of this world.  Is that what you want?  If you are eventually given all that our Father has, then what good will a few worldly trinkets be?

Remember this advice: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." (3 Nephi 13:33) 

Dale Carnegie once said, “If you are not in the process of becoming the person you want to be, you are automatically engaged in becoming the person you don’t want to be.”

Finally consider these words by Elder Deiter F. Uchtdorf:  

"We know what matters most in life—the Light of Christ teaches this to everyone. We as faithful Latter-day Saints have the Holy Ghost as a “constant companion” to teach us the things of eternal value. I imagine that any priesthood holder listening to my voice today, if asked to prepare a talk on the subject “what matters most,” could and would do an excellent job. Our weakness is in failing to align our actions with our conscience."

"Pause for a moment and check where your own heart and thoughts are. Are you focused on the things that matter most? How you spend your quiet time may provide a valuable clue. Where do your thoughts go when the pressure of deadlines is gone? Are your thoughts and heart focused on those short-lived fleeting things that matter only in the moment or on things that matter most?” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “We are doing a great work and cannot come down”, April 2009 LDS General Conference)