I came across this phrase as I was reading Doctrine and Covenants section 89.
13 And it is pleasing unto me . . . (D&C 89:13)
As I pondered this phrase, I asked myself if I really understood what it means.
When was the last time I asked myself, "Is what I am doing pleasing to the Lord?”
1 Nephi 6:3-6 helps us understand that there are things that are pleasing to God and things that are pleasing to the world.
3 And it mattereth not to me that I am particular to give a full account of all the things of my father, for they cannot be written upon these plates, for I desire the room that I may write of the things of God.4 For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved.5 Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world.6 Wherefore, I shall give commandment unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men.
So, what's the difference between pleasing the world and pleasing God? In his conference talk titled, “Which way do you face?” Elder Lynn G. Robbins said:
"Trying to please others before pleasing God is inverting the first and second great commandments (see Matthew 22:37–39). It is forgetting which way we face. And yet, we have all made that mistake because of the fear of men.” (Lynn G. Robins, “Which Way Do You Face?”, October 2014 LDS General Conference)
With that quote in mind it is easier to see what it means to please God. Perhaps one more scripture will help.
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. (1 John 3:22)
So, we are pleasing god when we love him and keep his commandments. That is great, but most of are do not love perfectly nor do we keep the commandments fully. One of my favorite scriptures gives me assurance. Speaking about spiritual gifts, the Lord said:
9 For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a asign that they may bconsume it upon their lusts. (D&C 46:9)
That phrase “and him that seekers so do to” has given me much comfort. When I fall short or fail to live up to my possibilities, I can ask myself where my heart is. What am I seeking? If I am seeking to love Him and keep His commandments, then I can be assured that the life I am leading is pleasing to God.
To conclude, I would like to share a quote by Elder Holland about D&C 46:9:
Boy, aren’t we all thankful for that added provision “and … seeketh so to do”! That has been a lifesaver because sometimes that is all we can offer! We take some solace in the fact that if God were to reward only the perfectly faithful, He wouldn’t have much of a distribution list.
Please remember tomorrow, and all the days after that, that the Lord blesses those who want to improve, who accept the need for commandments and try to keep them, who cherish Christlike virtues and strive to the best of their ability to acquire them. If you stumble in that pursuit, so does everyone; the Savior is there to help you keep going. If you fall, summon His strength. Call out like Alma, “O Jesus, … have mercy on me.” [Alma 36:18] He will help you get back up. He will help you repent, repair, fix whatever you have to fix, and keep going. Soon enough you will have the success you seek. (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You”, April 2016 LDS General Conference)