There is a scripture in my church that says, “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” (Doctrine & Covenants 130:20-21).
Several years ago, this scripture weighed heavily upon me. If God had assured or promised me a certain blessing, if He cannot lie and must fulfill all His promises, then the only reason I had not received the desired blessing was due to my lack of obedience to the law upon which it was predicated. This is how I reasoned it out in my mind. How could I then know what law or commandment I needed to exercise obedience to, to receive the blessing?
As I considered and pondered on this, I decided to spend some time at a temple. A temple in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a holy sacred building dedicated to making and receiving covenants through various ordinances. While we are patrons inside, we change from our regular clothes and only wear white. We take nothing with us such as phones or tablets as we worship in the temple. It is a time of quiet, reverence, prayer, and contemplation and I’ve often received answers and guidance from the Lord while I’m in His holy house. I decided I would go to the temple and ask the Lord to show me how I needed to change, what ways I was sinning, or what I should begin doing to show obedience to the law for the blessing I was seeking.
I was honestly nervous as to what impressions I may receive or what sacrifice could be asked of me. I thought of the rich ruler who approached Jesus and recited to Him his obedience to all the laws and then asking what more he could do. He was told to give up all his riches and follow the Savior (Luke 18:18-24). I certainly wasn’t as obedient to all commandments as that man was, but I was willing to change and improve. I went to the temple committed to act on whatever the instruction was.
Receiving answers to questions posed to the Lord doesn’t always happen according to my timeline, but I think that the Lord always welcomes repentance. As I was in the temple reflecting on my question and then running through all the ways I knew I could be a better disciple of Jesus, I started to feel discouraged and overwhelmed by how much I lacked in obedience and righteousness. I felt it only made sense that blessings were withheld from me. This was not the Spirit of the Lord at work in me. The Spirit, however, soon was able to give me impressions and speak to my heart and mind.
I’ve come to learn that when the Spirit is at work in me, even if I’m being chastened, it’s accompanied with love and hope rather than discouragement and despair.
The experience I had is hard to fully describe with words. I acutely felt that God was not displeased with me. My mind was opened to have a kinder and more merciful view of myself and my efforts. I felt how mindful God is of me and how intimately He knows my heart. He knows ME. And not just the me of that day, but the me that was with Him before this life. The me that hoped and yearned to be welcomed to His kingdoms as a good and faithful servant in the next life. He sees me in that totality and gave me the blink of a glimpse of the view and love He had for me.
Then came four words to answer my question of what was required of me: “Be faithful and wait.” Those words were written on my heart and then on my bathroom mirror so I’d see them everyday. I studied those four words to see what being faithful meant to God. I considered what “wait” meant to Him. I wanted godly understanding of that instruction. My mind was opened to see how much waiting is actually part of the eternal plan of happiness and even an integral part of our worship in our chapels and temples. Each Sunday as I wait to partake of the emblems of Christ in the Sacrament, it matters what I do while waiting. Waiting is not passively watching a clock or calendar with my foot tapping in impatience for the time pass.
Waiting is working. Waiting is learning. Waiting is serving. Waiting is pondering. Waiting is praying. Waiting is growing. Waiting is preparing. Waiting is asking. Waiting is believing. Waiting is living.
Waiting is something God fully comprehends and exemplifies. His arms are always stretched out towards His children, waiting for us to repent and return to Him. Consider how much the Lord does while waiting for us to come to Him.
Are there blessings for which you’re waiting? I hope you make the most of your time of waiting. Embracing a godly way of waiting has brought my life so much more happiness, holiness, and peace. That instruction, those four words, “be faithful and wait,” changed so much of my perspective and relieved much of the unnecessary burdens I’d placed on myself. I’ve gained new understanding of some of the laws upon which blessings are predicated. Faithfulness and waiting are often elements of the laws we are to keep. I hope you will seek your own answers and guidance for obtaining the blessings you seek. Be faithful and wait.