Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ask, Seek, Knock

As I read from the New Testament the other day, I ran across some familiar verses that caused me to stop and think. Like most people, I have either read or heard them multiple times, but the implications of what the Savior is saying in them has never struck me with as much force as it did at this time. Indeed, I doubt if I ever stopped to think about or try to understand what the Savior was really teaching in the scripture. The words are simple, and not easily misunderstood, but I think the power of the promise behind the statement could be lost on most individuals... Or maybe its just me. Anyways, in Matthew I read, 

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

Now think about that for a second. Do you really believe that anything you ask for, you will recieve? For myself, I wasn't quiet sure.That is an incredible promise that holds a lot of weight! Is it true?!

After a brief internal debate, I decided that it certainly is. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think it is all just as easy as asking for something. If that were true, I would probably be a much cooler person then I am now... Hah no, there is definitely a process to receiving what ever it is that we ask for. In fact, I believe the Savior laid it out pretty clearly.  For the first time, I looked at the scripture not as three separate promises, but more of a whole process of receiving some great heavenly gift. Upon searching for more on the subject, I found an incredible talk by one of our beloved apostles, Russell M. Nelson. Elder Nelson says,

"Revelation need not all come at once. It may be incremental. “Saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more.”  Patience and perseverance are part of our eternal progression."

Nephi on the Boat to America
Think of the process of receiving what ever it is that you want as a journey. You have to first ask where you want to go, seek out how you are going to get there, and then go and do. The prophet Lehi in the Book of Mormon, after seeing the vision of the destruction of Jerusalem and the promised land couldn't just up and be there. No, they had to journey out, endure hardship, build a boat and safely guide it to the Americas, all the while relying completely on the Lord. I believe the same process can be applied to anything we ask of the Lord. We can ask, and He will answer. I know that is true. After we get our answer though, we have to do something with it. It is not enough just to ask, we must also be ready to seek and knock.

When we are pursuing answers or revelation for the benefit of ourselves and others, we will always be more successful as we become more Christ-like. I this is true. Our Heavenly Father wants to bless us with everything we desire, so long as those desires are righteous. He loves us, and wants whats best for us. When we draw nearer to Christ, we are able to see more clearly what His will is for us, and can discern how we can arrive at the answers we desire. Elder Nelson also gives us great guidelines to find the answers we are looking and asking for. His advice is,

"For each of you to receive revelation unique to your own needs and responsibilities, certain guidelines prevail. The Lord asks you to develop “faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God.” Then with your firm “faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, [and] diligence,” you may ask, and you will receive; you may knock, and it will be opened unto you."

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