Our Heart
Wants to do
Longs to do
Desires to do
The Right Thing.
 
Our Mind
Knows
What to do
What we Need to do
What we Must do
And that we Ought to do
The Right Thing.
 
Our Heart and Mind,
Together, Sincerely
Plan to do
Decide to do
Commit to do
And
Actually do
The Right Thing….
Because you wanted to.
Because you desired it.
Because you longed for it.
 
What we will do is
What we do…
willingly.
 
However…
 
Temptation
Entices us
Seduces us…
 
Rationalization
Convinces us
Argues with us
Compels us
Debates us…
 
Distraction
Hypnotizes and mesmerizes us
Deceives us…
 
Psychology
Cunningly manipulates us…
 
To want, desire, long for
Anything BUT
The Right Thing.
 
These deceive us to changing
What we OUGHT to do
Into
What we’d RATHER do
INSTEAD.
 
But…
Love and
Inspired Invitation
Patiently wait for us
while they
Encourage us
Persuade us
Lead us
Teach us
Of the Right Thing
and still allow us the space
To want it enough to choose it,
To love it enough to want it,
To desire enough to do it.
 
Still…
Right or Wrong
Productive or Frivolous
Worthwhile or Worthless
Wise or Foolish
Sincere or Misleading…
 
What we will do is
What we do…
Willingly.
 
It’s where
our Heart truly is.
 
———————-
Our Will is Ours.
 
“The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” … are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!” (Neal A. Maxwell, article)
 
 What does it mean to have our will swallowed up in His will?
 
It means that we begin to replace “what I want” with “what God wants” instead.
 
However, instead of cutting ourself off and replacing what we want for what God wants, it means that we actually want what God wants.   It means that we begin to try to think how He would think, to strive to do as He would do, to say what He would say, to view people as He would, to treat others as He would…because we want to.  In essence, by swallowing (not replacing) Our Will within God’s Will, we’re not giving up ourselves. Rather, we’re upgrading ourselves.  We are allowing Him to influence our life more directly.  We’re allowing our will to be embraced by His will.  A “power-up”, if you…uh…will.
 
Furthermore, when we offer to God the very thing we have control over (our will) by choosing to be like Him instead of doing our own thing, He increases our capacity to become more like Him.   He delights in helping us be more like Him when we show that we’re willing to put our ways aside, put our Self aside, for something even greater than ourselves.
 
God will not force his will upon us and He will not change our will.  Each one decides for himself what he wants, desires, longs for.  Likewise, we can’t ask Him to change someone else’s will or the desires of their heart.   We can’t pray for God to change anyone’s will, even if it’s our own.  He will not force His will on anyone.  And neither should we.   We can pray for hearts to be softened, for understanding to be increased, for encouragement to be supplied, for inspiration to be shined upon.  Ultimately, though, it is that person who must desire what is truly needed and wanted, and then choose and act accordingly.  That is Free Will.  And God respects that.  So must we.
 
That’s why Faith (completely trusting in God’s timing, actions, and will) is so hard.  It’s something we have no control over. 
 
Love unfeigned
 
DC 121:37, 41-42
37 …when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved…
 
41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained…, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
 
42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile.
 
 
This teaches us that if we want to have any kind of true and lasting influence on others, we must do it by persuasion and long-suffering.  We can be gentle and meek and kind.  We’re not faking our love, nor are we faking what we claim to know.  Furthermore, we do it all without any kind of manipulation or cunning tricks…this is “guile” (reverse psychology, social engineering, propaganda, passive aggressive, social tricks, relationship tricks, etc.)  The moment we decide to be selfish, glorify ourselves, become controlling, become domineering, or even seek to control or compel others to do something they don’t want to do…then “the heavens withdraw themselves, and the Spirit of the Lord is grieved.”  We lose our influence when following our will becomes more important than someone else’s will.  That’s what we mean when we say, “It’s all about Control.”

Control
 
As parents, we cannot impose our will upon our children.  If we are to teach them properly, we must teach them the aspects of life and living and the blessings and consequences of those aspects.  We can invite, guide, explain, encourage, teach…but ultimately, we must allow them to choose for themselves.   When successes happen, we must show them the value and worth of the struggle to get there, and the value of humility under such successes.  And when painful results happen, we must not remove the associated struggles from foolish decisions. 
 
We must learn for ourself the consequences of foolishness as well as the rewards of properly applied wisdom and understanding.
 
Options

There are those who wish to manipulate things to make it appear as though we have a choice, and that the choice is ours, but in truth, those who offer us the options actually control what options are available. 
 
We do this as parents:  “Do you want brocolli or asparagus?”  (A choice between two undesired vegetables for some kids.)  
 
We do this as businesses:  The only options of “value” are in the Value Menu.  Everything else outside of that are of more “value” to the business and more expensive for the consumer.  They control the options, we choose from their options.
 
We do this in politics:  Choosing the lesser of two “evils” means you really have Undesired Options to choose from.  Someone with more influence than We the People convinces us of the options they think we ought to have. 
 
Then there are other forms of control that we don’t usually consider:
Hypnosis – where someone else’s will controls you while you’re will takes a back seat.

Continuous Commercial Bombardment – where ideas are constantly being presented in a convincing manner

Pop Music (another form of bombardment) – where we willingly plug into the thoughts and ideas of another, over and over…to the point where we enjoy it.

Addiction – where we succumb helplessly yet willingly to something or someone with a false sense of need while allowing ourselves to be dictated by them.

Psychological Manipulation and Social Engineering – where tricking the mind and deceiving behaviors are studied and applied.

Propaganda – a twisting of words, ideas, and events to convince the audience to believe, and accept, a particular perspective or narrative.
 
In all of these, because a person’s will is his own, efforts are made to change that person’s will…to match another’s will….whether or not it is recognized. These are merely tools of the trade, but their end result is the same:  where your will is compelled to match another’s will.

Choice

We can choose for ourselves, regardless of what the options are before us.  Ultimately, we know whether or not we did something because we had to (forced) or wanted to (desired).  To borrow a Star Wars analogy, Force is force…Dark side or not. 

God uses neither. He is not a God of Force. He respects your will, and expects us to do the same for others. So one cannot claim to be forced to believe in God or forced to follow God. A guilty conscience is not force. It is a sensor, an indicator, that something is wrong. Thus, it becomes our signal for course correction, and it’s up to us to heed it or ignore it.
 
God would rather have us do something because we wanted to than to have us be forced to do something.  He won’t drag us to Heaven, or any “heaven on earth”.  We wouldn’t be happy there even if He did…because He knows we didn’t want to be there to begin with. (Else, why drag us there? You don’t drag someone who wants to be somewhere.) He knows where our heart is.  We can’t request Him to “make” others change, force anyone to be good, or do good either.  Each of us must choose for ourself, and the desires of hearts will reflect in what we ultimately do.
 
Integrity and Truth

Do our actions, thoughts, and desires match up?  That’s true Integrity.  That’s being True.  He’s a God of Truth, and He wants our True Self. 
 
So when we say or do something, let us do it because we wanted to, because it’s what we long for, because what we truly desire…not because we had to.  May we not force others to do what we want them to do.  But let us all choose to do what is right…not only because it is right, but because we want it, too.

Ultimately, let us seek to match our will to God’s will, and allow ourself to be swallowed up in Him.
 
That is the challenge of Will…Free Will. 
 
Just remember:
What we will do is
What we do…
Willingly.

The LDS Lamplighter

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