We are all children of a loving Heavenly Father. We lived with Him in our pre-mortal life as spirit children. He is literally the Father of our spirits. We are all spiritually begotten of Him. We are His spirit offspring. He knows us and loves us (D&C 6:16). In His wise purposes, we have been placed here on this Earth. He has a plan for us that will prepare us to follow Him and eventually return to Him as resurrected glorified beings.
As part of God’s creation and plan, I believe He has something specific in mind for each one of us (His Children). In His plan, God wants us to become what He wants us to be (something He wants us to do, or something we should do, or be doing). These could be things we need to do for His Kingdom, for ourselves … or, for others. Always remember, we are children of a loving Heavenly Father, and He knows what’s best for us. He knows our potential. We should seek Him out and learn what He sees in us and “who” we should be, and/or who we should become!
Without Heavenly Father in our lives, we will not clearly understand nor fully know:
1) Who we truly are,
2) What He wants us to do, nor
3) Who He wants us to become.
With Heavenly Father in our lives, we can come to know these things. We will be open to spiritual influences; we will sense the promptings of the Holy Spirit; and we will heed those promptings.
As we do these, we will find we are on the path (or, a path) He has planned for us. If we are sincere and earnestly seeking, He will guide us in our preparation and help us along the path He wants us to be on. Eventually, if we remain true and faithful to Him, and stay on the path, He will lead us by the influence of the Holy Spirit (the 3rd Member of the Godhead), and we will become the people (the person) He wants us to be. Initially, we may not understand nor be prepared for what God has in store for us, but He does have a plan, and His influence will guide us along the way. “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39)
This process of “becoming what He wants us to be” has a simple pattern we can learn and apply. Heavenly Father wants us to pray to Him, talk with Him, “Hear Him,” and become what He wants us to become and be. The pattern is essentially “The Doctrine of Christ” as taught by Jesus Christ Himself, the beloved Son of God the Father. According to the Savior, the Doctrine of Christ “…is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto Me” (3 Nephi 11:32). It looks something like the following:
- We receive “an idea” that is true concerning Jesus the Christ. For example: “Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the World.”
- We exercise Faith in this “true idea” about Jesus the Christ.
- We desire to follow Him and be like Him, so we modify our behavior to be more like His. That is, we repent of our inappropriate behaviors (personal sins/transgressions) and we seek forgiveness (that we may become like Christ).
- Soon, we will desire to make a covenant with God the Father, and we are Baptized (by an authorized priesthood holder) to be “Born Again” in Christ.
- After our baptism, we receive “the Gift of the Holy Ghost” (by an authorized Melchizedek Priesthood holder). The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a God, and He is a Spiritual being. He has many spiritual duties. He testifies of “the Truth of all things.” He is often referend to as “the Revelator,” “the Holy Spirit of Truth,” “the Sanctifier,” or “the Comforter.” Most importantly, the Holy Ghost testifies of the true character, perfections, and attributes of Jesus Christ. As we remain true and faithful, the Holy Ghost will influence, guide and testify to us the truth of Jesus Christ!
- As we learn more of Jesus Christ, strive to follow Him and modify our behavior to be more like Him, we will continue along “the Covenant Path” that leads to Him. And, we must continue along the Covenant Path, and … “Endure in Righteousness to the End.“ (Click on this link to learn more about “Enduring in Righteousness.”)
Faithfully following “the Doctrine of Christ” will gradually sanctify and prepare us for what the Father wants us to become. It will also prepare us for Exaltation and Eternal Life with our Heavenly Father. (See 2 Nephi 31; 3 Nephi 11; 3 Nephi 15:9; D&C 76:50-70; and 2 John 1:9.)
Following this pattern requires that we learn early on how to pray in humility to our Heavenly Father. Faithfully following the Doctrine of Christ will prepare us to be worthy of the constant companionship and influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. (The Holy Spirit is the third member of Godhead. He is also referred to by other titles: the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, the Revelator, and the Sanctifier.) He will testify to us of Jesus Christ and enlighten our understanding. “Humble and sincere prayers to our Heavenly Father” and “receiving the companionship and guiding influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives” are essential to our becoming what Heavenly Father wants us to be. Positive steps toward that objective may include:
- Striving to be humble in our behavior. (see Alma 13:13-14, 28-29; Ether 12:27; D&C 104:23, 82; and D&C 112:10)
- Prayerfully studying, praying, obeying, and learning more about Jesus Christ (His character, perfections, and attributes) and the Holy Spirit. (see D&C 9:8; D&C 88:118)
- Attempting to pattern our life after the teachings and examples of Jesus the Christ. (see JST Matthew 26:25; 2 Nephi 31:12; 3 Nephi 27:21)
- Learning to listen for, and recognize more clearly, the promptings of the Holy Spirit. (3 Nephi 28:11; Moroni 10:4-5)
- Responding positively to any promptings or impressions we may receive from the Holy Spirit.
- Recording our spiritual experiences and impressions. Comparing similarities between each event.
- Remembering these experiences and allowing them to strengthen our testimonies.
And, we should add to these steps three important personal behaviors that will fuel this process: 1) a greater study of the Holy Scriptures and of the truth, 2) more effective personal prayers, and 3) faithful obedience to the truth we learn along the way. These final three steps (Study, Pray, and Obey) provide the fuel to feed the mind and inspire growth along the Covenant Path.
Note: The more we learn of Jesus Christ (our Savior and Redeemer, the Beloved Son of God), including His true character, perfections, and attributes, the greater our faith in Him can become. True knowledge of Jesus Christ and Faith in Him are inseparable. We cannot have true faith in Jesus Christ if what we know of Him is not true. We can only have faith in Christ if what we know of Him is the Truth. And, the greater knowledge we have Him (that is true), the greater material we will have upon which to exercise Faith in Him. Then, as we 1) act on and faithfully strive to follow the true Savior and His Doctrine, we will 2) enjoy an increased influence of the Holy Spirit (the Revelator) in our lives, and we will 3) more readily receive additional knowledge and insight (truth) of God and Christ through the increasing influence of the Holy Spirit. As we follow this pattern, we will increase in our true understanding of who Jesus Christ really is (beyond just “an idea”) and our faith in Him will grow …eventually, unto Eternal Life.
If we follow the pattern and example of Jesus Christ, overtime our sensitivity to the influence of the Holy Spirit will increase. Frankly, the constant influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives is a critical element in our Heavenly Father’s great Plan of Happiness. As President Russell M. Nelson has recently warned, “…in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost. I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation.”
Important Point: In our desire to improve ourselves and become the person God the Father wants us to be, we must live a life worthy of the constant companionship and influence of the Holy Spirit (AKA the Sanctifier). The Holy Spirit will guide us on the path that leads to what our Heavenly Father wants us to become, or to be the person He wants us to be in this life and in Eternity. We must follow the Savior, seek spiritual guidance, listen for promptings from the Holy Spirit, and then respond positively to His influence. (Note: Sadly, if our personal behaviors are contrary or offensive to the mind and will of God, out of necessity the Holy Spirit will withdraw from us and we will be left on our own, without His guiding influence. Our spiritual progression will likely cease until we repent and realign ourselves with Him.)
In summary, we should continue our regular and sincere daily prayers to our loving and kind Heavenly Father. Of course, we should always pray from the heart and voice those things that weigh on our minds. But more than just asking the Father for what we want, let us prepare ourselves spiritually beforehand, and let us always seek to know what He wants us to become, or to be, or to do! Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us. Pray to the Father and ask Him specifically, “Heavenly Father, please guide me to be prepared and to be the person thou would have me to be.”
There is much work and service available that needs to be done. And there is probably much we can do to simply prepare ourselves for what Heavenly Father has in store for us to do. Never forget: He knows better than we do what we can or should be doing. Trust Him! He loves us and He wants to provide guidance. Have faith that He will guide our thoughts, our footsteps, and our actions. If we follow His guidance, we will become the person God wants us to be!