Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Destiny

In the last blog post we talked about having No Desire or having Conflicting Desires.  But somewhere in between those two is our real Desire.  I call that our Inherent Desire.  The best way to describe an Inherent Desire is that it’s apart of our overall Destiny.  It’s a Desire that, when obtained, will end us coming one step closer to self-actualization, Sustainable Joy, eternal life, salvation, exaltation, and all of those words we use to describe the happily ever after we all want to get to.

"Readjusting our desires to give highest priority to the things of eternity is not easy. We are all tempted to desire that worldly quartet of property, prominence, pride, and power. We might desire these, but we should not fix them as our highest priorities....To achieve our eternal destiny, we will desire and work for the qualities required to become an eternal being." ~"Desire" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks

We know when we have identified an Inherent Desire when our motivation to obtain it is continuous and very deep.  Under the umbrella of Destiny is usually a number of these smaller Inherent Desires.  They are the puzzle pieces that make up the entire picture of what our heaven looks like.

Listen:  “Heaven” by Salvador

When we have identified an Inherent Desire, the motivation we experience is enough to sustain us even through the tough sacrifices we must make as part of the Desire Obtainment Process.  That means that the privileges we receive as we incrementally obtain this Desire and the ones we envision having when the Desire is fully obtained are enough to motivate us to make our own continuous sacrifice.  It’s enough to buffer us against the adversity we have to work through.  Our continuous sacrifice in turn provides privileges for others that motivate their sacrifice and buffer them against the adversity they have to work through.  That’s what makes the entire relationship sustainable or in other words, eternal.

Part of the sacrifice that is always required of us is our willingness to listen to our Cause.  Our Cause is a guide, a mentor.  He (or she) is someone who has already obtained a Desire similar to our own.  He knows the pathway.  We are unsure of it.  The only way we can obtain our Desire is if we yield to his instructions, even when they go against what we presently understand. 

This reminds me of the Karate Kid movie.  Daniel wants to learn Karate for protection.  He asks Mr. Miyagi to teach him because he witnesses Mr. Miyagi “single-handedly fend[ing] off [Daniel’s] five attackers with ease” (Wikipedia).  Mr. Miyagi starts with having Daniel painting fences and waxing his cars.  Daniel has no idea why he has to do this kind of sacrifice.  He even suspects that Mr. Miyagi is taking advantage of him—getting a bunch of free labor out of him.  But he decides to trust him without knowing all the answers up front.  He learns that Mr. Miyagi is training his muscles to develop the memory to perform specific actions that will eventually become like reflexes.  And if you’ve seen the movie, you know the end of the story.  Daniel becomes a master Karate Kid through Mr. Miyagi’s training.  He is able to protect himself and those he loves against Survival of the Fittest bullies.  Desire Obtained.

So choosing a Cause we can trust to whom we will remain allegiant even when it opposes our natural inclinations and previous suppositions is a crucial sacrifice in the Inherent Desire Obtainment Process.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." ~Proverbs 3:5-6 

"...choose you this day whom ye will serve; ...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." ~Joshua 24:15

Our chosen Cause is the one who instructs us concerning the Process we need to engage in to obtain our Desire.  This Process is a sacrifice.  It’s not easy.  It takes work.  It’s about changing some things and holding steadfast in others.  The Process is inherent to the Desire we have chosen.  That means if we want the Desire bad enough then we are fine with subjecting ourselves to the laws and rules pertaining to that Desire.

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." ~James 1:5

"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." ~D&C 130:20-21

Effects help us identify the Inherent Process.  Effects are the feedback, validation, or response process from our Cause in regards to our Desire Obtainment Process that enable us to know if we’re on or off the right track.  They also enable us to discern our Inherent Desire.

"But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong;" ~D&C 9:7-9

Results are Sustainable Desires, Processes, and Effects.  When our Desire is sustainable, we know it is inherent.  Sustainable Processes are knowledge, skills, abilities, and talents.  Sustainable Effects are Sustainable Joy, which is balanced Peace and Energy that just keeps on going.  These are the elements that compose Sustainable Relationships.  When we have developed Sustainable Processes and Effects, the sacrifice of each person in the relationship becomes a Joy.  Desire obtained.  Success.

"But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life. And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst. Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you." ~Alma 32:41-43

“Therefore, what we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity.” ~Elder Neal A. Maxwell quoted in "Desire" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks

This is why it’s so important to use our agency to answer the following questions for ourselves:

What is your Desire?
Who is your Cause?
What is the Process to obtain this Desire?
What are the Effects you experience when you engage in this Process?
What are your Results?

"Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself..." ~2 Nephi 2:16

"I have been thinking recently about choices and their consequences. It has been said that the gate of history turns on small hinges, and so do people’s lives. The choices we make determine our destiny." ~"Choices" by President Thomas S. Monson

Listen: "This is Your Life" by Switchfoot