Sunday, August 28, 2016
We will not always be successful in our pursuits, individually or collectively. The Lord taught Joseph Smith that "the wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers" (D&C 93:39). As a missionary in Germany I often spoke with people who were unwilling to hear about the restored gospel because of their ingrained family traditions, regardless of whether they were active in those traditions or spiritually uplifted by them. Likewise, most of us have experienced the absence of light in our lives that follows when we fail to study the scriptures or pray regularly.
There are more ways that we could disobey than would be worthwhile to list, but it is particularly germane here to consider those things that have become habit or tradition. Are there traditions in your life that take away light and truth rather than helping you or your family to grow in light and truth? This might include the movies and television shows we choose to watch, when and what types of activities we choose to do as a family, our Sabbath-day worship, the social and political causes we support, and how we fill our spare time.
Of course, each of us has agency and many of these decisions are between us and the Lord; but that doesn't mean that what we're comfortable doing is what the Lord would have us do. Abraham grew up in a family that worshiped idols and may have become an influential man in that society had he followed in the footsteps of his father. Yet, he decided to break the tradition to seek after "greater happiness and peace and rest" through the priesthood covenant (Abraham 1:2). We do well when we use our agency as Abraham did: to break the traditions that separate us from God and replace them with those that bring greater light and truth into our lives.
The Lord explains how this can be done:
Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you... And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light and comprehendeth all things. Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will (D&C 88:53, 67-68).
As we seek to sanctify our lives of those traditions that may be robbing us of the light and truth God desires to send into our lives-- including those that may be good but are not better or best-- the Lord will prepare us to see his face and abide his glory.