Staying on our topic for this week, I want to switch gears a little bit and talk about how we can grow closer to Christ through our efforts of preparing to receive answers to our questions, to our trials, to our struggles.
And I wanted to start by sharing a couple of verses from my favorite sections of the Doctrine and Covenants, section 88. And I think that the reason that it’s my favorite is BECAUSE when it was given to the prophet Joseph Smith he said that it was given as the Lord’s message of peace to us. And I just truly feel that peace in several verses of this section. But today I just want to read verses 63-64. It says:
63 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
64 Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you;
So in these verses what stands out to me is the words DRAW NEAR”.
What does it mean to draw near? Well if I were to break this down let’s look at the word Draw. First it is an action word. The Lord is asking us to make an effort to do something to come closer to Him. The definition that I believe is being used here is : To cause to move in a particular direction by or as if by a pulling force; to bring toward oneself, as if by inherent force or influence.
And I just thought that definition was so interesting because it really expresses a need or a force to be pulled toward. It makes me think of a big windstorm where you have your back to the wind and it is actually pushing you in a direction. So we draw near to Him and then He will draw near to us. So it’s as if the force from the wind at our backs is pushing us toward the Savior. He’s asking us to let that force move us to come closer to Him.
I came across another talk by President Nelson from april 2017 He describes several ways that we can draw near to the Savior. But this is the one that stood out to me
“An element in drawing the Savior’s power into our lives is to reach up to Him in faith. Such reaching requires diligent, focused effort.
Do you remember the biblical story of the woman who suffered for 12 years with a debilitating problem? She exercised great faith in the Savior, exclaiming, “If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.”
This faithful, focused woman needed to stretch as far as she could to access His power. Her physical stretching was symbolic of her spiritual stretching.” He goes on to say.
“Many of us have cried out from the depths of our hearts a variation of this woman’s words: “If I could spiritually stretch enough to draw the Savior’s power into my life, I would know how to handle my heart-wrenching situation. I would know what to do. And I would have the power to do it.
When you reach up for the Lord’s power in your life with the same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air, power from Jesus Christ will be yours. When the Savior knows you truly want to reach up to Him—when He can feel that the greatest desire of your heart is to draw His power into your life—you will be led by the Holy Ghost to know exactly what you should do.
When you spiritually stretch beyond anything you have ever done before, then His power will flow into you.”
And so today as you think about that word and how it is like a force, almost an urgency to get to the Savior. Think about what we talked about on Monday about the hike to see the Savior. Imagine that the last stretch is the most difficult of the entire journey, it takes everything you have to get to the door where He awaits. But then there will be peace. I promise you that He longs for you to draw near to Him with such force that He has no choice but to enfold you in his waiting arms.
Guys, have a great day and remember that He loves you and you can do this! We’ll wrap up this topic tomorrow! Talk to you then.