Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Approaching The Throne Of God With Confidence

I hope you all enjoyed General Conference a few weekends ago! I always love being uplifted and taught by prophets of God! Today, I want to share one of my very favorite talks from this past General Conference.

Elder Jörg Klebingat of the Seventy gave a talk titled Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence. He started his address with these two questions; on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your spiritual confidence before God? and what thoughts would come to mind if you had a personal interview with your Savior one minute from now? Immediately this caught my attention! What would I do if I was to meet my Savior today? Would I be confident in answering His questions or would I think back on all the things I may have done wrong in this life?

Sure, there are probably some people in the world that can honestly say they would be perfectly confident in meeting God today, but I think a majority of the world would be at least a little nervous about it! I know I would be! And I know that's a sign that I need to improve my spiritual confidence!

While Satan will do all he can to destroy our spiritual confidence, it is 100% our choice to act and change to build that confidence! Elder Klebingat gave six suggestions on how we can improve our spiritual confidence. Remember, these suggestions will only work if you take the initiative and act for yourself.

First, take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being.
Take control! It's your spirit! Don't let the mistakes or decisions of others control how spiritually confident you are or are not. 2 Nephi 2:27 says "men are free according to the flesh... they are free to choose liberty and eternal life...or to choose captivity and death..." Only YOU can make this choice for yourself! Don't blame others or rely on others.
"Spiritual confidence increases when you take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being by applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ daily."

Second, take responsibility for your own physical well-being.
I'm telling you guys, this is a big deal! I know that when I've been in peak physical condition I've also been in peak spiritual condition. When I slack and don't take care of my body I can feel my spiritual "fitness" weakening as well. Taking control of the "natural man (or woman)" inside of us and controlling our appetites shows that our spirits are stronger than our bodies.
"Spiritual confidence increases when your spirit, with the help of the Savior, is truly in charge of your natural man or woman."

Third, embrace voluntary, wholehearted obedience as part of your life.
John 14:15 states: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." It's as simple as that. We cannot expect to receive all the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for us if we are not abiding by all His rules. On a mission, the concept of exact obedience is pounded pretty hard into your head. And for good reason! I have felt the blessings that come when I consciously make the effort to be as exactly obedient as I can be.
"Spiritual confidence increases when you are truly striving, for the right reasons, to live a consecrated life in spite of your imperfections." 

Fourth, become really, really good at repenting thoroughly and quickly.
I've found in my own life that if I like doing something I'm a lot more likely to do it over and over again. I've come to LOVE repenting! That's why I enjoy doing it every single day! Not a day goes by where I don't make at least one little mistake (a shocker, I know) so I try to never let a day go by without seeking forgiveness from my Heavenly Father. As I try to keep myself as "unspotted from the world" (D&C 59:9as possible I can feel my relationships with Christ and God growing stronger and closer.
"Spiritual confidence increases when you voluntarily and joyfully repent of sins, both small and great, in real time by applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ."

Fifth, become really, really good at forgiving.
"I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men." (D&C 64:10) The commandment applies to all of us. When we forgive everyone it is so much easier to feel the forgiveness we need from our Heavenly Father.
"Spiritual confidence increases when you know that the Lord knows that you bear no ill feelings toward another soul."

Lastly, accept trials, setbacks, and "surprises" as part of your mortal experience.
I'm going to let you all in on a little secret: this world is very, very far from perfect. Sometimes things don't go completely as planned. And that is totally and completely okay. We are on this earth to be tested and tried. If our purpose is to go through trials and find joy through overcoming them, then why not rejoice when a trial comes our way? Sure, it's going to be hard, but it's an opportunity to prove that you can do hard things and remain faithful! Don't be freaked out by the fact that you have a few weaknesses. If we didn't have weaknesses this life would hardly matter. Use those weaknesses to improve and progress.
"Spiritual confidence increases when you accept that 'often trials and tribulations are allowed to come into your life because of what you are doing right'"

Everyone reading this, whether you are a bishop, a new convert to the church, an average Relief Society member, or someone who doesn't know much about religion at all, everyone can increase their spiritual confidence. I know that through all of these suggestions Elder Klebingat gave us we can become confident in the sight of our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

I invite everyone to evaluate your confidence before God and act accordingly.

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

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