Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Keep the commandments and find your life's purpose.

Progressive Prophetess recently blogged about finding your life's purpose--and how it comes down to keeping the commandments. And I quote:
Go to the temple. Image here.
When we are obedient to the basics, God trusts us and he gives us more. If we are obedient to those commandments, then he give us more and more personal commandments which guide us to more joy.
Many people come to me and want to know their life purpose, or what they contracted to do before they came here. I tell them to keep the commandments, keep their covenants and go to the temple and meditate. How can God trust you with something so monumental as your "life purpose" if you still fudge the word of wisdom--or whatever you are fudging.
This is so true. It's so true I had to write my own post to echo it! I wanted to be a second witness.

In my own life, I have found that the more obedient I am to the commandments, the clearer my life path is--AND the more commandments I get. Commandments really are your reward. I live by way more rules now than I used to. More rules than I used to think anyone would really have to. And I grew up in the Church and "kept" all the commandments I knew about--you know. I was a full tithe-payer, didn't murder and didn't steal, etc. But there were things I wasn't doing that I didn't even realize I was supposed to do. And there were things I wasn't supposed to do that I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to do. Those things only were revealed to me when I was ready to bear them.

General Conference.
None of the things I was told, PS, would come as a surprise to anyone who studies the Bible. I had only foolishly assumed that New Testament edicts didn't apply to me, little old me in the modern age. I believe I was wrong. But if God--or anyone--had told me I was wrong before I was humble enough to hear it, the fact is that I wouldn't have heard it. Nothing God told me when I was ready hadn't been also said by the modern prophets. Every single year in General Conference. It was only my own pride and foolishness that kept me from seeing that it was I. I had thought I was so good because I was doing the basics just oh so well, but in reality my own pride and self-righteousness had blinded me to all the things in myself that I needed to improve.

When you are ready for more than you are currently living, God will remove your blind spots and show you your weaknesses--so He can help you make them strong.

But I will say, honest and actual humility has been freeing. I used to live in this horrible bubble of fear--every time my phone rang, I would assume the person on the other end was calling to accuse me of something. If the bishop asked to speak with me--or if anyone asked to speak with me, ever--I would assume it was because they needed to tell me everything I was doing wrong. And those assumptions would fill me with fear. And I was afraid.

Image here.
Now, sometimes I still feel that way, but I've been astonished at how those feelings have been replaced with stalwart acceptance. I find myself praying that if an accusation is coming, that I'll see it accurately and use the experience to change myself for the better. I feel like I finally learned that criticism is actually a blessing--accurate criticism helps us discern the parts of ourselves that need to change, and inaccurate criticism tells more about the criticizer than the actual situation. Either way, it is a blessing for the one being criticized. And it is so much more pleasant to operate out of this understanding than from a place of constant fear of criticism.

I'll leave you with a story from Chapter 12 of Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda Paramahansa (emphasis mine):

The mosquitoes one evening were especially virulent. But Master failed to issue his usual instructions. I listened nervously to the anticipatory hum of the insects. Getting into bed, I threw a propitiatory prayer in their general direction. A half hour later, I coughed pretentiously to attract my guru's attention. I thought I would go mad with the bites and especially the singing drone as the mosquitoes celebrated bloodthirsty rites. 
No responsive stir from Master; I approached him cautiously. He was not breathing. This was my first observation of him in the yogic trance; it filled me with fright. 
"His heart must have failed!" I placed a mirror under his nose; no breath-vapor appeared. To make doubly certain, for minutes I closed his mouth and nostrils with my fingers. His body was cold and motionless. In a daze, I turned toward the door to summon help. 
"So! A budding experimentalist! My poor nose!" Master's voice was shaky with laughter. "Why don't you go to bed? Is the whole world going to change for you? Change yourself: be rid of the mosquito consciousness." 
Meekly I returned to my bed. Not one insect ventured near. I realized that my guru had previously agreed to the curtains only to please me; he had no fear of mosquitoes. His yogic power was such that he either could will them not to bite, or could escape to an inner invulnerability. 

Obey the basics and change yourself.

That is all.

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