on the altar

So I just got back from Institute–Mom will be happy, I’m sure–and I am so glad that I went. For a few moments, my head pounding, my carcass happily ensconced on the couch with my grandma’s blanket, I considered not going. Thoughts of “what does it matter?” went through my head.

It didn’t last long, and I ended up there.

It was exactly where I needed to be, because it was all about obedience.

And, lately, I’ve been grappling with my own question of obedience.

Lest you think I’m deeply mired in sin, I’m not. It’s not a big deal. It’s not even ME breaking a rule. It’s just me being okay with rules being broken, me even encouraging it with my complacency because I don’t particularly like the rule. I’d like to think, in this particular situation, I am part of an exception.

But lately, the thought has been nagging at me that it’s my responsibility to stand up and be obedient. To encourage obedience and strictness where there ought to be obedience and strictness.

Of course, because I didn’t want to, I ignored it. I have continued to ignore it. It just didn’t seem like a big deal–not a serious sin, not a earthshattering choice.

But tonight in Institute, it was all about agency and how to be the best person you can be by submitting your will to the Lord. And our Institute director, Brother Jansen, said something that really struck me. He said that when he thinks of how submissive our Savior is, how willingly He sacrificed His will to His Father’s, a decision that brought upon him the huge pain and anguish and utter torment of the Atonement, it makes Him our perfect example of obedience.

That hit me. I mean, it wasn’t a body blow kind of revelation–we’ve all had those, I think–but more of a crystallizing of something that had been on my mind for a while. The only real analogy I can think of is it was like, sitting in that room, the staticky transmissions of the Spirit suddenly got very, very clear.

I knew that I had to obey. Not because I agree with the rule. Not because I want to, because I don’t particularly want to stop doing what I was doing. But I want to be obedient, and I want to do what the Lord wants me to do. That desire–to submit cheerfully–overwhelms the “want to” of this stupid little thing that is really of no consequence.

And I have this feeling, quiet and deep within me, that me standing up and saying I’m not doing it anymore WILL be of great consequence. Possibly far more than I know.

So, I will do it. I will obey. I’m not even sure it will be hard for me, especially, because it’s my choice. There is great power in choice, great power in the recognition that no one tells me what to do. I choose, myself, to follow the path that will lead me to the greatest happiness.

I’m willing to sacrifice for that. I really am.

That gives me courage.

One Response to “on the altar”

  1. Wow! What an awesome post. I loved “there is great power in choice, great power in the recognition that no one tells me what to do.” Beautiful!

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