Monday, June 17, 2019

Submissive

One of the invitations of the Book of Mormon prophets is for followers of Christ to be submissive, to humbly accept the will of the Father like He did through His great atoning sacrifice.  After describing the sacrifice and suffering of the Savior, King Benjamin (quoting the angel) invited us to be one who “yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father” (Mosiah 3:19).  This attitude of humility and meekness and submissiveness was also emphasized by Alma.  He invited the people of Ammonihah and us with these words: “But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering” (Alma 13:28).  He similarly counseled the people of Gideon, “And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive” (Alma 7:23).

             There are several examples in the Book of Mormon as well of people who did indeed follow this counsel.  When the people of Limhi were suffering under the oppressive hand of the Lamanites, “They did humble themselves even to the dust, subjecting themselves to the yoke of bondage, submitting themselves to be smitten, and to be driven to and fro, and burdened, according to the desires of their enemies. And they did humble themselves even in the depths of humility; and they did cry mightily to God; yea, even all the day long did they cry unto their God that he would deliver them out of their afflictions” (Mosiah 21:13-14).  Having once rejected the words of the Lord, they submitted to the difficult circumstances their choices had led them to and sought the Lord’s help.  The people of Alma in the land of Helaman similarly submitted to God in their afflictions: “And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord” (Mosiah 24:15).  Later at a time when many among the Nephites were lifted up in pride and persecuting their brethren, this did “cause the more humble part of the people to suffer great persecutions, and to wade through much affliction. Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God” (Helaman 3:34-35).  They faced persecution by turning to God and yielding themselves to Him instead of fighting against their enemies, and He provided for them.  The faith and humility of these Nephites invites us to similarly face our trials and sufferings with the strength of submissiveness before God.

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