I was sitting in my chair, pondering, and asking God questions. What lack I yet? What stands between you and me? I’m ready to do whatever you tell me to do. Father, what do I need to do to know thee? What is required of me to obtain a promise of eternal life? How can I get a promise, the everlasting covenant directly from you? Hebrews 6:13
God, I want to tell you what I’m sure you already know about me and ask some questions. I try to be a good dad and family man and keep the commandments. On the outside, it may appear all is well with me, but on the inside I feel so very much undone, unfit, and unclean Isaiah 6:5.
Is it possible I have just been going through the motions and following the precepts of men and have missed something vital? Have I overlooked receiving the rest, which you have to offer me? Matthew 11:28 Have I ignored your power to free me from sorrow, fear, and the hard bondage of Babylon?” Isaiah 14:3-4
I am lacking a lot, much of which I cannot obtain alone. I am asking for your help. I need mercy, forgiveness, and heavenly assurance of my status. I want to know where I stand with you. I believe Jesus Christ to be my Redeemer and friend with power to save. I believe in His sacrifice, atonement, crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven.
I have heard witnesses and read the visions of others who know Christ and have been in His presence. I want to know Him myself independent of any other. I know it is only through Christ I can be saved Helaman 5:9. What is blocking the path between Jesus and me? Perhaps, I am feeling much like the young man that asked Jesus similar questions.
“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet”? Matthew19:16-20.
I remember the words of Jesus, and I relate to the young man who had sufficient faith to ask. It is highly unlikely you, God, will give an answer, a test, or instructions to those who are reluctant to even ask D&C 103:31. We cut ourselves short when we lack faith to ask, are unwilling to hear, and demonstrate little desire to act. When we have a determination to serve you to the end, we will truly manifest it by our works D&C 20:37. When we draw near unto Christ, seek Him diligently, ask questions, and knock, it shall be opened unto us and answers will surely come. Matthew 7:7, D&C 88:63
The young man put forth the effort to ask. He cared enough to inquire with a sincere heart and real intent. Jesus answered his question directly. “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions” Matthew 19:21-22.
The Lord knew this young man perfectly. What Christ asked him to sacrifice was exactly what the young man valued most. It proved to be very difficult to yield and give up his riches. He struggled to make this sacrifice to the Lord, sorrowed, and failed to surrender his possessions and lay them upon the altar. He forfeited eternal life for the things of the world, his possessions.
I am aware that sacrifice is required to obtain eternal life. When I make an acceptable and sufficient sacrifice unto you, I will not seek your face in vain. I will know you and receive a promise of eternal life. This was confirmed again to me when reading the Lectures on Faith prepared by the Prophet Joseph Smith.
“Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things: it was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things, that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has, for the truth's sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice, because he seeks to do his will, he does know most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice & offering, & that he has not nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life.” Lectures on Faith 6:7 (Pages60-61)
It seems clear that in order to receive the promise of eternal life and to know that I am doing the things that are well pleasing in your sight, I must submit and be willing to sacrifice all that I possess, even my own life if necessary. Anything I possess or anything over which I have choice or control may be required. All things must be sacrificed to obtain redemption and the promise of eternal life. I must withhold nothing from you, God. You know the tests that will sufficiently prove me. I must be willing to make the required sacrifice when you ask.