I have been pondering The Law of Consecration so much over the past few years. It has been a continual course of study but something I have pondered on and off, particularly with each time I attend the temple. It has been back in my mind this week after reading a news report about a man, disgruntled with “the Church”* and going public with the fact that he is facing disciplinary council and facing excommunication. Now the article is not the focus of my thoughts, but a comment from a reader that also had an axe to grind and was listing “items” that he has perceived that “the church” has given up, in his opinion, because of social pressure and one of those was the “Law of Consecration”. I have no idea what he thought that it had, and his comment struck me as odd, because the Law of Consecration is very much in effect. We may not be living it economically, but it is sure there spiritually.
For me I started to be more drawn to it as Collin was nearing mission age. My prayers became more focused in consecrating my son to The Lord in his service. Some people may think what right had I to do this, after all a mission is his choice. It is true, a mission was and is the choice of the individual, but what was important to me was my attitude. Could I dedicate my life as a parent to prayer, teaching, supplicating, and supporting my son to make this decision and then with a glad and joyful heart send him on that mission. I often reflected on the example of Hannah in the Old Testament. How she prayed for that son and promised him to the Lord if she was so blessed. Can you imagine how much joy she felt, and how difficult it was to give that young boy over to Eli. Just this week in reviewing 1st Samuel chapters 1 and 2 again, I am humbled by the faith of both Hannah and her husband Elkanah. They understood the law of consecration better than I do and I wanted to have that faith in my life.
I truly believed I managed it to some degree. When Collin left on his mission I was not a “typical” missionary mom. Yes I shed a few tears, but over all, I was more joyful, more at peace, and trusting in God to do the best for my son and protect him on his mission. To this day I am so frustrated when I hear of missionary moms so upset, and “freaking” out over their sons and daughters going on their missions. Sometimes I am so frustrated to the point that I want to tell them to pray that their child can finish a complete mission because the alternative has been one of the most painful things I have gone through in my life. To have a worthy son come home, in agony, mentally, emotionally, physically and to suffer even more from judgments as to why he did not complete a full mission. It brought a new meaning to consecration in my life. I never thought it would be harder to have a child come home from their mission that it was to send them out. We still don’t know why, and we may never will, but I know this much, you don’t have to serve a full 2 years (or 18 months) to consecrate your faith and love to the Lord.
Consecration is with in the heart. It is not just a temporal law. If it was, I think we could live it, I do believe it would be easier to give everything to “The Church”, and have what we need given back. It is much harder to promise to give all we have in society now. It encompasses so much more than money, it is time, talents, gifts, knowledge and I believe power. When I say power I’m not referring to Priesthood authority, all though for men that may be part of it, but rather the Power and blessings granted to us but keeping our temple covenants. After all that is power and power all who are endowed have access to those blessing and gifts. If I can’t give all my heart to what ever I’m doing am I truly living this law? I can only answer that for myself, not for anyone else. We all have our limits, but I believe we are to test and stretch those limits frequently so we can grow.
D&C 78 is always worth reviewing, the blessing mentioned in that section and are so powerful. Anyone that doubts that our Father in Heaven doesn’t love each and everyone of us, and wants us to share in all his blessings, need to study it, frequently. In Relief Society on Sunday a sister shared a scripture from The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 32:9
9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.
Notice the word consecrate in conjunction with Prayer. That everything we do in the Name of the Lord we need to pray and he will consecrate our efforts. What a marvelous blessing. It doesn’t matter how much we can do, but if we do it in the manner prescribed by Nephi we will be blessed. What a great comfort. Imagine how much anxiety, depression, stress,and fear can be relieved if we can do this? I brings hope to the soul that with faith we can do it. We can change our hearts to be more consecrated to God, we can become more Holy, pure, dedicated. I know that is what I want, and I will be doing more study, and apply more concentrated effort into my searching and pondering. I would imagine I’m a bit behind the time on this subject, but I think The Spirit leads us to what we are to learn next and this is what I need to focus my study on the next several weeks and months.
Frankly, it is our prospective selves we betray by holding back whatever the “part.” No need therefore to ask, “Lord, is it I?” (Matt. 26:22). Rather, let us inquire about our individual stumbling blocks, “Lord, is it this?” We may have known the answer for a long time and may need resolve more than His response.
The greatest happiness in God’s generous plan is finally reserved for those who are willing to stretch and to pay the costs of journeying to His regal realm. Brothers and sisters, “come, let us anew [this] journey pursue. (April 2002 conference)
Links about Consecration