“inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am” (D&C 67:10)
You only do what you want to. That doesn’t mean you can do anything you want, as many choices are not available as options. It means that within the context of the choices available to you, you (or I or anyone) only choose to do what you really, truly want to. You may not like the consequences associated with the options you face. You may feel forced into doing many things. But if you peel away all the deceiving layers of obligation and guilt and duty and fear and whatever else you think compels you to act a certain way, you will see that you only, ever, do exactly what you want to.
For example, some who disagree with this concept might say things like, “Well, if that were true, I would rob a bank, because that’s what I really want. But I don’t because it’s not right. So, see, I don’t do what I want to.” The truth is that although that person says what they want is to rob a bank, what they really want is to not face the risk of getting caught and going to jail. Their desire to NOT GO TO JAIL is their strongest desire (i.e. greater than their declared desire to rob the bank). What they want most is to not go to jail, so they do what they want most and they don’t rob the bank. Action reveals true desire. When a child grudgingly obeys a parent, it may appear he doesn’t want to. One one level he doesn’t. But he wants to obey more than he wants to receive a spanking, so he chooses (grudgingly) to obey. Although he may not like his available choices or the consequences from those choices, he still very clearly CHOOSES TO OBEY. A child never has to obey a parent or any other authority figure. Parents of truly stubborn children may have seen this. If I don’t care about being grounded, insulted, physically harmed, sent to juvenile lockup, or any other punishment a parent or society can devise, then nobody can force me to do anything. I may not like the options that face me, and I may despise the consequences that my actions will bring, but I only, ever, choose to do exactly what I want.
So, as I only ever do exactly what I want, and since I must be jealous and fearful because I have not yet seen the face of God (see D&C 67:10 at the top), I am forced to ask myself why I like being jealous and fearful. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like it; neither would you. What is really going on here?
At the core of jealousy is the desire to change certain elements of my life. When I become jealous of another’s wealth or good looks or social standing or physical prowess or anything they have I do not, I am, in a most basic and fundamental way, pitting myself against God and His plan for me. I want my life to be different than it is. I want the life I want for myself instead of the life God wants for me. This implies that God is all knowing, all powerful, and cares about my life–down to the smallest sparrow-sized detail. Jealousy is, even if one doesn’t recognize it as such, a fight against the life God has planned and created for you. He knows the end from the beginning and has planned accordingly. Do you not trust Him? Do you not think He cares? Do you not think He brought you to the exact time and place and circumstance in which you find yourself today? Remember, in His way, whatever is, is right.
What of fear? Why do I like to be fearful? This realization is difficult for me to grasp as I hate to feel afraid. And yet, until I recognized that fear is rebellion against God’s future plan for me, I was not able to begin successfully distancing myself from it. See, if God is all powerful and all knowing and all loving, then not only are my present circumstances optimal for me, but the future that He brings me will also be in my best interest. Jealousy is rebellion against one’s present circumstances; fear is rebellion against one’s future circumstances.
That’s why D&C 67:10 juxtaposes jealousy and fear against humility. They are completely opposite ways off being. One trusts fully in man and his assessment of what brings the greatest happiness; one trusts fully in God and His assessment of what brings the greatest happiness. Once I came to understand this, I have found myself willing to let go of my desire to change and control the world around me and let go of worldly desires and expectations in exchange for complete trust in God and His path for me. The ultimate question is, at the most fundamental level, whether I will pursue a life of my own, or fully and without reservation embrace the one He has for me. Adhering to either of the methodologies doesn’t change my circumstances, just my state of being while passing through those circumstances. The path of jealousy and fear breeds worry, sadness, regret, darkness, and everything that is not peace. The path of humble submission to God’s way/plan/life for me breeds complete and utter peace.
I want peace.
When we stop rebelling against God, the jealousy and fear disappear. And then, whatever is, is right.
“inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am.” (D&C 67:10)