Friday, February 17, 2012

Consider your desires

Behold, O ye my people, or my brethren, for I esteem you as such, I desire that ye should consider the cause which ye are called to consider—for ye are desirous to have a king. (Mosiah 29:5)

These words are in the context of Mosiah trying to get the people’s input on who should be the next king over the Nephites. In this verse, Mosiah begins his letter in which he will give his best reasons why it would not be good to have a king. The words of this verse suggest that it is important for us to think about the things we want and consider WHY we want them. When we consider WHY we want things, often we are confronted with our shoddy thinking or unrighteous motivations. Acknowledging that our motives are bad or our good reasons are lacking can help us relinquish unrighteous desires.

I went through a phase a few years after I was married when I really wanted a tiara. And I didn’t want a little toy one; I wanted a really fancy-nice one. I wanted to be the queen of our house and wear it around. I wasn’t going to wear it other places, just at home. I’m not sure why I wanted it, other than I wanted to look extra special to myself and my husband. If the tiara that I wanted had been inexpensive, my husband probably would have gotten it for me, but it wasn’t. (After all, those rhinestones cost money!) And as he asked me why I wanted it, I realized that my reasons weren’t really good enough, so eventually I relinquished all serious intention of getting one. Deep, deep down, I suppose my motive for getting a tiara was all about stroking my own pride and vanity.

I’ve wanted to be famous. I can’t remember when this was, but I know I wanted it at some point. And I don’t know why I wanted it. Maybe I thought fame would bring happiness or that fame was the same as being appreciated or worthwhile. Now I know that is rarely the case, and thank goodness I didn’t have to become famous to discover that.

I’ve wanted to be rich. I’ve wanted to start a business. I’ve wanted to be an inventor. And you what? I’ve wanted those things for all the wrong reasons.

Yes, it is good to consider the reasons why we want what we want.

Tell me about some not-so-worthy desires that you've learned to relinquish. How did you come to let them go?


Becca said...

Teaching full time (which I wanted to do for the right reasons) I had to relinquish because it wasn't the right timing. I wanted it so badly I even interviewed for teaching positions and was nearly offered a job (one that I hadn't even applied for, but they had wanted to interview me for). I wanted that job soooo much! But when they kept emailing me asking for my references, I felt the strongest impression that it wasn't time for teaching (I had two small kids at the time). It broke my heart. Completely. I have dreamed of being a high school teacher all my life, and I knew it was a good desire - but the desire to be a righteous mother should have been stronger, and it wasn't. I still struggle with wanting to go back and teach, and staying home. It's hard, because I know that I could be a great teacher, and I could bless the lives of my students, but the lives of my children are more important right now.

Thanks for this thought-provoking post!

Rozy Lass said...

I have struggled with the "I want to be famous" feeling too. I've come to the partial conclusion that it is because I want approval, a feeling of worth, that my life matters. That desire is being satisfied as my children reach adulthood and make righteous choices. It is truly a lesson in patience and enduring to the end. My most ardent desire is to be greeted, after I pass to the other side, with the words "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Thank you for sharing your insights.

Michaela Stephens said...

Oh Becca, I feel for you. I am impressed by your ability to make the difficult decision that you did. I'm also impressed with how you are "staying the course," even when you still struggle. Sometimes the day-to-day decisions to keep on are just as heroic as the big decisions to do what's right.

Rozy Lass, I hear ya about the desire for approval. We all want to have a feeling of worth, and feel like our life matters. And I can understand why you might be getting it from the righteous decisions of your kids. But what if your kids decided to make bad decisions? Would that make you worth less then a women whose kids were making good decisions? No.

Ramona Gordy said...

I have always wanted to "be in charge". It sounds juvinile, but I have always wanted to be a person with some type of authority, a mover and a shaker so to speak. Not so much the "boss", but the one with the "keys". Does that make since. So I have had many positions of authority in my "job" life, and I don't feel that I did the best job I could, only because of my own "lack" of knowledge. So even now, I want to "do" something that people will know that I did it. But on the other hand, when my heart expresses this desire, I am led to learn more about being humble, my circumstances sometimes lead me to be the "assistant", which seems to be a permanant title for me. But even now I realize that I can effect so much more if I can work with others. Not esteeming myself before others. This is a "soul cleanse".The lesson for me is to abound in any situation or title I find my self. Thank you.

Chris said...

Excellent post! I truly believe that as we follow what the Lord wants us to do (through obeying commandments, acting upon promptings received ) will allow us to be changed such that what we want most is to be the same type of being that the Lord is. That is what he wants, for us to want to be like him. When we want this, then we will allow him to further refine us into celstial material.

Michaela Stephens said...

RGG, I identify with your desire to be "in charge" as well. The funny thing is, I've found that in situations where I actually become the one in charge, I find myself immediately wanting to relinquish the responsibility.. Crazy, huh?

Yes, Chris, being changed is the name of the game. But sometimes we need a little extra help with having our desires changed. Thankfully we can pray about that too.