Omni 1:26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.
I wish I could describe how hard this verse hit me this week. It lined up with everything the Spirit has been teaching me over the course of a few weeks.
It’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster lately (as I’m sure many of you are experiencing with me), and I’ve offered my whole soul to Him a couple different times in a couple different ways. It has surprised me how many different kinds of ways you can offer your soul. Let’s talk about a couple different kinds of ways.
1) I told Him to find someone else. I have felt an influx of promptings lately with some things that I’m trying to accomplish in my life. I have felt an immense weight of responsibility. This past Thursday, I decided that I was going to set everything aside and take a nap. It would take me twenty minutes tops to finish folding my laundry, and my kids usually sleep for about half an hour. I was so pumped for this nap. I finished folding my laundry, sent Evelyn back to bed 3 or 4 times, and then I put on some comfy clothes, pulled the blanket over me, and Warner started screaming. It sounds so silly and small, but my mom-heart sank and broke as it hit the bottom. And then I felt angry and bitter. I don’t feel like I’ve had five minutes to myself in five months. I tried saying a prayer the other day, and I was interrupted four times. It wasn’t even that long of a prayer!
I let him cry for longer than I normally do, and the more I heard him cry, the angrier I got. I told Heavenly Father that He picked the wrong person for these errands He was trying to send me on. I’ve heard that doctrine that if someone doesn’t step up, God will choose someone else to take on the responsibility.
I told Him to send someone else; I didn’t want to do it anymore.
The story ends with a text from someone that changed things immediately. It was a screenshot of a small victory for me. I felt immediately elated and simultaneously guilty. I didn’t deserve that victory especially after I had just thrown a tantrum at God.
Maybe this isn’t what Omni had in mind when he wrote this verse, but I gave Heavenly Father my soul that day. It wasn’t pretty. It was very angry and overwhelmed, but I gave it all to Him. The fascinating part is after I gave Him everything, as unceremonial and irreverent as it was, He saved me just like the verse promised.
2) I asked for help. I really can’t tell you if it’s cabin fever, hormones, potty training, a general feeling of being overwhelmed, or a mix of all, but I have been very on edge lately. I find myself becoming increasingly more impatient with Conner and the kids. Everything I was saying to Evelyn was angry (which, of course, just led her to misbehave more). I was in the middle of cleaning up some mess when Conner asked me to come upstairs for something he needed right that moment. I wish I could explain the wave of frustration that washed over me in that moment. I started for the stairs and paused at the bottom, and I told Heavenly Father that I was about to head upstairs and be incredibly impatient with Conner unless He intervened. I told Him that I didn’t have anything left to give, and I needed Him to step in and give me some extra strength and meekness because I was running completely on dry. There isn’t much to say other than He intervened. My entire day changed from that moment on. I found myself laughing at situations that would have put me to tears with my previous attitude, and I found myself letting go of things that I thought were so important in order to tickle my kids and make them laugh. It was refreshing.
3) I accepted that my heart was less than perfect but still gave it to him. Yesterday, I posted my first YouTube video. It was a mix of a talk and gospel doctrine lesson. I even posted it on my personal Facebook page. It was unnerving. I was afraid people would think I was dumb or trying to get attention. I was afraid it wouldn’t be successful. I started to pray for my morning scripture study and felt sorely tempted to pray that it would be a hit, but it didn’t feel right. Instead, I started to look at my own desires. I was afraid that I wouldn’t look good, and isn’t that the essence of priestcraft? Priestcraft is more than just trying to make money off religion; it’s setting yourself up as the light instead of pointing to God. I was more concerned with the opinions of others than I was with hoping that my lesson would reach just one person who needed it. And though I still felt strong desires to not look dumb, I asked for more appropriate things. I also asked for a change of heart.
Some of these things may not seem like traditional ways of offering our souls to the Lord, but let’s look closer.
The first and second examples are rather similar in how I offered up my soul. Have you ever heard the phrase, “bare your soul”? When you go to a friend and bare your soul, you are often sharing everything with them. This often includes the ugly along with the good. Though it wasn’t pretty, He got a big look at my soul that day.
The third example is just a little different. My heart was imperfect, and my desires were less than worthy. However, I gave them to Him. When we think of “offering up our souls” to God, I think we often assume it means to give our very best to God. Roll up our sleeves, pick some weeds, take out some trash, make dinner for someone. But I don’t think that’s always what it means. Sometimes it means giving Him our uglier desires so that He can change them. We don’t really have anything to give Him other than imperfection and desires. We often try to make ourselves noble and selfless, but it really is Him that changes our hearts. When we offer our broken pieces, He can (over time) change us. He can’t do that if we don’t “offer our souls” to Him. He won’t change us against our will.
So offer up your soul to Him, all of it, not just the parts that you want Him to see. He wants the bad parts too so that He can change them.