The other day I read a speech given by David A. Bednar at BYU almost 20 years ago and I've been thinking of it ever since.
Most of us who are Christians understand that Christ died for us, that through His atonement we can be saved.
What we don't often understand, though, is that Christ also desires to LIVE in us.
What does that mean?
Elder Bednar refers to Christ "living" in us as the enabling power of the atonement.
He explains it beautifully below:
"Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints—for good men and women who are obedient and worthy and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully...I wonder if we mistakenly believe we must make the journey from good to better and become a saint all by ourselves through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline, and with our obviously limited capacities."
All great things.
But not enough.
We don't have to do it alone.
But how do we rely on Him?
How do we call on that enabling power?
One way we can do it is by asking for help through prayer.
The next time you pray,
instead of pleading with God to change your circumstances,
plead with Him to change YOU.
Soften YOUR heart.
I learned this lesson when I was pregnant with my fourth child.
I get terrible "morning" sickness when I'm pregnant.
It lasts all day and through the majority of my pregnancy.
I pleaded with Heavenly Father to give me a break with my last baby.
"I can't do it. Take this burden from me."
But the morning sickness persisted.
So instead of asking Him to change my circumstances,
I changed my prayers.
"Help me bear this burden."
And He did.
The sickness persisted, but I was given strength to endure it.
Strength to take care of my older children.
Strength even to help others at times.
He blessed me with His enabling power.
"Individual willpower, personal determination and motivation, and effective planning and goal setting are necessary but ultimately insufficient to triumphantly complete this mortal journey. Truly we must come to rely upon “the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah” (2 Nephi 2:8)."--Elder Bednar
Instead of praying for your circumstances to change--
for your baby to sleep through the night,
or your husband to get a raise,
or that your children will stop fighting,
---pray to have the strength to bear your burdens.
Pray for God to change YOU.
Call on that enabling power.
He doesn't just want to help make "bad men good"---He sacrificed to make "good men better."
He will enable you with His power.
Full speech found here.