DESIRE – A strong feeling of wanting to have something that inspires actions to be taken to obtain the goal
After hearing his father Lehi’s wonderful vision (1 Nephi 8) and his other prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah and the future of the House of Israel and the Gentiles (as summarized in chapter 10), Nephi “was desirous also that [he] might see, and hear, and know of these things.” Nephi’s desire for this was so strong that he was caught up by the Spirit of the Lord and was shown all of this and more (as recorded in chapters 11-14).
How strong is our desire for the things of God?
- Do we have a desire to know as much as we can about God, studying the scriptures to increase our knowledge? Or are we satisfied with just knowing the basics (reserving our expertise for subjects not related to God)?
- Do we have a desire to have spiritual experiences and manifestations of spiritual gifts? Are we willing to fast and pray for these things? Or have we concluded that these are just for other people (or even unnecessary)?
- Do we have a desire to be in church and with the brothers and sisters as often as possible? Most people have this desire when they are first baptized — has the desire waned? Has attending church become more of a duty or obligation rather than something we really desire?
- Do we have a desire to live righteously, leading a life that is pleasing to God? Are we willing to put aside things that lead away from God? Or do we try to determine how much we can “get away with” and still inherit eternal life?
- Do we have a desire to see others come to Christ? Are we willing to share our testimony? Are we willing to financially support the missionary work of the Church? Or are we satisfied just saving our own souls?
I’m sure most of us want all of the things on the above list (knowledge, experiences, fellowship, righteousness, outreach). The question is — Are we willing to take the actions necessary to obtain them? This is the difference between “want” and “desire.”
It is very difficult to get people to do things they don’t really want to do. We can remind people, pester them, make rules, and invent penalties but if the desire isn’t there, the actions will not follow.
So, when it comes to the things of God let’s measure our desire by whether we are willing to take the associated actions. If the actions are lacking, then let’s pray for God to increase our desire, and the actions will follow.
Jesus took the necessary action to purchase our salvation, fulfilling the desire of God. Hopefully, each of us can take the actions that allow us to accurately say, “It’s my desire to live for Jesus.”
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.