“Ministering with a Submissive Heart,” Liahona, Apr. 2023.
Ministering with a Submissive Heart
Developing greater submissiveness and willingness to sacrifice will improve our ability to minister as the Savior did.
Jesus Christ: Our Example of Sacrifice and Submission
Throughout His life, Jesus Christ was willing to sacrifice convenience and comfort in order to minister to others. Nowhere was this more evident than in the Garden of Gethsemane and during the events leading up to His sacrifice on the cross. The Savior submitted to the will of His Father. He was willing to sacrifice himself for others, including the thief beside Him, the cruel soldiers, and the people who had rejected Him (see Luke 23:34, 39–43).
Sacrifice and Submission in Ministering
Learning to yield our hearts to God is an important part of ministering because it is an essential part of becoming like Him. Not only does it help us to reach our full potential, but it makes us more capable of blessing others.
“Yielding one’s heart to God signals the last stage in our spiritual development,” taught Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “Only then are we beginning to be fully useful to God! How can we sincerely pray to be an instrument in His hands if the instrument seeks to do the instructing?”1
Are we willing to take assignments or follow promptings to serve, even when it’s inconvenient? Are we willing to submit to God’s will and sacrifice our time and talents to bless others who need us, even if they have wronged us in the past? If we will respond as the Savior did, with sacrifice and submission, nothing we are asked to do will be impossible (see Mark 14:36; John 19:30).
Developing a Submissive Heart
As we come to know the Savior, we will know better what we should do to minister in His place. How can we develop the Christlike attribute of submission?
We can remember all that God has done for us. And we can remember that because God has given us all that we have, submitting our will to His is the only thing that is truly ours to give Him.2
We can fast and pray for a submissive heart (see Alma 13:28; Helaman 3:35).
As we feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we can commit to yield to and follow them more consistently (see Mosiah 3:19).
We can honestly examine our lives and accept the Spirit’s correction. Consider the following questions from President Russell M. Nelson:
“Are you willing to let God be the most important influence in your life?”
“Will you allow His voice to take priority over any other?”
“Are you willing to let whatever He needs you to do take precedence over every other ambition?”
“Are you willing to have your will swallowed up in His?”3
Commit and make plans to remove anything in your life that has taken precedence over God’s will. When we sacrifice for Him, we are blessed.4