How Can I Truly Align Myself with God’s Will?
April 2024

Digital Only: Young Adults

How Can I Truly Align Myself with God’s Will?

I strived to align myself with Heavenly Father through four life-changing steps.

Christ and the rich young ruler

Christ and the Rich Young Ruler, by Heinrich Hofmann

When I was young, I thought the word conversion applied only to converts. When I was a little older, I thought that conversion was simply a change of heart (see Mosiah 5:2). But now, through many devastating and wonderful experiences, I have learned that conversion is, as Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, a “result of the conscious acceptance of the will of God”1 that comes from changing “one’s beliefs, heart, and life.”2

Conversion is, therefore, the result of the choices I make while purposefully aligning myself to God’s will.

I’ve found that true conversion is “a process, not an event.”3 And it’s not an easy one. Because how do you really prioritize God’s will over your own? I’d like to share four things that have helped me.

Grow Your Faith in the Savior

I know I’m not alone in thinking, “I’m doing everything I’m supposed to, so where’s this blessing?” It was at a Relief Society retreat that I finally found an answer. The speaker asked, “Do you have faith in an outcome or faith in your Savior?”

That question awakened me. I always felt I had faith, but I realized that my faith in my Savior was somewhat limited to when things were going the way I wanted them to.

President Russell M. Nelson spoke about the storms he encountered while visiting with the Saints in the Pacific islands. He said they had “faith sufficient to stop the rain and faith to persevere when the rain did not stop.”4 I realized that God would not give me my desires just because I felt I had earned them through certain required actions. I needed faith in my Savior no matter the circumstances.

Build a Relationship with God

While I knew that God was there to help me and guide me, there was a whole list of people I’d turn to first before I would even think of turning to Him.

I realized this needed to change.

I knew how to change my relationship with God: love Him with all my heart, might, mind, and strength (see Doctrine and Covenants 59:5). But Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles helped me understand the why. He said: “The first great commandment of all eternity is to love God. … But the first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us. … That love is the foundation stone of eternity, and it should be the foundation stone of our daily life.”5

I started making God’s love the foundation of my daily life by talking to Him every day on the way to work. Though it started out awkward, it eventually grew into sharing the best parts of the day with Him, thanking Him, laughing with Him, and crying to Him. Praying changed from an obligation into something I knew would bring me closer to God.

Learn to Accept God’s Timing

Early in January 2022, I applied to work for a company in Japan. During the six months of waiting to hear back from them, I learned to trust in God’s timing. I finally got to the point where I could say to God, “If this is meant to happen, please let it happen. But if it isn’t, I will be OK. Either way, I will follow Thy lead.”

I immediately felt peace. My stress and anxiety were still there, but they felt a lot easier to handle because I knew He had a plan for me and would help me along my journey.

For those who are waiting for blessings, I promise that if you “wait on the Lord [and] be of good courage, … he shall strengthen thine heart” (Psalms 27:14). Sometimes you have to wait for a miracle. Sometimes it happens the next day. But for us to truly be converted to the will of God, we need to accept His timing and trust His wisdom.

Seek and Expect Miracles

President Nelson counseled us to seek and expect miracles6 in our lives. While waiting to hear about the job in Japan, I learned to do just that.

I stopped calling things “coincidences” and “tender mercies.” I started calling them what they really are: miracles. Our God is a god of miracles (see 2 Nephi 27:23), and we should give Him credit for all the miracles in our lives.

I have now been here in Japan for a few months, working at a job I love. I am still seeing God’s miracles in my life—big and small.

Sometimes we just need to put ourselves in the right place, the right circumstances, and the right mindset before we are ready for the blessings the Lord has for us.

Elder Cook said that “conversion to the Savior changes a natural man into a sanctified, born again, purified person.”7 I know I’m making more progress toward true conversion because my character and habits are changing. I feel more peace, patience, and love for those around me and for Heavenly Father.

And I’ve realized what conversion really means: daily and purposefully seeking to be more like Jesus Christ.