I have a huge fascination with words. I love how they sound, how they make you feel. I love that you can rearrange them to have profound meanings. I love that we can use them to communicate thoughts and feelings and emotions. When I am reading, there are words and phrases and sentences that I absolutely fall in love with because they are filled with so much power.
Seek is one of those words. I love the word seek. It seems like the best word of its kind. Compare it to look or search, for example. Of those three words, look, search, and seek, seeking to me seems to require the most effort.
I’ll put it into an analogy. Say that you’ve lost your keys and you are sure that they are somewhere in your room. So you go to look for them. To simply look for them seems so half-hearted. It’s scanning your room to see if your keys magically appear on top of your bed. To search for your keys is more average, like picking up a few things with your fingertips and taking a quick peek underneath to see if you can see them. But to seek…it requires effort. It’s like taking off all of the covers to look for the keys; it’s getting on your hands and knees to look under your bed; it’s diving into all of your drawers to find your keys safely tucked away in your pants pocket.
That’s why I love that we are asked to seek the Lord. It makes me want to put effort into finding Him everyday in my life. It’s taking off all of the sins that cover me from the Lord. It’s getting on my knees to offer a humble prayer. It’s diving into the scriptures, His words, to find His answers safely tucked away in the verses.
I love the song called "Seek the Lord Early." I’ll seek the Lord early while in my youth, and He will help me to know the truth. I’ll search the scriptures and find Him there, then go to our Father in fervent prayer. I’ll seek the Lord early and I’ll obey His living prophets in all they say. I’ll keep His commandments; His love will abound. I will seek the Lord early and He will be found. There are three things this song tells us to do to seek the Lord: keep the commandments and obey the prophets, pray fervently, and search and ponder the scriptures.
First, keep the commandments and obey the prophets. The Lord has given us commandments to keep for at least three reasons: to protect us from Satan’s grasp, to guide us on our journeys, and to show Heavenly Father that we love Him. The Lord has also given us a living prophet to follow; if we obey him, it will be easy to find the Lord and hear His voice because in Amos 3:7, we learn that Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
This means that Heavenly Father speaks to Thomas S. Monson! Isn’t that amazing? And we get a chance to hear from Thomas S. Monson at least twice a year, more if we read the Ensign. We can find the Lord by listening to and obeying the prophet because he is God’s mouthpiece. He receives inspiration for the entire world and speaks accordingly. All we have to do is hear those words that are meant for us and follow them, and we will find the Lord’s directions that are specifically meant for us.
Second is prayer, but not just any prayer will do. We have to offer our prayers fervently. Fervent is another one of those words that I absolutely love. According to Dictionary.com, fervent means “having or showing great warmth or intensity of spirit, feeling, or enthusiasm.” What if every prayer we offered was fervent? Our prayers would be so much more meaningful. And what if we prayed all the time? In Doctrine and Covenants 10:5 it says Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work. This scripture has another phrase that I love: that ye may conquer Satan. That is just such a wonderful thought! To never have to suffer another terrible thought about myself or someone else, to not be tempted to do something terrible, to be free to do good always without any hint of hesitation.
So what if we always pray fervently? I think that the Lord would more easily be found because we will have conquered Satan, and he will have no power to tempt us into doing something terrible. We would be protected and feel good and happy all the time. That, I think, would be pretty close to a perfect life.
The third we can do to seek the Lord is ponder and study the scriptures. Pondering is yet another one of those words I love. It’s more than thinking. It’s dedicating all of your thoughts towards a specific thing, not letting the thoughts be fleeting, but making them concrete and sure. Pondering the scriptures means that we are filling all of our thoughts with their beautiful words, contemplating their intricate meanings, and applying them to our daily lives.
Scripture study is so important because we learn in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect throughly furnished unto all good works. The scriptures are the Lord’s words to us, the things He wants to tell us. When we study them and ponder them, we can hear His voice and know what He wants us to do. If we open our ears and our hearts and listen, He will give us direction and guidance. He will strengthen us and help us along our way.
In the song that I quoted earlier, one of my favorite lines is He will help me to know the truth. God will send His Holy Spirit to testify of true things to us. Moroni 10:5 promises By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
I know that when we obey the prophet, keep the commandments, pray fervently, and ponder and study the scriptures, the Lord will give us direction. He is always near us. We just need to diligently seek Him, so that when we find Him, He can guide and shape our lives so that we can become the great men and women He meant us to become.
I challenge YOU to seek God and His direction. I promise that He is closer than you think, waiting for you to find Him, and He will always be there for you.