If you are like me, you’ll try to control a situation so that it turns out the way you want it to. I believe we do this all the time, not always inappropriately. However, how much of this should we let go of? How much should we entrust to the Lord?
Certainly, we should do everything in our power to produce a good outcome. But after that, we reach a certain point where we should let the Lord take care of it.
This happened with the Jaredites when they were coming across the ocean. They did what they could. They built the barges. But then, they had to leave much of the rest of the trip up to the Lord. Let’s see what L. Todd Budge has to say about this:
“After the Lord worked with the brother of Jared to resolve each of his concerns, He then explained, ‘Ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare [a way for] you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come.’ Ether 2:25 emphasis added.
The Lord made it clear that ultimately the Jaredites could not make it to the promised land without Him. They were not in control, and the only way they could make it across the great deep was to put their trust in Him. These experiences and tutoring from the Lord seemed to deepen the brother of Jared’s faith and strengthen his trust in the Lord.
Notice how his prayers changed from questions and concerns to expressions of faith and trust:
‘I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man;
‘Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.’ Ether 3:4–5
It is recorded that the Jaredites then ‘got aboard of their … barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God.’ Ether 6:4 emphasis added. To commend means to entrust or to surrender. The Jaredites did not get into the barges because they knew exactly how things would work on their journey. They got aboard because they had learned to trust in the Lord’s power, goodness, and mercy, and they were therefore willing to surrender themselves and any doubts or fears they may have had to the Lord.”
Conference Report, October 2019, L. Todd Budge, “Consistent and Resilient Trust”
Another famous example of this is in 1 Nephi 3:7, which reads:
“7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”
Nephi, too, knew that once he had prepared himself as much as possible, he would be led by the Spirit. How did he prepare himself? Certainly one of the ways was to be sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit that was to guide him. He had hearkened to the commandments and counsel of the Lord up until that time. But after these preparations, he went, relying upon the hand of the Lord to guide him.
How can we, as Latter-day Saints, do our part and then rely upon the hand of the Lord? Part of it has to do with faith that the Lord will guide us. We can certainly pray for that. But what can you do to prepare for it, and then let the Lord take over? I feel like in our lives, there is a lot more room for this to happen, and that the Lord will bless us when we decide to do it. He will honor our faith in him.