For the past few weeks, it seems like just about every lesson, every fireside, every scripture study has somehow led me to reflect on consecration. It's not a subject I think about too often, but it has been on my mind a lot lately and I don't think it's just by chance. Earlier I was reading a talk by Elder D. Todd Christofferson from the last General Conference that gave me a lot of new insight about this topic. Whenever I hear the word consecration, I automatically think about the law of consecration that some of the early members of the church practiced. For a short time, while Joseph Smith was the prophet, the law of consecration was revealed and put in place for the members of the church. They were asked to give all their possessions and property to the church, which would then be distributed back to the people according to their specific needs. This is just amazing to me! These were new members of the church that had already been asked to sacrifice so much. They had so much faith in the Lord and faith in Joseph Smith, their prophet, that they were willing to consecrate everything they had in order to build the kingdom. Other than consecrating earthly possessions and property, the early Saints were also asked to give of their time and talents.
Today we are not asked to live the law of consecration in its fullness, but we are asked to pay generous tithes and fast offerings and dedicate our lives to the Lord. Elder Christofferson says, "To consecrate is to set apart or dedicate something as sacred, devoted to holy purposes. True success in this life comes in consecrating our lives - that is, our time and choices - to God's purposes". Consecration is what runs this church. Countless men and women across the world consecrate their time and talents in order to fulfill the callings that allow this church to function. As members of the church we know that everything we have here on earth ultimately comes from God. We have been given much, so much is required.
"We tend to think of consecration only as yielding up, when divinely directed, our material possessions. But ultimate consecration is the yielding up of oneself to God. Heart, soul, and mind were the encompassing words of Christ in describing the first commandment, which is constantly, not periodically, operative (see Matt. 22:37). If kept, then our performances will, in turn, be fully consecrated for the lasting welfare of our souls (see 2 Ne. 32:9)" -Neal A. Maxwell
I've been thinking a lot about what I can do to more fully consecrate my life to the Lord and through lots of prayer and studying I have received some very specific answers. I know that one of the most important things we can do is to give him our hearts. If we have pure desires to serve Him and build His kingdom we qualify ourselves to be instruments in His hands. He will give us opportunities to serve. I know that consecrating our lives to the Lord will not only help us, but also those around us.