Below is an excerpt from Randall J. Brown’s book, Experiencing Christ: Your Personal Journey to the Savior (pp. 52-54). Experiencing Christ was published in 2009 by Cedar Fort, Inc. In this excerpt Brown shares why it is necessary to give our whole selves to Jesus Christ by completely forsaking the natural man. I hope his words speak to you the same way that they spoke to me–with great power. Brown belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently called the “Mormon Church”), and is a devoted follower and disciple of Jesus Christ.
Omni [a prophet in the Book of Mormon] testified we should come unto Christ and partake of His salvation, but in so doing we must offer up our whole souls as an offering to Him. The Lord, in turn, promises that by doing so, we will be saved. Omni said, “I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved” (Omni 1:26).
The Lord does not want only a part of our hearts and souls. He wants all of us:
Christ says, Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. . . . Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires, which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. Quoted in“Jesus the Christ,” Robert L. Backman, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 8).
Our purpose is to find out what the Lord’s will is for our lives and to seek His power to carry it out. President David O. McKay quoted Beverly Nichols in saying, “You can change human nature, your own, if you surrender it to Christ” (Beverly Nichols, quoted in Stepping Stones to an Abundant Life, David O. McKay, 23).
Neal A. Maxwell said:
There can be no conditions attached to unconditional surrender to God. Unconditional surrender means we cannot keep our obsessions, possessions, or cheering constituencies. Even our customized security blankets must go… . Anyone, for example, who prepares to sit down at the culminating banquet with Jesus, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, certainly would not bring along his own beef jerky (Neal A. Maxwell, Not My Will, But Thine, 92).
This offering of our whole selves to Christ is perhaps the highest form of worship. There is no other way.
I love this teaching of fully submitting ourselves to Jesus Christ. I witness through experience that a tangible feeling of power enters our lives as we surrender to Christ–and vice versa, a tangible power leaves as we disobey God and His laws. Through Jesus Christ we can be made pure and perfect, but we have to be willing to forsake the things of the world. We must follow the admonition of Christ to be in the world but not of the world (see John 15:19). A Mormon apostle shared prophetic counsel with how to do this:
Separating evil from our lives has become even more essential since our homes are wired to bring much of what the Lord has condemned into our own living rooms if we are not vigilant. One of the most difficult challenges in our lives is to be in the world but not of the world (see John 15:19). Gospel doctrine makes it clear that we must live in this world to achieve our eternal destination. We must be tried and tested and found worthy of a greater kingdom (see 2 Nephi 2:11; Doctrine and Covenants 101:78). We must do as Abraham did when he pitched his tent and built “an altar unto the Lord” (Genesis 13:18) and not do as Lot did when he “pitched his tent toward Sodom” (Genesis 13:12) (Quentin L. Cook, “Being in the World but not of the World,” Ensign, Jan. 2011).
I know these words are true will all of my heart! Let us, like Abraham, point ourselves towards God in our thoughts and actions. I invite you to seek Jesus with every ounce of energy that you can muster—the dividends you will earn from this investment will be far greater than anything you could ever imagine. Meet with Mormon missionaries—they can help you in this journey.
Ashley Bell is a 22-year old wife, mother, BYU graduate, and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ashley loves to run, cook, garden, read, and most of all spend time with family and friends.