If we fail at becoming successful in the things of this world, does that make us failures in the eyes of God?
The world demands a lot from us to reach success. It demands things that we sometimes do not have control over. It Puts us in situations where if we don’t produce certain out comes we are looked down on in society. Even if we sacrificed all we had to achieve a specific goal or outcome, and did not attain it, we are turned away and given the title of, “failure.”
But God has a different prospective that can bring us a lot of peace. From the early history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there was a faithful member whose name was Oliver Granger. Granger was a very successful business man, who was called to help the church.
“He was called on a mission in July 1838, soon after the Church leaders had fled Kirtland for Missouri, leaving behind unsettled debts and much property, including the temple. In section 117 the Lord called Oliver Granger to return to Kirtland as “a merchant unto my name” (verse 14) to “contend earnestly for the redemption of the First Presidency of my Church”-adding, “And when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase” (verse 13; emphasis added). There is a powerful gospel lesson here about the Lord’s bottom line-for his merchant and for us all.” said John S. Tanner in the talk titled on sacrifice and Success.
In this verse the phrase that is emphasized is “for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase”, what did the Lord mean by this?
Elder Holland a Apostil of the church said “Every person, young and old, has had his own personal experience with falling. Falling is what we mortals do. But as long as we are willing to rise up again and continue on the path toward the spiritual goals God has given us, we can learn something from failure and become better and happier as a result. … Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward.”
“So while I hope you succeed in your righteous desires, I also hope you won’t measure yourself exclusively by your successes and failures. God’s words to Oliver Granger remind us that we are more than our résumés, GPAs, salaries, and scholarships. What endears us to heaven is our sincere sacrifice; our sincere efforts to love God and our neighbor are sacred. The Almighty does not require success, but he does require sacrifice,” Said Tanner.
I feel when it really comes down to it, we should measure our self by how much we have sacrificed and strived to rise up and keep going, and not on how much money we have, or good our grades are. Though those things are helpful to have in this world we need not forget what really matters.
“This doctrine is simultaneously comforting and frightening: the Lord mercifully accepts our sacrifice when we lay our all on the altar, but nothing less than our all is acceptable. For him, the widow’s mite means more than the millionaire’s munificence precisely because she gave her all (Mark 12:44). Sacrifice outweighs increase on the scales of heaven-which are the only scales that ultimately matter,” Said Tanner.
Tanner continues, “Our fundamental religious duty is to strive, not to succeed-recognizing that the outcome is in God’s hands. As T. S. Eliot says in the poem “East Coker,” “For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.”
In his talk Tanner illustrates this principle through the example of Shadrach, Meshech, and Abed-nego from the bible. He explained, these men knew that God had the ability to save them from the fiery furnace. They also trusted that there outcome was in God’s hands. As a result they were more worried about staying faithful to God, and not its results. Hence they had the courage to stand up to King Nebuchadnezzar when he commanded them to pray to false Gods.
Like Shadrach, Meshech, and Abed-nego I feel our motive should be motivated by love and righteousness than by gain and prestige.
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were spared martyrdom. But they stand in the same position before God as Abinadi, (Mosiah 11-12) who was not spared a fiery death. From an eternal perspective, the outcome is irrelevant. What is sacred is the readiness, not the result; the sacrifice, not the success,” Said Tanner
God loves all of us, and wants us to become great, he can help create our lives into something glorious and wonderful. We need to trust him and focus on the things that really matter. God does not want our money or fame, he wants our hearts. Our sacrifices and obedience are more sacred and important to God than our individual successes and achievements.
We have enough people who are successful in the things of the world. We need more people who are successful in the ways of God!
Produced by Chase Hauver
Tanner, J. (2013, April 25). On Sacrifice and Success. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nczw6xHJ0I
Will of God, Mormon Channel. (2012)<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr8xvw0cgw0>
Good Things to Come, Mormon Channel. (2010).<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nczw6xHJ0I>