This simple, yet profound message, caught my attention for its insight beyond the obvious. We all know that “what we reap, we sow.” Yet, I wonder, as I look around me, how many people are intentionally “sowing” their lives with the harvest in mind. If a person has struggles in their marriage – can they honestly say that they have devoted their efforts to being the best partner THEY can be, before pointing a finger at their spouse? If a parent laments the lack of closeness in a relationship with a teenage child – do they first look at what they FIRST invested into that relationship as the child grew? After all, in a the home, love is spelled TIME. If in general we feel our lives are lacking in joy, happiness, healthy and meaningful relationships and/or direction – are we willing to accept that WE are solely responsible for the construct of our lives and admit that we didn’t put as much thought, discipline and sacrifice into what we constructed as we now recognize we should have?
I’m not saying challenges which threaten or even disrupt our peace don’t come along without warning or due to any fault of our own. I AM saying that we sometimes tritely accept the “Law of the Harvest” without applying it duly in our own lives. You know the old saying, people spend more time planning their vacations than they do their own lives – look around you, it is sadly true.
I should know – because in many important ways, I fell prey to that very definition. I was guilty of chasing happiness, rather than creating and nurturing it. There is something important to be said for learning how to “live after the manner of happiness,” rather than “chasing happiness” which is largely the result of self-indulgent and selfish, impatient and shallow thinking. I have, thankfully – and painfully – learned that I must structure and build (SOW) my life, and then nurture the principles of happiness within a safe and sound structure – in order to HARVEST true joy and happiness in my every day life. I have done that over the past 2yrs, and I can, with authenticity, testify that it works. I have found a level of peace, joy and happiness which, on a daily basis, I’d never truly known.
So when you think about the very next life decision you make (i.e., your next activity in which to spend your free time, will you or will you not, pray, read scriptures or attend church, who you will date, [will you live up to your divine worth and live chastely], will you go to that party or avoid “childish” things, will you act privately as you would not act publicly) These and thousands of other daily choices DO affect our lives – so the very next decision you make – ask yourself, will this contribute to or detract from the happiness I want to harvest in my life every day as I move forward?
I share these thoughts which come from the First Presidency Message found in the August 2014 issue of the Ensign, by PRESIDENT DIETER F. UCHTDORF, Second Counselor in the First Presidency:
The Apostle Paul taught about God’s harvest:
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:7–9).
In recent times, the Lord has given us additional wisdom and insight into this immutable law:
“There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
“And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (D&C 130:20–21).
What we sow, we reap.
God’s harvest is unimaginably glorious. To those who honor Him, His bountiful blessings come in “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over. … For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).
Just as earthly seeds require effort and patience, so do many of the blessings of heaven. We cannot put our religion on a shelf and expect to harvest spiritual blessings. But if we plant and nurture gospel standards in the daily life of our family, there is a high probability that our children will grow up to produce spiritual fruit of great value to them and to future generations.
God’s answers to our prayers do not always come immediately—sometimes they do not appear to come at all—but God knows what is best for His children. Assuredly, one day we will see more clearly; and on that day we will recognize the goodness and generosity of heaven.
In the meantime, our goal and great joy is to walk in the footsteps of our Master and Savior and to live good and refined lives so that the promised and precious harvest of God’s priceless blessings can be ours.
What we sow, we reap.
That is the law of heaven.
That is the law of God’s harvest.