Thursday, November 3, 2011

Entitlement (a slightly different take)

I've had a few conversations about entitlement as of late (how do we prevent it in our kids, how do we prevent it in ourselves!), so when I was reading my patriarchal blessing the word kinda lept out at me. 

In effect it said that being of the house of Israel and the tribe of Ephraim I was entitled to all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

I was intrigued by the wording. 

So off to "entitlement". This quote was the first to come up:

“Now I say that we are entitled to revelation. I say that every member of the Church, independent and irrespective of any position that he may hold, is entitled to get revelation from the Holy Ghost 
he is entitled to entertain angels; 
he is entitled to view the visions of eternity; 
and if we would like to go the full measure, he is entitled to see God the same way that any prophet in literal and actual reality has seen the face of Deity”
(Bruce R. McConkie, How to Get Personal Revelation, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Provo, 11 Oct. 1966], p. 4).

So my next thought was do we? 
Do we believe in the help of heaven? To we call down the blessings through our faith and our obedience?  Or do we "entitle" ourselves to lesser things, listening to the world instead of the revelation we have been promised. 

Sister Beck has warned 
A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence.
But there is another voice, also informing us of greater things we actually are entitled to.

I loved Pres. Uchtdorf's talk where he gave the parable of a man on a cruise. The man had saved his whole life to go, but didn't realize until the last day that all the food and entertainment was included in the price of his ticket.
"Too late the man realized that he had been living far beneath his privileges.The question this parable raises is, Are we as priesthood holders  living below our privileges when it comes to the sacred power, gifts, and blessings that are our opportunity and right as bearers of God’s priesthood?" 
 Living below our privileges is so tragic, and yet I know, I do it all the time.

President Brigham Young said, “There is no doubt, if a person lives according to the revelations given to God’s people, he may have the Spirit of the Lord to signify to him his will, and to guide and to direct him in the discharge of his duties, in his temporal as well as his spiritual exercises. I am satisfied, however, that in this respect, 
 we live far beneath our privileges. 
(Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. and arr. by John A. Widtsoe, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1973, p. 32; emphasis added.) 
Uchtdorf goes on to speak of privileges revelation and service. 

I think that is the key, we are entitled to heaven's help, when we are doing heaven's work, in heaven's way, under heaven's direction.

I like this clarification from the bible dictionary under "prayer" 

"We pray in Christ’s name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ—when his words abide in us (John 15:7). We then ask for things it is possible for God to grant. Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ’s name at all; they in no way represent his mind, but spring out of the selfishness of man’s heart.
Selfishness can lead to entitlement. But so can righteousness. 
The difference is who's will we are trying to accomplish, ours or the Fathers? 

If it's our own, entitlement will lead to feelings of frustration, anger, resentment and a feeling of being owed everything, with no willingness to work or sacrifice (Natural man/Satan mentality)

But if we are seeking the Lord's will and His glory and recognize the great blessings we have been entitled to through the Lord's mercy, grace and power, we will be filled with profound gratitude and reverence for the privilege it is to participate in His work, to receive His word, and bless His children.

Pres Monson has repeatedly offered this counsel
Remember that this is the Lord’s work, and when we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. (Courage to serve)

I need to be sure I am really going after the Lord's work; 
what He would have me do, because if I am then I can know help will be there. God and His angels will be there with me, as He has said D& C 84:88

there I will be also, for I will gobbefore your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my cSpirit shall be in your hearts, and mine dangels round about you, to bear you up.

And Heaven knows there are days I need those angels!