What is your soul composed of? That’s a lifetime of searching kind of question, but here’s a one-sentence sum-up of my scratch-the-surface thoughts. A soul is a collection of desires, burdens, choices, successes, failures, sorrows, and joys—an intriguing subject indeed!
Now in that context, consider this scripture from the Book of Mormon, “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. Does that mean that Christ wants us to give Him our desires, burdens, choices, successes, failures, sorrows, and joys? Well, I think so! Now we could elaborate on what that means for each of those topics individually, but for now let’s just focus on the desires part. What does it mean to offer your desires to God?
Lately I have been grappling with an unresolved desire. Let’s say that my desire was to build a tree house. Ohhhh I wanted that tree house so bad. I envisioned the fulfillment I could find through the tree house—I saw myself tucked in its cozy corner reading, I pictured sunny days spent imagining divine possibilities from my oasis of happiness, I wanted lazy Saturday naps floating above the world, I even envisioned seeking shelter under its protected roof during the storms. And don’t think that I just wanted my tree house prefabricated and delivered to me on a big tree platter—no no, I was ready, hammer and nail, to build that bad boy myself! Investing in the building of the tree house is part of what would bring me so much joy! And yet, my tree house dreams were awakened by an abrupt change of events…let’s just say, I didn’t have a tree or a single sheet of wood. For whatever reason, it wasn’t my time to build the tree house. But my tree house desire didn’t just evaporate. Nope, it was just as big as the grand oak I would have built it in. And that was hard.
My held-out hope for my tree house was interfering with my ability to build other houses, but I was scared to let that desire go. I didn’t want to release it to an empty void to be absorbed by a dark, hazy cloud of unfulfilled wishes—my tree house was too special for that! In the middle of this internal struggle, I read that verse in Omni and realized that God was talking to me. He told me that I could deliver that desire to Him, to offer it up to Him as a sacrifice, and He would take good care of it for me. He told me that I couldn’t keep holding on to it, because it was keeping me from progressing, but He would hold on to it for me.
If one day I need it back, if I am blessed with the right kind of wood, and a tree in solid ground, He’ll give it back to me. But for right now, I need to learn what desires He wants me to have. And if I am willing to make that sacrifice, He can take me places greater than anything I’ve ever dreamed of…we’re talking celestial tree houses!
So how do we do that? How do we cross the threshold from lovely ideas to real practices? Goodness knows I don’t have all the answers, but here’s what I’ve done. Every time the tree house desire creeps back into my mind and heart, I visualize myself packaging it into a box, addressing it to God, and mailing it off. It is my way of letting go of my plan and embracing God’s higher ways. I consider it my express delivery to Heaven.