Things to Act and Things to Be Acted Upon

Reading: 2 Nephi 2:14; “Seek Learning By Faith,” David A. Bednar, Liahona, Sep 2007

When God created the earth he made some things passive and some things active.  In 2 Nephi 2:14 it states:

And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon (emphasis added).

What this means is that some things, like rocks or water, don’t do anything of themselves but rather have things done to them, or they are “acted upon.”  Other things, like us human beings, “act” or are able to choose and do things for ourselves.

When I first read this I remembered hearing about this principle in college from then-college-president now-apostle Elder Bednar.  However, as I searched for the particular devotional or talk he gave about this topic I discovered it was never a main topic, but rather a recurring theme throughout many of his discussions.  The idea that it is up to us to actively choose good or evil was a basis for many of Elder Bednar’s discussions on issues of obedience and self-improvement.

Sometimes in my life I am tempted to sit and wait for things to happen to me, whether it is greater spirituality or more temporal things like changes in our community.  However, God has given me the ability to act, so I should use that ability as much as possible to go out and seek for the things I want and need as much as I reasonably can. In my life when I have tried to act more than be acted upon I have been much happier and grown much more quickly than when I passively wait for growth.

Yesterday I started to make a plan for a food storage, since we now have the means and the space to start building one.  As I started working on it I got excited as I realized it could be much, much easier than I had originally thought.  However, I ran out of time before I could get really get my plan going.  So, rather than wait until I have time again, this afternoon I am going to rearrange my schedule a little bit and make time to finish (or at least mostly finish) my food storage plan.

Are there areas in your life where you’re waiting for change, where you could possibly be doing something more to bring about that change?


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