As we begin a new year of studying the New Testament and the ministry of the Savior, it is important to ask ourselves what it means to seek God. The Come, Follow Me manual states:
“What you find in the New Testament this year will greatly depend on what you seek.”
What do we seek? The more focused our vision and intention are, the more powerful our study will become. However, it can often feel like we are reaching into the dark. We read, we pray, and we keep the commandments, but we don’t feel like we’re finding what we hoped for. If this is something you’ve experienced, here are a few ideas on what it means to seek God and what that may look like on a daily basis.
Who Do We Seek?
Instead of asking what we seek, it may be more fruitful to ask who we seek. As we study, we can focus on the character and nature of God. One of President Nelson’s five suggestions for gaining spiritual momentum was to “learn about God and how He works.” Similarly, Elder Jonathan S. Schmitt taught:
“Jesus wants for us to know Him because His is the only name under heaven whereby we can be saved.”
The New Testament is a special treasure for seeing firsthand the example of the Savior. Elder James W. McConkie III said of reading the scriptures with his family and his missionaries as a mission president:
“Together we considered how He taught, what He taught, the ways He showed love, what He did to bless and serve, His miracles, how He responded to betrayal, what He did with difficult human emotions, His titles and names, how He listened, how He resolved conflict, the world He lived in, His parables, how He encouraged unity and kindness, His capacity to forgive and to heal, His sermons, His prayers, His atoning sacrifice, His Resurrection, His gospel.”
Make understanding and taking upon yourself the nature of Christ a focal point of your efforts to seek God this year.
How Do We Seek?
To seek God requires effort, but we can get lost in performative actions—we just go through the motions. These motions have a use! They can be a great starting point for deeper connection and consolation with God. If you want to seek God with more power, ask how you seek Him.
President Nelson taught:
“I plead with you to let God prevail in your life. Give Him a fair share of your time. As you do, notice what happens to your positive spiritual momentum.”
We should ask what it looks like for us to give God a fair share of our time and if the time we do give is well-used. Do you feel refreshed and connected? Or like you’re hurrying through to mark gospel study off your list?
Some efforts may be useful to you at different times. Don’t put yourself into a box of what your gospel study should look like. Invite the Lord to give you inspired ideas on how to seek Him in a way that will not only work for you personally but excite you. You can start this process by asking yourself what helps you feel most connected to the influence of the Spirit and building off of that.
Specific Questions to Help Us Seek
Ultimately, we can seek specific inspiration and revelation for our own lives as we study. Take some time to think about what you truly want to seek from Christ. Here are some ideas:
- A closer relationship with Christ
- Clarity to questions and doubts
- Confidence in God’s promises
- Peace amid troubled times
- Inspiration on how to best serve Him
With open hearts and increased effort, we can answer the Savior’s invitation to seek Him with more power and hope.