As Saul of Tarsus journeyed on the road to Damascus to threaten and persecute the followers of Christ he had an overwhelming experience that changed his life forever.
A light from heaven overshadowed him and as he fell to the earth he heard a voice saying ". . . Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?"And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. . . .
"And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? . . ." (Acts 9:4-6.)
None of us has experienced the dramatic events that changed the life of Saul the persecutor to Paul the devout apostle, but each of us periodically needs to ask the same important question: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"
There will be individual, personal answers for each of us, but for all there are some answers that need to be on-going in our lives as we struggle toward full accomplishment of our earthly missions.
The first is that each of us be an advocate for Christ.
In the beautiful prayer in the 17th chapter of the Gospel of John, the Savior prayed for His disciples, and then prayed ". . . for them also which shall believe on me through their word; . . . that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." (John 17:20-21.)
This is one of the most precise statements in all scripture of our duty and responsibility. We must live and teach the gospel of Christ in such a way that others will believe through us that Christ is the Son of God, and there is no salvation or exaltation without Him.
We must exemplify the Savior in all we do. There should be no jarrings or disputations in our relationships with others. We should be filled with the spirit of brotherly kindness as we carry out our duties. We must look to the needs of others, and build the pure love of Christ into all with whom we work. Others need to be able to look at our lives and find Christ. For that to happen, we need in our lives the qualities given in the 4th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants:
". . . faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God . . . virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence." (D&C 4:5-6.)
Secondly, we must be anxiously engaged in spiritual matters.
As recorded in I Kings, Elijah the Prophet had confounded the priests of Baal by calling down fire from heaven on his sacrifice when the wicked priests had been unable to do so. Because he had conquered the idolatrous priests, their leaders, Queen Jezebel and King Ahab, hunted and pursued Elijah who ultimately hid himself in a cave.
The word of the Lord came to him, and said unto him, "What doest thou here, Elijah?"
Elijah replied that he had been "very jealous for the Lord" because the children of Israel had forsaken the covenant, thrown down the altars and slain the prophets, and "I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."
The Lord told Elijah to stand upon a mount, and a great wind rent the mountains which broke into pieces. But the Lord was not in the wind. This was followed by an earthquake and then a fire, but the Lord was in neither. Following the fire came a still small voice.
Hearing this, Elijah came out of the cave, and heard again the inquiry, "What doest thou here, Elijah?" (See I Kings 19:9-13.)
The message we must learn is that even though we may face difficult circumstances and our challenges seem great, even if we feel tired or pressured, we can't go to literal or figurative caves and hide ourselves. We must face our tasks and meet our challenges.
Through patience, persistence, and spiritual struggle we must rise above the barriers the world throws against us. If you have a calling, do it! Then the Lord won't need to search you out in a figurative cave of a social event when you should have been at a required meeting, or at a sports event when you should have been doing your home teaching.
When we are in the right places at the right times doing the right things the Spirit will not have to prod us by asking "What doest thou here?" We don't need winds, earthquakes or fires to jar us into performing our duties. We need to respond to the still small voice that patiently and daily reminds us of what we ought to be doing.
Pause even now as you read this and ask yourself what you should be doing, when it should be done, and if you are hiding from duty behind something less important. Then, as President Spencer W. Kimball so often said: