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How to Wait on the Lord

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The purpose of our life on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through our own experiences. How do we do this? The scriptures give us an answer in one simple phrase: we “wait upon the Lord” (Psalm 37:9; 123:2; Isaiah 8:17; 40:31; 2 Nephi 18:17).

What does it mean to wait upon the Lord? In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust. To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end.

To wait upon the Lord means planting the seed of faith and nourishing it “with great diligence, and … patience” (Alma 32:41).

It means praying as the Savior did—to God, our Heavenly Father—saying: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2). It is a prayer we offer with our whole souls in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Waiting upon the Lord means pondering in our hearts and “receiv[ing] the Holy Ghost” so that we can know “all things what [we] should do” (2 Nephi 32:5).

As we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we discover that “tribulation worketh patience” (Romans 5:3) and we learn to “continue in patience until [we] are perfected” (D&C 67:13).

Waiting upon the Lord means to “stand fast” (Alma 45:17) and “press forward” in faith, “having a perfect brightness of hope” (2 Nephi 31:20).

It means “relying alone upon the merits of Christ” (Moroni 6:4) and “with [His] grace assisting [us, saying]: Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours” (D&C 109:44).

As we wait upon the Lord, we are “immovable in keeping the commandments” (Alma 1:25), knowing that we will “one day rest from all [our] afflictions” (Alma 34:41).

And we “cast not away … [our] confidence” (Hebrews 10:35) that “all things wherewith [we] have been afflicted shall work together for [our] good” (D&C 98:3).

May we wait upon Him by pressing forward in faith, that we may say in our prayers, “Thy will be done” (Matthew 26:42) and return to Him with honor.

This article originally appeared in the June 2015 New Era.

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