In my previous article (See https://latterdaysaintmag.com/f-i-r-s-t-an-acronym-for-5-important-reminders/) I encouraged us all to create a simple acronym as a reminder to always put God first in our lives.
I explained how I had personally chosen the acronym F.I.R.S.T. and I suggested that many of the readers of this article could post their own acronyms in the comments below the article.
The first word of the acronym is FAITH. As President Russel M. Nelson has taught:
Every good thing in life—every potential blessing of eternal significance—begins with faith.
What shall we use as the 2nd letter in the acronym?
There are many concepts starting with the letter ‘I.’ Sometimes, just to jumpstart my brain, I use www.worddb.com to research all the words that start with a certain letter. For example, there are 3,824 words that start with the letter ‘I.’ Here are some possible candidates for our acronym:
Ideal Improve Inspire Invite Inquire Imagine Identity Illuminate Immortal Instruct Important Influence.
But just as in my first article, I decided to first ask Heavenly Father. “I want to put thee first, Father. I’m trying to come up with the second word in the acronym that starts with the letter I. What would thou recommend?”
The spirit whispered a word that had not been part of my thinking up to that point,
Instrument. Be an instrument in my hands.
In the Bible, the word ‘instrument’ is usually used in the traditional sense—instruments of war, instruments of music, instruments to be used in the temple, etc. In the Book of Mormon, the word ‘instrument’ is used 13 times in the metaphorical sense—where people become instruments in the hands of the Lord. This is how Alma the younger said it:
I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. Alma 29: 9
Yes, ‘INSTRUMENT’ would be a good word for the acronym.
Have you ever been an ‘instrument in the hands of God?’
Have you ever had a thought pop into your head to call someone? Or had a hunch to visit with someone? Or ‘bumped into’ someone who miraculously needed your advice or help at that very moment? Have you ever had a feeling that someone was in trouble, and you’d better check on them? Have you ever felt impressed to contribute to a specific charity or to a philanthropic endeavor or to the Church’s Humanitarian program? Or to a family member? Or even to a homeless person on the street?
Or maybe you have been the recipient of such a ‘divine intervention?’
One of my favorite quotes is from President Spencer W. Kimball:
“God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.”
This quote comes from a December 1974 article in the Ensign called Small Acts of Service.
In reading the full article, I was impressed with how President Kimball wrapped his quote with thoughts that illuminate what he was trying to say. Here is the more complete quote:
God does nothing by chance, but always by design as a loving father…Surely such a loving Father in heaven, who gave commandments to prevent human misery, will not forget the needs of each of his children.
William Law observed: “It is said that the very hairs of your head are all numbered; is it not to teach us that nothing, not the smallest things imaginable, happen to us by chance? But if the smallest things we can conceive of are declared to be under the divine direction, need we, or can we, be more plainly taught that the greatest things of life, such as the manner of our coming into the world, our parents, the time, and other circumstances of our birth and condition, are all according to the eternal purposes, direction, and appointment of divine Providence?” (A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, William Law, Sovereign Grace Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1971.)
God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom. The people of the Church need each other’s strength, support, and leadership in a community of believers as an enclave of disciples. In the Doctrine and Covenants we read about how important it is to “… succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.” (D&C 81:5.) So often, our acts of service consist of simple encouragement or of giving mundane help with mundane tasks, but what glorious consequences can flow from mundane acts and from small but deliberate deeds!