How do you build a close personal relationship with God? May 20, 2018 Sunday Studies

In the scriptures, the pinnacle of our personal relationship with God might be called “favor.” Nephi had it:

1 Nephi 1:1

“having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days.”

Samuel had it. 1 Samuel 2:26

“And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men.”

And Rachel had it. Genesis 29:17

“Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.”

But how do we get it? How do we find that place where we are experiencing the close personal relationship with God and seeing His favor in our lives? There are definitely some roadblocks. We have all experienced the feeling of coming up a little bit short of what we hoped in ourselves and what we know God would want us to do.

Paul experienced that same feeling. Romans 3:23:

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Nephi absolutely felt that feeling of coming up a bit short. 1 Nephi 4:17:

“My heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.”

So if we feel we have not quite lived up to our full potential, at least we are in good company! But we want to be in God’s company! We want that unimaginable experience Alma described in Alma 5:16

“Can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed…?”

Oh, we all want that! And don’t worry, coming up short isn’t the end of the story! It wasn’t God’s plan for us to come here, come up short, and fail. He has a perfect plan for our shortcomings.

Elder Uchtdorf taught it so well when he said, “It can be discouraging at times to know what it means to be a son of God and yet come up short. The adversary likes to take advantage of these feelings. Satan would rather that you define yourself by your sins instead of your divine potential. I do not believe in a God who would set up rules and commandments only to wait for us to fail so He could punish us. (Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Four Titles”, April 2013).

Next week’s study will show the path forward for all of us.

Daily scripture study:

1 Nephi 1:1

1 Samuel 2:26

Genesis 29:17

Romans 3:23

1 Nephi 4:17

Alma 5:16

Four Titles by Dieter F. Uchtdorf