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There is an important scripture in the book of James. It speaks to a God who gives liberally to all men who ask Him, but then sets forth conditions upon receiving from Him liberally. The principles involved in this extraordinary promise are of great import in matters of health and happiness. The proper application of these principles determine the difference between a day well spent where one's actions, thoughts, and outcomes lend to a healthy mind, heart, body, and soul, versus a day that is wasted in confusion, a lack of productivity, and unhealthful thoughts and actions. Learning to apply these great principles rightly can lead to several days and even a lifetime well spent rather than to a lifetime wasted and spent in confusion. The underlying principles that govern the liberal receipt of blessings from God determine to a large degree if we walk forward with power, health, and strength, or if by comparison our health and strength wanes and we shrivel into irrelevant nothingness.

The scripture I speak of is James 1:5-8. It reads. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways..."

Here we are taught that God is no respecter of persons and is willing to give to each of us liberally if we but ask in faith for what it is we need -- nothing wavering. False understanding of any principle of truth leads to a stumbling block in our progression as it relates to that truth. Now for many years I have assumed that nothing wavering meant that I had to have this superman-like faith when I asked for those things I need or I will not receive them. You know, the kind of faith where you fast and pray for 40 days and 40 nights, you receive ministering angels, and you overcome every weakness and sin and so forth, just so you can get around to asking for what you need today... 

Recently I asked God what "nothing wavering" means. Is it the superman faith I imagined or were false beliefs creating a stumbling block in my being able to ask and receive liberally from the Lord? I am grateful for what has come into my mind and heart on this subject because I now know how I might ask in faith, nothing wavering for whatsoever I need. And gratefully, I have come to learn that I do not have to be superman nor fast 40 days and 40 nights just to receive liberally from Him. So what is double-mindedness?

To waver in one's purpose when going before the Lord is to be double-minded. It is the opposite of faith and does not lead to fruitful action. We are taught in the Lord's prayer a pattern for living today -- which includes learning and doing God's will today, and asking for what we need today to preserve and aid us as we do His will. As we take up the cross to do the Lord's will today, we are to first understand and determine His purposes for us today. Second, we are to ask with faith for what is needed in order that we may do His purpose for us today -- nothing wavering about what that purpose is.

When we ask anything of God, it is an expression of our agency and our purposes. God will never interfere with the agency of any man or woman -- never! He will invite, persuade, and direct aright, but will never force the human mind. Agency is protected and bound by eternal law. Through agency we can align our minds and hearts with God and come to desire to do His will in all things or to become self-willed. All intelligences in the universe are free to choose the path they will today. Intelligences of light seek and do God's will on purpose, knowing that their greatest growth and happiness is best achieved while doing God's will, which is perfectly designed and adapted to their capacity today. The choice is ours each day, to be self-willed or to place all our trust in God's will for us and to submit to the Father's will, as a child submits to its father. 

When a man or woman approaches God and asks for what they need, but is double-minded and waffles in purpose, such a person might even say, "Thy will be done God, do for me what is best." God waits patiently until we come to know for ourselves what is best for us, or in other words, we take the time to learn and to receive an assurance regarding what His will is for us today; we purposely align our heart and mind with His, and then act in faith and knowledge concerning that thing. We don't act as dumb beasts who do not know why they stand before the Lord.

We wrestle in our sweet hour of prayer to receive the clarity we need to go forth with power each day. We work out all double-mindedness and overcome all stupors by aligning our hearts and minds with God. We remember God's many tender mercies and love for us, and we ask in faith for what we need to do His will and we receive it from God -- who is liberal to all who express their agency by asking in faith, nothing wavering.

Once upon a time Colleen and I desired to sell a home. I had taken a job in another state, some 750 miles away from my family. We did not make an intelligent study of the market to determine the price that would garner the interest of a limited buying public. Rather, we determined that we wanted "as much money as we could get" from the sale of our home without having any sound idea what price our home could attract. This led to speculation that perhaps we might receive this much or that much, but we never felt certainty or assurance. Rather our thoughts were all over the map for a full year and unwittingly we had priced our home out of the market. Consequently, for a full year I worked 750 miles away from my family as we waited to sell our house.

One day I awoke early and during my sweet hour of prayer I prayed specifically for the knowledge I needed to sell my home and to reclaim my family. My purpose was clear and not double-minded. I wanted the knowledge necessary to sell my home immediately. The moment I asked with such singleness of purpose, into my mind came the following thoughts. "There are more homes for sale than buyers buying homes in your area. Therefore, you must price your home so that it will attract the interest of the limited buyers." Well, we did not know of homes for sale besides ours, nor how ours compared to theirs in price, in desirability, and so forth. It occurred to me that without such information we were shooting completely in the dark, which would lead to pricing the home too high, or possibly much too low. We still wanted to obtain fair value. I called Colleen and asked her to obtain a listing of all homes for sale within a five mile radius of our home. She did so that day and even visited each home. She made meticulous notes about the desirability of each home and its price.

She looked at each home as if we were spending our money to buy one of the homes for sale. She looked at every home within $40,000 of the price of our home. With the knowledge she gathered from visiting each home that was for sale within the radius, the decision of how much to sell our home for was made crystal clear to us -- nothing wavering. We then went to the Lord and said, "We are going to place a for-sale sign up on the road tomorrow and Colleen is going to bake bread and cookies to fill our home with a nice homey aroma. Our lawns will be cut, all will look beautiful on the inside and outside of our home, and we ask you to send a buyer who has shopped the area and who will recognize the value we are offering, who will want to buy our home.

All happened according to our unwavering prayer. The following evening, a car drove past our residence and spotted the sign they had never seen before. They called Colleen and asked permission to look at our property. They felt at home, as did their children and asked Colleen not to accept another offer until they could call and talk to me. They called me and I concluded the deal in less than five minutes. The following day the paperwork was drafted and the sale was completed. One year of double-mindedness and unstableness in our thoughts regarding how much we should sell our home for got us nowhere. Wrestling with the problem until it became clear to us -- nothing wavering, plus one day of single-mindedness and clarity of purpose sold our home.

This pattern of obtaining singleness of purpose may be applied to any of life's problems. We wrestle mightily before the Lord and we prevail with Him to obtain singleness of purpose, just as ancient Jacob wrestled through the night until he prevailed with the Lord and knew what to do regarding his brother Esau who was on his way to kill Jacob with 400 horsemen. He learned the Lord's will, which was for Jacob to reconcile with Esau and to receive forgiveness for his deceptions and sins against Esau. 

During Jacob's wrestle with the Lord he determined a divine plan of action to enable the unlikely reconciliation. Then Jacob acted in faith and put the plan into operation. What would have been a great tragedy among brothers turned into a beautiful success story because Jacob learned how to prevail in life with the Lord, rather than through deception.

Too often we ask God to do the work for us that we must do ourselves and we are not willing to put in the effort to wrestle intelligently with a problem until we prevail with the Lord. Rather, we weakly and feebly ask God to give us whatever is best for us -- His will be done... Sounds really righteous, no? Well, it isn't righteous to be lazy. Righteousness requires exercising faith. Faith requires great mental exertion, or a mighty wrestle until we prevail with the Lord in knowing what is right and how to act. It requires that we wrestle with a thing until we know what our purpose is exactly, and until we receive a divine plan for accomplishing the purpose, and until we ask in faith -- nothing wavering -- for what we need in order to accomplish that purpose. We are not to come before him as a dumb animal.

Double-mindedness leads to uncertainty and uncertainty is an expression of agency run amuck, which the Lord cannot touch, based upon the laws of eternity that govern the agency of man. No such man or women will receive anything from God until they repent of double-mindedness and become stable in their thoughts. We must come to receive assurance and peace, and then act with certitude, rather than be acted upon.

One of the great keys to becoming healthy and strong for a lifetime is to be about doing the smartest and best thing today. Seeking God's will is a very smart thing, but only if we learn it and discover the divine pattern for doing it. Nephi built a ship because it was the Lord's will that he do so; but he did not know how to build a ship. He lacked wisdom and knowledge to do so. He asked God who gives liberally to all who ask, how to build a ship. He was instructed from time to time and he acted faithfully upon the instructions given, and when the ship was complete, the workmanship was exceedingly fine. Nephi did not say to God, "I want to build a ship..., well, perhaps I do, but perhaps I don't if I'm just going to drown in it." Nor did he say, "I want to build me a ship if you will send me a shipbuilder, or if you will promise me that my brothers won't tie me up with cords with the intent to toss me overboard into the sea, or..., or..., or..." 

Nephi did not do this; rather, he asked for the help, the wisdom, and the knowledge necessary to be about doing what he could do today to build a ship. He was instructed, and he made great use of today and a lot of todays until an exceedingly fine ship was built. And in the process of all those todays he was not thrown overboard, the ship did not sink, and he inherited a land of promise. Each day was taken one at a time, and it was sufficient to act in faith -- nothing wavering -- one day at a time. He learned his purposes and did them.

Darkness flees and light enters -- along with increased health as we learn to live in the day, to make the most of the day, and to determine what today is to be for us -- nothing wavering, and then ask for what we need to accomplish our purposes today -- to receive what we need and to go forth in power today without thought for tomorrow. For tomorrow will take thought of itself.

May your wrestle to align your heart and mind with God and His purposes for you yield single-mindedness today, and may you move forward in faith, asking today for whatsoever you need to do God's will -- nothing wavering. And may your life become stable and filled with many such days. As you learn to prevail with the Lord and to go forward in faith and certitude, all 30+ trillion cells in your body will become quickened and you will enjoy renewed health of body, mind, and soul.

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Fabulous article, Jim.  Thanks.  Interestingly, I can do this and have many times in certain categories -- solving math problems, figuring out how to build or fix something I have to build or fix, or understanding a hard concept.  But for some strange reason, this process has alluded me when it comes to receiving help from God in other categories.  This article has reminded me that it's all the same, and if I approach the other problems in the same way I've done with the former, I can't fail.


One time I received a take-home test in an abstract algebra class at BYU, and it had 10 questions on it.  I read through the questions as soon as I got home on Friday afternoon, and I didn't understand what a single one of them was even talking about!  They might as well have been in Greek.  It scared the heck out of me.  So I started to work on the test immediately since it was due Monday morning and I didn't do homework on Sunday.  As I labored with each problem and prayed for help, an understanding of what was being asked with each one gradually came into my mind, and then over time how to do each problem came into my mind.  I was laboring mightily.  Finally I had only one problem left.  I worked on this problem for many hours on Saturday and was getting no where.  Saturday evening my husband wanted to take a drive down to Gunnison for fun, which was going to take about four hours round trip!  I didn't have four hours to lose, but I knew it was right to spend some time with him after working on this test for most of two days.  As we were driving, I was thinking about the last problem, and suddenly I saw in my mind how to do it.  It was so simple and only took one or two lines of work to solve.  It was a pure revelation to me.  


There's no reason to think that Heavenly Father won't do this with anything -- with any topic or problem -- if we will just labor with all our might until we receive the help we need.


I got 100% on that test.   :)

Thanks for everything! This is all such great information! my family and I have been converting to this new food lifestyle and I was curious. Do you have a food guide piramid for original fast foods/daniel's challenge? I have yet to really find one for vegetarians and was wondering if you could help me with it. Also, I have a three year old and wondered what the proportions would be for him. Thanks!


I realize this is an old post, but I just read it today for the first time.  I really appreciated your insights, so much so that I think I better get off the internet and go play with my kids. ;) It's confirmation of what I have been learning on my own lately, but put so succinctly. Thank you.


Thank you Michelle; I had forgotten having written this and am grateful that it was helpful. Jim 

From what I have heard Jim explain, the "pyramid" would be to have mostly vegetables, enough fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth, enough properly prepared grains and legumes to satisfy your caloric needs, a handful of nuts and seeds, and animal products added in sparingly, if at all (meaning, under 10% of your caloric intake).  If you eat no animal products -- i.e. are vegan -- you need to take care to supplement 3 things:  vitamin B-12, vitamin D3, and omega 3's.  Once a person's body has come into balance from eating a healthy diet long enough, their body can convert plant-based omega 3's into a form available to their body.  But most people coming from an unhealthy, western diet have lost that ability and need to supplement omega 3's.

Emily said:

Thanks for everything! This is all such great information! my family and I have been converting to this new food lifestyle and I was curious. Do you have a food guide piramid for original fast foods/daniel's challenge? I have yet to really find one for vegetarians and was wondering if you could help me with it. Also, I have a three year old and wondered what the proportions would be for him. Thanks!


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