I love the gospel and the truths found therein because, when followed and obeyed, these principles bring true joy, peace, and contentment. These are gifts that we all long for and seek after, even those of us who don't believe that they are a reality or possible in this life. I believe that these desires come from the divine within us. The light of Christ illuminates our minds and directs our spirits towards those things that are of greatest worth. Therefore, our spirits long for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)
We qualify for this constant companion when we keep our baptismal covenants, by taking Christ's name upon us, always remembering Him, and keeping His commandments. (D&C 20:77) So what does that really mean?
It means to become like Christ.
Too often, when we think about being Christ-like, we think of it in a very loose, generic sense. "I just need to generally love people, be nice, etc, etc." The problem with this is that we lose so much in-between the lines. Christ didn't just want us to be similar to him; He wanted us to be just like Him in very specific ways. There are actually multiple examples of this in the scriptures, but I'm going to use one in particular here.
"And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people. And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son— The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son— And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth. And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people. And after all this, after working many mighty miracles among the children of men, he shall be led, yea, even as Isaiah said, as a sheep before the shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father." (Mosiah 15:1-7, emphasis added.)
These verses can be very confusing unless you keep in mind the Lord's way of using symbolism and types and shadows. Christ was the Father in the sense of being a God, having been born of God. He was the Son in the sense of being mortal, having been born of a mortal mother. These are just terms to help us understand the opposing facets of His nature. They mirror His relationship with God the Father, He being the literal Son of God.
I find all of that very fascinating doctrinally, but my point here is that when Christ was here upon the earth He had to submit the will of His flesh to the will of His spirit as well as His own personal will to the will of God.
We must do the same thing. We must learn to submit the will of our bodies to the will of our spirits. This is the principle that fasting helps us to learn and master. And we must submit or sacrifice our wills to the will of God. This is what a sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit means to me.
That is why this theme is so important to me and why I believe that it is so essential to living the gospel. When we truly sacrifice ourselves, our whole selves, our identity and our wills to God, we qualify for the blessings of the Spirit, those being peace, joy, love, and contentment. When we enjoy that type of rightness with God, we become powerful tools for good. He is then able to work through us to bring about his marvelous works here on earth! Doesn't it just make your heart soar? :D