In 2 Nephi chapter 32, we are treated to Nephi's "final will and testament". In the ninth verse, he shares a life lesson with us-
"...that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Chris, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul".
Why is it that we feel that we are somehow doing God a favor by doing His work? Why do we feel that we are furthering His work and helping Him progress when, in fact, our performance is for the welfare of our souls.
How can we feel this way when God assures us that He can do His own work? (2 Nephi 27:20-21) He allows us to work alongside Him to gain experience and evolve to become like He is.
It would be amazing if we could pray that our experiences would be stretching and expanding for us while they are ours to have-and mean it! This forethought, perspective, and authentic approach may also eliminate some of the trivialities that we face everyday and certainly reduce the number of good things that we do for the wrong reason.
I am a movie buff and as I was reading Nephi's sermon on consecrating our performance, a scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade came to my mind. Kazim, a member of the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword asks Indy a soul-searching question.
It is such a fine line to walk. We must seek to glorify God, but we are consecrating our efforts for our own welfare, our own progression. God is already glorified and perfected, we are the "works-in-progress". The minute we are distracted by seek self glory, it is then that we lose communication and guidance from the Lord. The approach should be to work that others may see and give glory to God for the gift that you have brought into their lives, and let the "tallying" be done by the Lord. Spoiler Alert: the "tallying" will not get us very far.
Nephi's younger bother Jacob speaks to this point. In 2 Nephi 9:41, Jacob explains that the Savior is the gatekeeper and he employs no servant there nor can He be deceived.
What a relief that the final judgement will not be delegated in order that divine justice be served, but also that divine mercy can best be applied by Him who knows the things that only He can know; the quiet moments of courage in the lives of his flock, the service offered with no thought of reward or recognition. These can best be "credited" only by Him who has perfect judgement.