Monday, July 30, 2012

Press Forward!

Last night was really hard for me. There wasn't really any huge thing that made it bad, just a number of little things that added up to make it a pretty disappointing night. When we went home for the night, I left our office just feeling really drained wondering what was going on and why things were so hard. I am working my hardest, I am trying my best to be obedient, why aren't things working out? On the walk back to our apartment I spent most of the time praying and asking Heavenly Father what was going on and what I needed to do to turn things around. We returned to our apartment and I started getting ready for bed.

As I was brushing my teeth and thinking about things, a hymn popped into my mind that I haven't heard for a while. In the LDS hymn book, it is hymn number 81, "Press Forward, Saints." I was pretty confused as to why this particular song came so suddenly and randomly into my mind, but as I thought about the words and the message it teaches, I soon realized that it was the answer to my prayers!

Trials come to all of us. They are the purpose for mortality. When hard times come up what do we do? Do we curl up in the corner and let them overcome us or do we do our best to endure through them and press forward? Those who seek to follow Christ and His example press forward. So for all those who want to be true followers of Christ, this is a qualification. We have all been through times, and perhaps may be going through a time right now, when we wonder how it is possible to overcome what we are going through. The hymn that popped into my mind last night, combined with the wisdom of experience, taught me the three main ways that we can press forward through every difficulty that we experience in this life!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Always on the Move

A few weeks ago I was introduced to a video that included clips from a talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, one of the main leaders for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The sheer power of the Spirit that I could feel from his words made me want to read the entire talk instead of hearing just a few clips from it. I soon found the whole talk on and read it a number of times within a few days. To read, Elder Holland's talks are always very powerful, but if you know anything about talks given by Elder Holland, it is that nothing (and I mean nothing!) compares with hearing him give it. The words themselves are powerful but when you hear the love and fire behind his voice it is almost impossible to not know that the words he speaks are true. This, of course, is true with all of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency (the main leadership units of the LDS Church) but most especially true of Elder Holland.

Anyways, in this phenomenal talk entitled "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence", Elder Holland references events in the life of the great Biblical prophet, Moses. As a young shepherd, Moses one day went up "into an exceedingly high mountain" and spoke with God face to face. Because of his faith, God showed Moses all of His creations. Following this great vision, as Moses is pondering on what he saw, the devil comes to him trying to tempt Moses to worship him. The moral of the story, Elder Holland describes, is to not let our guard down. That is what his whole talk is about. It is about being prepared for temptation to come before great spiritual moments and not letting down our guard when those great spiritual moments happen in our lives.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Dangers of Procrastination

I am a huge fan of wearing long-sleeve dress shirts! No matter the temperature, I love wearing long-sleeve dress shirts! I absolutely hate having to wear short-sleeve ones. You can always tell when I am not going to have a good day because that is when I run out of clean long-sleeve shirts and have to wear a short-sleeve one instead. For whatever reason I just feel our of my element. It just doesn't feel right!

Sitting at a desk all day is not very strenuous work at all. In fact when I first came on my mission I imagined that I would go home with all of my clothes in pretty much the same condition they were when I came on my mission! For the most part I would say that is pretty accurate. But I guess typing and using a computer mouse all day can wear down the elbows of long-sleeve shirts!  Who would have thought? :)

A few months ago I was going about my regular, day-to-day activities as an online missionary and I leaned on my elbow and noticed that it felt pretty cold. I looked at the desk, saw nothing, and figured I was losing my mind so I went back to how I had been sitting. But again I felt this cold sensation. Again I checked the desk and it felt fine. This time I decided to look at my shirt (as sad as it is to say, one of my favorite shirts!) and found the reason for the temperature difference! I noticed that there was a small hole right over my elbow so that when I had it in just the right position my elbow poked through and that is what I was feeling.

"No big deal," I thought, "it is just a tiny hole, it should be fine for a while." So I ignored it and went back to what I had been doing. I eventually got used to that chill that ran up my arm whenever I put it on my desk and just acknowledged that I had a small hole.