As we wish one another a good 2010, I want to share a thought posted on a bulletin board at home. Written simply on a 3 X 5 card is the word "REMEMBER." This word was extracted from a quote by Hans Christian Anderson, which reads as follows: "Time is so fleeting that if we do not remember God and learn of him in our youth, age may find us incapable of thinking of him."
To me, being capable of remembering God means not letting a day go by where I do not think of all the blessings He has given me and remember to express my gratitude daily. It means relying on Him for strength when I face a trial and not trying to handle everything by myself. It means I will not make it inconvenient to remember Him.
As any good scout would say, from this day forth, I will strive to be more humble, teachable, and obedient. I believe this should improve my attitude and lessen the chance that the things Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ ask me to do will be inconvenient. That sounds like it shouldn't be too hard being on a mission and staying focused entirely on spiritual things, you say? Ha! Being too caught up in day-to-day tasks at home or on a mission can easily find me falling into a repetitious cycle of prayer and scripture study that taking the time for seems inconvenient. I know I cannot remember Him, learn from Him, or keep the Spirit with me when merely doing these tasks in a redundant manner. Knowing is easy and doing takes work. Ugh, being human is sooooo hard sometimes!
The thought of the things of God seeming inconvenient brings to mind our experience on the mission at Ft. Benning with the soldiers and with one person we taught when she asked us to take a video about the Savior to her home.
Each Sunday we taught one of the lessons from Preach My Gospel. Many soldiers would gain a personal witness of the truth of The Book of Mormon often in the first lesson. They would be all fired up with wanting to be baptized through the next couple of lessons, but when we got to the fourth lesson entitled "The Commandments," the fires of exuberance for the gospel began to cool quickly. Why was this so? Because that is the lesson where the commandments are reviewed and the soldiers would discover some stumbling blocks they weren't quite ready to accept--the Word of Wisdom, the principle of tithing, and chastity were the three that seemed the most difficult for them to accept. These things were an inconvenience to their present way of life. Some said they were still young and needed to party a little longer and then they would settle down to church going. Some never made the commitment to Heavenly Father to always remember the Savior and keep His commandments through baptism before they left for Iraq or Afghanistan, and some never came back.
The soldiers were not the only ones who discovered becoming a member of Jesus Christ's Church inconvenient. There was a wonderful older African American woman who had a spiritual experience before our first visit with her. She described a dream in which the town sheriff told her to read Acts 19. After we had taught the first lesson, she told us about her dream and asked us if we could help her understand it. We didn't know what the message was until we looked up the scripture and read it with her (Acts 19:2-6). It is about baptism and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, all done by the proper priesthood authority given by God to perform His ordinances here on earth.
This good sister had the Spirit witness to her that she had received God's truth, but was she baptized? No. It was inconvenient for her. Her little church in the neighborhood was like home. The members were like family. She didn't want to risk raising the ire of her preacher against her. There certainly was an inconvenience getting to an LDS ward to attend. She had no means of transportation and could barely walk. This dear woman could barely see to read and even with the large print edition of The Book of Mormon, she read very slowly. Yes, there were some inconveniences. She told us to keep coming back because she "didn't want to miss the mark." How sad. All because of God's true path being inconvenient she has missed the mark for now. Maybe in the future she will "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," as recorded in the Bible, Philippians 3:14.
Finding God's "lifestyle" inconvenient for the modern fast-paced lifestyle (so much to do, so little time) is not uncommon. I admit to feeling resentful at times because the Church asked something of me that wasn't convenient to do at the moment. There's that stage of "having to go to church" when others are free to do what they want on Sunday. There's those times when it seems people needing help schedule their crisis when I am most busy. Why doesn't that happen when there is nothing else to do? Oh, Satan, you sneaky devil, why do you put such thoughts in my head and why do I listen?
Yes, a life without structured religious observance or obligations to serve others is perceived as an easier life to live in this temporary earth existence, but is it at the expense of eternal life? Will I deceive myself into selling my soul, so to speak, for a mess of pottage? Heaven forbid! Okay, I know St. Mark (8:36) records that Jesus Christ said, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" All right already. I am convinced having the whole world will not solve my problems or bring me true happiness. Therefore, I will strive not to feel inconvenienced in the Lord's work. Please give me an "amen" to that. I need all the help I can get.
Missions are Fun
Preston Temple photo taken 21 Nov. 2010
A missionary is someone who leaves his or her home for a little while so others can have their families forever.
Curious about Mormons? Go to the source and find real people at mormon.org--read what they believe and have live chats if you wish! (an official Church website)
Or, go to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, official web site: lds.org.
Note: The Blain's England Manchester Mission blog is a personal blog that is not endorsed, approved, or sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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Our Mission Scriptures
Our Mission Scriptures:
"Oh, that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart . . . Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth." Alma 29:1-2 (Book of Mormon)
" . . . be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58 (Bible)