The need to be perfect in all aspects of my life is a major problem that I have. My competitive nature doesn’t help either but instead adds to having to be perfect and better than those around me. On my mission, I came to realize that this was a bad thing, especially when comparing to myself. My mission president, President Paul Craig, use to always tell me to stop beating myself up for falling short from being perfect. We spent a large amount of time over coming my perfection and realizing that I am going to fall short from the grace of God. He taught me that the Savior Jesus Christ would be the one to help make up the difference of my imperfection. Though it makes sense and something I always want to do, it is the hardest thing for me to do. It’s hard for me not to beat myself daily or weekly for not being perfect. There is always something that I should have done better and something that keeps me from being perfect.
Lately, I’ve been taking an institute class at UVU in which Brother Longmoore teaches us daily to give it all to Christ. Last week he taught us ways to allow the Atonement of Jesus Christ to help us and to trust in the Lord’s grace. Brother Longmoore has been truly inspired as a teacher because I’ve realized that it’s a terrible thing to beat ourselves up for living the gospel. He tells us that the good news should be enjoyable and we should get credit for the great things we do. Last week, he taught us that sin is not sin. Sin is just a mistake and a chance to learn, grow, and become a better person. It’s an opportunity to come closer to our Savior and Father in Heaven.
Going into General Conference this past weekend, I wanted to know how to not beat myself up daily anymore. I wanted to know how I could trust in the Lord more and use the Atonement of Jesus Christ more in my life. (Side note, this conference was a special one for me as I got to attend it in the flesh for the first time!) However, conference taught me that it is ok not to be perfect. God still loves us for not being perfect. He is proud of the progress we make daily and he is there at all times. He is grateful that we want to be better and have him in our lives.
Elder Gong of the seventy taught that being worthy is not perfect. Rather being worthy is striving daily to keep the covenants we made with the Lord. Being worthy is willing to change and allow the Savior to be apart of our change. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make like I do. So the past few week have been eye-opening to me. Its going to be hard but rather than tearing myself apart each night and Sunday, I’m going to work on forgiving myself and letting the Savior take over my insecurities. I’m going to work on my problems and let others help me more. I have a strong desire to be better person to myself and those around me. I might not be perfect but thats ok. I have a God who knows and loves me. I have a Savior who died for my sins and is there to hold me up and wrap his arms around me. I have an amazing family who loves me and looks past my faults. I have so many amazing leaders that teach me ways to be better. I have the best roommates who help me laugh at life’s ups and downs. I have so many great friends who teach me through their examples of what it is like to be disciples of Christ. Moving forward, life is going to be good and in time, I will overcome my shortcommings. Yoked with the Savior, I will be perfect one day.
For Elder Gerrit W. Gong’s full talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/media/session_5_talk_4/4829550348001?lang=eng
Throughout life, I’ve come to learn that God just doesn’t want you to be comfortable. This seems to be a reoccurring theme of life it seems. They say that there is absolutely no growth in the comfortable zone, though at times it would be nice to have just a moment of comfort. It seems that the moment one becomes comfortable, then we have to get ready because another twist is brought into the equation and once again we find ourselves climbing another mountain.
One of the things that I love about the gospel of Jesus Christ is the aspect of keeping an eternal progression. As we strive for perfection and for eternal progression, we have to grow to be there. That is one of the reasons why we are placed on this earth, to grow. Growth always seems daunting. In the beginning of the growth stage, its rather challenging. We look at the mountain and wonder, are we ever going to make it up? Is the top really a tangible object? However, as we put our chin up and charge the mountain we receive the greatest reward.
Currently, my life has entered into yet another growing stage. About a week ago, I was sitting across the table at red robin with my friend Evan and I finally felt for the first time in two months that I was ok with being home. With the help of Evan, I was able to climb one of the hardest mountains I’ve ever climbed: Adjusting to Real Life. This montain is one that I feel that I’m still climbing but I was able to make it to a check point the other day. So like all great mountains, I said goodbye to my friend as he returned to serve the Lord for two years. My amazing friend who was there to hear me out. Who was there when I needed him the most. I truly believe that he was home these past few months to help me grow. God knew that I needed his help. Now, I’ve come to a point where sadly, I need to climb the mountain without his help as he has own new mountain to climb.
Like all mountains, the slopes are never the best part. They’re rough, tough, and treacherous. All mountains are placed for the greater good and while we are getting to those slopes, we just have to hold on to hope and love of God. We have to trust him that they are for the greater good.
Change has once again found its way into my life. I’ve come to learn that change isn’t a bad thing but rather a chance to grow and progress. A few days ago, I asked to take my name tag off as my mission came to an end. Serving in the great land of Georgia and Florida was but a blessing from the Lord. I would like to take a moment to share some of the greatest lessons that I learned while serving the Lord for two years.
I learned how to love. I never thought that I could just love people the way the Lord does. Being on a mission, I learned how to instanitly love one for who they are. My heart grew so big as I met so many amazing people. Each person has a beautiful story to tell the world. I learned that God truly loves each person for who they are and not for how the world sees them.
I learned how to cherish the Book of Mormon. Before my mission, I knew that it was the word of God but never did anything about it. My mission taught me how to treasure it. I love the Book of Mormon so much. Its the greatest gift that has ever been given to me. The Book of Mormon is the key to my life. It teaches me more than anything else. I can find the answers to the many questions I have about life. I like to think that the Book of Mormon was written just for me at times. Its my life line. Its what helps we get through the hardest of times. I am so grateful for this book. It has changed me. It has showed me the light of the God. It has given me hope, love, courage, strength, wisdom, and so much more. I love having it in my life each day. I came to love it so much.
I learned how to have a personal relationship with Christ. He is the greatest gift that our father has ever given us. He truly lives and I know that. Each day we can have his atonement in our lives and I am grateful for that. I have come to know how to have him in my life. I have learned how to come unto christ. I will now grab hold of his hand each and every day. I love my savior so much. I truly love Jesus. He is my rock and salvation. He is my best friend. I am grateful for his loving kindness. He is the most important person in my life next to the father.
I have learned to truly love this gospel. Its the best blessing ever. I have watched the gospel of Jesus Christ truly change people’s lives. I have watched it bring the greatest blessings and miracles to others. I have seen it solved the worst things in life. The gospel of Jesus Christ truly is something that we need each day in our lives. I am beyond grateful that I was blessed to share this glad message with the world.
There are many more lessons that I have learned while serving the lord. My mission changed my life and woke me up. It has been the greatest blessing in my life. I am so grateful that the Lord called me to be his representative. I honor the two years that I was given. It truly is a scared experience that I hold dear in my heart. The people in Florida and Georgia have a special place in my heart for ever. I learned so much that would take days to read.
There are moments in life where we are just done! Where we traveled and can’t seem to get a break. We try so hard to over come the short comings that we have but for some odd reason, all our work just doesn’t seem to pay off. After we have tried everything we can’t just seem to make it right. It can be rather exhausting and depressing at times. We convince ourselves that we are never going to be able to solve these issues at hand. Then, out of no where a glimmer of hope is given to us that allows for us to carry on for a while. However, there are some days where we are bogged down and the glimmer of hope is only able to carry us to the next step or never comes at all. We begin to endure with all our might. We begin to try to not let it get in the way of things that are coming are way. We begin to fight through it and try to put a smile on our face.
In these moments in life, the thing that seems to help the most is Prayer and Reading the Scriptures. These two things are the light at the end of the tunnel when it seems that we can’t seem to see it. If anything, these two vital actions can allow us to God’s love for us, even when we can’t see the love for our selves. Through prayer, we are able to tell our Father in Heaven the things that are bogging us down. We can tell him the things that worrying us. If anything, God can be the one to talk to even when it seems that there is no one there to talk to he. He listens to every word we have to say and though at times it seems like he doesn’t, he is. We can find peace in knowing that he will answer our prayers.
The second aspect, reading our scriptures can help us learn the things that God needs us to do. I was once told that the scriptures are love letters written from God to us. We can read the love that God has for us. We are able to see that there is someone out there that does care for the welfare of us, even when no one around you does. I love to the read the scriptures with the attitude that they were only written for me. Its a bit selfish but in those moments, I can find the strength to carry on. I get so much out of the scriptures knowing that God wrote them for me to find strength, love, and wisdom. I am able to get more out of them.
For months now, prayer and reading the scriptures have seem like the only source of my happiness. I have been able to see that God is there for me, even if the world is not. It has been my light to help me endure through one of the biggest trial of my life. I am so grateful for the Love that my Father has in me. I’ve been able to see God’s light so much more in my life. Its the glimmer of light that helps me make it through the roughest of times
There will be times in our lives where we will feel that what we are doing is not enough. We will feel that when we have tried all that we can that it is not enough. We will feel that what we are doing is a waste and we will want to quit in the middle of all things. These tactics are ways that Satan will make us feel. He doesn’t want us to see the success that we are yielding and he doesn’t want us to continue with the good work that we are doing. However, when those moments happen, we have to tell ourselves to push through it. To fight just a bit harder, to then dig a little bit deeper, and then we will see that the Lord is there for us. We will see at the end of the tunnel there is light and true happiness will be found.
Sometimes I wonder
Sometimes I think about you and wonder what life would be like with you here. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if you choose to be apart of my life like fathers do. I look in the mirror and wonder what part of me is you. I imagine my big blue eyes come from you or perhaps my jaw line. I think of all the things we could have done like fathers do.
I wonder if you’d be proud of the person I’ve became. I wonder if you’d be proud to say that you were glad to call me son like fathers do. I imagine you would have been grateful to know I went and got an education or even took the family name to places it’s never been before. How you would have been when I won a race or even got an a in school like fathers do.
Sometimes I wonder what our father campouts would have been like. Would we have had a nice tent that actually stayed up through the night? What it would have been like to not share a tent or be the third wheel to another’s moment to grow closer. I often think I would have perhaps made it through the scouting program if you were here to help me earn a badge like fathers do.
I wonder why you choose to leave and not have any part of me. I wonder what was great in your life that caused you to do something that other fathers do. I think of all the struggles that came from my mom trying to do her best but just couldn’t give what fathers do. I think of all the tears in the mirror knowing you choose to leave. Yet I don’t have a picture to call you by face but sometimes I wonder what you be like.
Sometimes I wonder if I can can ever solve this creator you caused. Sometimes I think I’d be better off with you in my life. I don’t know what life would be like if you were here to do what fathers do. However, your not and I must continue on ward in this life. I have to hold my head held high and let you go like my father did.
I wonder if you think about me. If you want to be apart of my life like fathers do. I wonder if I ever play a part in your life at all. I wonder if you look in the mirror and try to see what part of you is me. If you ever have a desire to do what fathers do. I wonder if you ever want that chance to have me in your life at all.
Sometimes I wonder if you ever loose sleep thinking about me. I wonder if you ever want to even know my face. If you want to know what I’ve chosen to make out of my life. I tell myself you think about me and even say a prayer for my name like fathers do.
I wonder if I’ll really stop thinking about you. If I’ll just realize that your never going to be around like fathers do. I come to learn what not to do. I’ve learned how not to replay the cycle. I know your gone and that’s ok. You’ll never here and I’ve come to be ok with that. For whatever reason you left is yours but as for me, I know now how to find joy with out. Just sometimes I wonder….
As I face my problems, I am learning to let go of the things that hold me back in life. I am learning to give everything up that I hold deep inside me. I’m hoping to let things go and to give it all up.
There are times in life where God knows just what to say or bring to us to have his love in our life. There are times in my life where I worry about if things are going to be ok. I worry about the next phase in life and what the final outcome is going to be. There have been trying times where I just want God to make everything better. I feel that when we get revelation it comes gradual. Its never all at once. Rather its just enough to make it through to the next step in life. For me, peace and comfort can be found through a simple song: Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift.
When this song first came out, it was given to me to find peace and hope in the biggest trial of my life. It was given to me in the very hour that I needed it. Sadly for my roommates, I held on to this and played it way more than what was needed. It became a sense of peace to know that I was going to be Safe and Sound. I knew that God had given it to me in that very moment for a reason and I was so grateful.
On mission, I am not allowed to listen to music so I that I can give my all to the Lord. However, the Lord knows me well and has given it to me in the very minutes that I have needed it. When I’ve hit that breaking point, it will either find a way to be played in my head or in a car passing by. It is then followed by the spiritual confirmation that I am going to be ok. That the Lord is there for me.
Last night, I was given this song in the wee hours of the morning. I couldn’t sleep. I tried so hard and yet nothing came from it. When I did get to sleep, it was not good at all. So I turned to my father in heaven. I began to read the scriptures. I realized that the Lord is mindful of me in my trails. There at three in morning, it played for me. In the middle of the night, I could hear God telling me that I was going to be safe and sound. That this next obsticle can and will be overcomed. The spiritual confirmation while reading the Book of Mormon was amazing. I know that the Lord is there for us. He knows actually what to say to show his love for us. I know that I will be safe and sound.
“Just Close Your Eyes
You’ll Be Just Fine
Come Morning Light
You and I will be Safe and Sound”