Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trust Me, I've Got a Plan...

My good friend, Elder Coles, is a genius. There's more reasons then what I have time to go over, but particularly his blog post titled, "The Big Test" strikes me as something too awesome not to share!

I picture our loving Heavenly Father gathering the hosts of heaven so that He can present His plan to us, and He says that we can either choose to accept or reject this plan if we want to.  He says "Alright guys here is the plan. I want you all to reach your fullest potential, I really do because I love all of you! I have created a beautiful world for you all to go there and gain bodies! Sounds great right? But in order for you guys to learn, you will need to be tested, and sometimes you will be tempted to do wrong. But guys, dont even worry about it. This test will be open book.
I will give you people who will be in direct contact with Me. These people will be called prophets. They will tell you what you need to know to be happy and to return to live with Me.  Oh, dont worry, you wont have to memorize everything that they say. I will make sure their words are written down in books called scriptures. Guys, remember to study these things, they will help you out and make you happy!
Also, I want to give you more things to help you out. I will provide a place to meet together so that you can learn these things and you can apply them in your lives. Ok, now I know that you will all make some mistakes, but I will provide a way for you to over come those mistakes. I will provide a Savior and you will be able to repent, and as often as you repent I will remember your mistakes no more. Guys, thats not it. You will be able to grow up in a loving atmosphere with earthly parents and families, where you can learn my doctrines and study my gospel in a loving atmosphere. A church will need to be organized as well.  And to make sure this church is run right, I will give priesthood authority, which is the power I will give to you to act in My name, and the church will be run by that authority.
I will not leave you comfortless either. I will send the Holy Ghost, the third member of the Godhead down to dwell with you and to comfort you when needed, and to teach and testify of Me.  And you know what, if you still need some extra help with this test, you will be able to come to Me and talk about your problems with me through prayer. Know that I will always answer prayers, but make sure you are listening very carefully because if you arent you might miss the answer.  Guys this plan is going to be great. Do all these things and you will make it back here to live with me, and everything is gonna be alright!
You can find more from this awesome missionary at: http://eldercolesblog.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Cure

My family moved during the beginning of my third grade year, a process that is sometimes a little bit difficult for a younger kid. I remember it being scary, moving away from all my friends and being thrust into a brand new environment that was far from my comfort zone. My class was full of nice and friendly kids, many that I would eventually go all the way through highschool with, and all in all it was a pretty smooth transition.

Being the new kid, I didn't have as strong of a friendship with many of those in my class as the others had, and I wanted to be included as if I was one of the longtime regulars. Whatever the group activity of the day was during recess was where I went. I tried to keep myself there, having fun, just being included.

I had an easier time than some...

I distinctly remember one infamous day of my life in particular when a classmate who had been there from first grade had one of the roughest days ever. She was bright and one of the better students in the class, but it was apparent she didn't come from the wealthiest home in community. Her clothes were not "in" and her hair was always a little tangled. She came from a home where her family smoked pretty heavily, and it led to asthma and a constant lingering air about her.

We all know kids can be cruel, but she was tormented at every possible opportunity in the worst way a third grade class could possibly know how. Unceasingly it seemed, whether it was in class or during lunch or on the bus, they hounded her. That day that is most vivid in my mind comes at a time when she won an academic award in class and was informally accused of cheating by a chanting chorus of her classmates. She left school in tears.


I wish I could say I stood up for her. I wish I had told everybody else to knock it off. I wish I had been her friend. I never saw her after that year, but her face still crosses my memory every once in awhile. That situation and my conscience has taught me a lot. I never joined in, but to this day I remain just as guilty.

Looking back, I was still the new kid... but was it more important to be popular or to have done what was right? Was it more important to keep my head down or to speak out against the wrong? How could self preservation win out against kindness?

I have learned a little from my life and particularly from my mission since then: Don't wait for people to be kind, show them how. Always be kinder than necessary. Compassion is not a weakness, but it is the essence the most admirable men and women I have personally ever known. And most importantly, that the Savior is the greatest example of all that is gentle, gracious, and charitable.

Charity is the pure love of Christ. We know through the scriptures in Moroni 10:21 that, "except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God, neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope". And as we find in Corinthians 13:13, "of faith, hope, charity; the greatest of these is charity."

Lets all work a little harder to be a littler kinder.