I haven't been on in a while so I got lots of reading done. I finished Alma and moved on to the first couple chapters of Helaman. These chapters still are not the easiest for me to follow along to. But that is okay. You can still get lots out of the chapters.
I think the biggest lesson I am learning lately is the difference between doing something grudgingly because we know we need to do it, or doing something with a positive attitude because it is the smartest thing to do. In every decision we have two choices. To do something, or not to do something. And even then, if you choose to do it, you have to decide to do it grudgingly, or to do it because you know you need to.
This morning for personal study I got a big slap in the face with lots of information about everything that I have been thinking about lately...
#1: In my Book of Mormon reading today I read Helaman chapters 2-3. In chapter 3 the people had begun to be a little prideful. This pride on both sides led to contention and war. We are all in charge of our dissensions. We don't control anyone else's pride, but we sure can control our own. If only one party is being prideful, it can't lead to contention and war. We need to make sure, for ourselves, that we are not being prideful. In verse 35 it says, "Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God." God can fill our souls with joy. He can allow us happiness even in times of turmoil. We need to allow him to.
#2: I was reading the talk "The Fourth Missionary". It is such a fabulous talk. I was reading the differences from the Third and Fourth Missionary. They both do the work. They both do their missionary things, but they do them so differently. "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day." The Third Missionary serves with his might and strength, but his heart and and mind are missing. We can't have a missing heart and mind. We can still do the work without it, but we won't grow at all if we do. And are we not here to grow? Sometimes I grudgingly make phone calls and lead out in lessons even when I definitely don't want to. But what is that teaching me? And how is that helping anyone, especially myself? God will allow us happiness if we let him.
This talk also related this;
"Elder Holland teaches that a great swimmer once said when asked his secret of success: 'I kick when I don't want to kick, and I stroke when I don't want to stroke.' Like the First, Second and Third Missionaries there are times when the Fourth Missionary doesn't want to kick and doesn't want to stroke either. The difference between the Third and Fourth Missionary is that the Third Missionary will kick and stroke because it is his duty, because that is what is expected of him and he will hate and resent it, while the Fourth Missionary will kick and stroke because he knows that it is the only intelligent thing to do."
" Even Jesus, the One Perfect One, prayed: 'Father let this cup pass from me...' There were things that He too did not want to do. Those desires that He '...even God, the greatest of all...might not drink the bitter cup and shrink...' (D&C 19:18) did not diminish Him; in fact, they made Him greater."
Why are we doing the things we are doing? It is because we know it will take us to the finish? Is it because we know if we don't we will be sitting ducks? Is it because we know it is the smartest thing to do?
#3: Lastly, I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants 121 verses 34-46. All about leadership qualities. I struggle being a leader. I am not very patient and I am not very good at letting others do things for themselves. I would much rather do things my way to ensure that they will get done right. But that is an awful leadership quality. So, while reading this, I decided to give it to God. To let him help me let my companion guide. To let her lead. It will be far from easy for me, and probably a bit frustrating for her, but we will live.
I am really coming to understand what it means to be a missionary. What it means to literally give my heart and mind to the Lord. He has given us all, and what does he ask in return?
"In the end, your heart and your will is all that you have to give that the Lord does not already have. If you give your time, two years, and your strength, you give only that which He grants to you with each beat of your heart and each breath that you draw. If you dedicate your gifts and talents, you only return to Him what He already has given to you. If you pay tithing you only return to Him a tenth of what he has already given to you. Everything that you have to give to the Lord, has its origin in Him, except one thing: your will. He does not have your heart, nor your mind, unless you give them to Him. It is the only gift you have to offer that He does not already have. And so when you give yourself, you truly give everything to Him."
The Lord requires a broken heart so that He can heal it. What are we willing to give the Lord?