Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The parable of the pencil.

The pencil maker told the pencil 5 things that make it important before placing it in the pencil box.
1. What is important is inside of you.
2. Everything you do will always leave a mark.
3. You can always correct the mistakes you make.
4. In life, you will undergo many sharpenings, which will only make you better.
5. To be the best pencil, you must allow yourself to be HELD and GUIDED by the HAND that holds you.

Remember that you are the pencil. God is the pencil maker. Let him hold you and guide you. And use that eraser. Jesus Christ suffered for all of our sins, temptations, and trials so that we can fix the mistakes that we make.

Mother Teresa said, “I’m a little pencil in the hands of God. He does the thinking. He does the writing. He does everything—and it’s really hard—sometimes it’s a broken pencil. He has to sharpen it a little more. But be a little instrument in His hands so that He can use you anytime, anywhere.”

I know everything you do matters. I know that if there is mark you made that you don't like, you can erase it. I know that when we get dull or broken, we will be sharpened so we can live to our full potential. I know that the most important thing you can do is to let yourself be led and guided by Heavenly Father. Trust and follow his plan. Live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Get to know the pencil maker. He has wonderful things in store for you.

Mosiah 23:10 (Book of Mormon)
After much tribulation, the Lord did hear my cries, and did answer my prayers, and has made me an instrument in his hands

How have you seen God's hand guiding your life?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's alright to be weak.

When you are seriously sick, you can't just ignore it. You have to admit that you are weak, and you have to go to the doctor. If you don't, you won't be able to get the help you need. You will get weaker and weaker and you might never heal. But if you do get help, you can get on a path to recovery. The doctor can prescribe or recommend medication, therapy or other procedures that are necessary for you to become strong again.

So how about when we are spiritually weak? When you feel like your relationship with God isn't strong enough? When you feel guilt and shame because of sins that you have committed? When you want to  strengthen your relationship with your spouse? When you have a desire to be better at reading the scriptures?

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. -Ether 12:27 (Book of Mormon)

When you are spiritually sick you have to do the same thing as when you are physically sick. You have to be humble and admit that you are weak. Then you have to go to Jesus Christ who has made it possible through his atonement for us all to repent and make changes in our lives. He will recommend or prescribe things that will help you to become stronger. His grace is sufficient to help you become strong! What you have to do is be humble, put your trust in him, and do what he says. 

I am weak. I make mistakes every single day. And that is alright. It is okay to be weak. There are things that we all need to work on. The most important thing is that we turn to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ who will make us become strong.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A virtue called patience.

Patience. Something we could all work on. I've been thinking lately about this virtue.

At the end of Hebrews 12:1 it says "and let us run with patience the race that is set before us."

Run with patience.

That scripture made me think of a race. When you are running a race, especially a long one, you can't start out sprinting. You must pace yourself. You have to understand that if you run too fast you will wear yourself out. You have to be patient with yourself.

This is exactly like life. We are in a race. There are so many times in my life when I take a personal inventory and I come to the conclusion that I have so much to work on. So many things that I could do better. I think about how I could be running faster. It is overwhelming.

This scripture reminded me to SLOW DOWN. I don't have to sprint. The one thing that matters is that I just keep running, that I just keep working on myself. 

When I am running I often say something along the lines of "I will just get to that next tree." When I get to that tree I say "I can make it to that mailbox." And so it goes until I reach my goal. In life, we can do the same thing. We can work on one thing at a time. "I will work on reading just a verse in the Book of Mormon every day." Then when that goal is reached say, "Now I can try to go to church every week." And so it goes.

Elder Uchtdorf related this story in general conference a few years ago. 

Be patient. The marshmallows will come. Don't run too fast. Smile and enjoy the journey.

Our current prophet said, "Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting the heavenly virtue of patience is required." -President Thomas S. Monson

I know that as we work on being patient that Jesus Christ is with us every step of the way! Because of His sacrifice we are able to make changes in our lives to become more like Him. He is our perfect example. Don't stop trusting in Him, in His love, and in your Heavenly Father.