I had a great morning so far. It started at 8:30 when I went out running with Tyson and Adam. Tyson has been running for quite a while training for the SF 1/2 Marathon. The other day when we went camping he asked if I’d be interested in running with him, possibly to train for that same race. I told him sure, I’d run with him, but I didn’t know if a 1/2 marathon was something I was really interested in.
Nonetheless, I went this morning.
We ran for 3 miles at a pace of about 9:30 per mile. I felt really good and could have probably gone a bit faster.
It looks like we’re going to start running every Monday at 8:30 a.m., which I look forward to.
With that in mind, and having just printed out my June 2012 goals and pasted them on my desk as a reminder, I want to study today about planning, scheduling and living up to my own expectations.
I found two articles that may have to do with this:
- Acting on the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by President Uchtdorf
- The Three R’s of Choice by President Monson (I’ll study this one tomorrow.)
From President Uchtdorf’s talk:
…hearing words of counsel and acting upon them are two very different things. The Savior spoke of the difference when He said that those who hear and obey are like those who build their houses upon a rock. And those who hear but don’t follow—well, they could just end up being ex-home owners.
It’s easy to listen to conference and think, “Yeah, I should do that…” and then never do a single thing to change or implement what I’ve heard. Another common mistake is to think, “Oh, ________ should really listen to this talk. It would really help them.”
Church members are wonderful in their desire to be obedient and follow the Lord. But sometimes, in spite of our good intentions, we delay doing what we should do or we misunderstand what we were taught. As a result, inspired words of counsel might not have the promised effect.
President Uchtdorf talks about how it is easy to over-complicate the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by setting “…up rules, laws, bylaws, processes, and subprocesses. Eventually, we pile up load after load until we end up under a huge weight of expectations that are so complicated it is difficult to keep track of them, let alone meet them. Paul said, “The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” (2 Corinthians 3:6).”
However, when we focus on the “why” of the gospel, much of the confusion fades away. Why are we here? Why are we asked to obey the commandments? Why is the Atonement of Jesus Christ of such value to us?
This goes back to what I studied the other day about the Zoramites. They stopped asking questions to their Heavenly Father through prayer. They stopped praying altogether. They seemed to feel they could do things on their own or that they had it all figured out and didn’t really need to ask questions about “why”. They ultimately let PRIDE take over.
In talking about councils (and pretty much all meetings in the Church), President Uchtdorf recommends asking these questions:
- How can we help our members better love the Lord our God with all their heart, soul, and mind?
- How can we help our members better love their neighbors as themselves?
These are good questions to ask about the families I home teach too. How can I help them better love the Lord (so they’ll want to come back to Church and serve Him)?
Every other thing we discuss in our councils within our Church organizations should derive from these great commandments, for everything else hangs upon them.
I hope to remember these questions!
Once we understand the “why” behind our council meetings [or any meeting for that matter], it is easier for us to focus appropriately on how to accomplish it. For example, as we consider ways to increase love for neighbor among our members, we might decide to plan a service activity in which we include our less-active members and our friends of other faiths.
I love this quote too:
Some may be tempted to say, “Just tell us what to do, and we’ll do it.” While we commend a righteous desire to be obedient, there is more to leadership in the Church (and more to life) than simply checking items off an assigned to-do list…
It might be wise to look at the handbooks and even the scriptures not as checklists or detailed scripts but rather as opportunities to prepare our minds and hearts to receive divine inspiration for our responsibilities.
Unfortunately, we sometimes don’t seek revelation or answers from the scriptures or the handbooks because we think we know the answers already.
Welcome to the path of the Zoramites, who quit following the process of the Church and quit asking God for guidance because they felt they already knew the answers.
Brothers and sisters, as good as our previous experience may be, if we stop asking questions, stop thinking, stop pondering, we can thwart the revelations of the Spirit…How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn’t get past the massive iron gate of what we thought we already knew?
How do we measure growth in the Church?
…the more accurate indicators of real growth in the gospel of Jesus Christ are those that we can’t measure as easily, such as daily prayer, scripture study, family home evening, love at home and for our neighbor, and personal experiences with Christ’s Atonement.
President Hinckley once said, “We are here to assist our [Heavenly] Father in His work and His glory, ‘to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man’ (Moses 1:39). Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere.”2
What a great talk.
I feel I can apply it in what I’m doing now. I know what I “should” be doing, but am I doing those things?
I feel that reading my scriptures, the words of the prophets, and writing down my thoughts is a good step. I also feel earnest prayer is something I want to do.
I’m excited about this month.