I’ve been reading a book recently titled "Moving in His Majesty & Power" by Neal A. Maxwell. It is a compilation of a few thoughts he had prior to his passing in 2004. One of the chapters is called "Conversion". In the chapter he says some things that really catch my attention, especially in regard to what I’ve been going through:
If truly converted unto the Lord, we will really strive to be live Him. If we are not diverted from the word of the God, which has a more powerful effect on the minds of the people than anything else, we will thereby hasten God’s work. Strange, nevertheless, that we should keeping turning from that which brings the highest yield to lesser substitutes. There are so many ways in which we can "leave the word of God, and serve tables" (Acts 6:2)
Wow! Another manifestation that the word of God is a KEY to SPIRITUAL SUCCESS! How many manifestations do I need really? If I want to make progress in true conversion, the word of God has to be an integral part.
On a side note, I was thinking a lot today about my inventory and why I do what I do. One thing that came to mind was "over indulgence" or "being spoiled" and the effects that has on my addiction. Although I didn’t realize it as much growing up, I basically got whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it. Luckily I didn’t ask for everything under the sun, but for the most part, I got "everything under the sun" anyway.
I noticed this this weekend because, as I watch Caleb interact with Grandma and Grandpa, he is a lot different than when he’s at home. Not only is he a lot more wild, which drives me nuts, but he is sassy, rude, and ungrateful. He whines a lot more, and has a hard time settling down and obeying. I seem to have to be the constant "enforcer" and feel like I have no patience or restraint.
The point I’m trying to make is that it’s not that Mom and Dad really "spoil" him too much, it’s just that he knows that he can get away with anything and they’ll coddle him, justify his behavior, or blame what he’s done on a situation, never on him. They are also quick to "serve" him when really there are things he needs to learn to do on his own: clean up after himself, clear his plate, say thanks, be polite, etc. Hopefully I can learn from these experiences and not fall in to the same tendencies. I know Mom and Dad don’t mean harm at all; I feel that this is one "intangible" that can easily be overlooked. I thought about how Heavenly Father does things: he doesn’t always give people what the ask for, especially without some trial, hardship, and growth opportunities first. He is always willing to help, but His children have to do the work – He doesn’t do things for them – that takes away their opportunity to grow and exercise agency. So, more to come later on that…
One more quote from the "Conversion" talk by Elder Maxwell:
When there throbs in the heart of an individual Latter-day Saint a great and vital testimony of the truth of this work, he will be found doing his duty in the Church. He will be found in his sacrament meetings. He will be found in his priesthood meetings. He will be found paying his honest tithes and offerings. He will be doing his home teaching. He will be found in attendance at the temple as frequently as his circumstances will permit. He will have within him a great desire to share the gospel with others. he will be found strengthening and lifting his brethren and sisters. It is conversion that makes the difference. – President Gordon B. Hinckley (cited in "News of the Church," 99).
I really want to study about conversion more and commit to working on my continual conversion process.