Today has been a good day for a few reasons I think:
- I met with Jason in the morning and talked about my procrastination with doing Step 9
- I sent Jason a list of the people I need to make amends with
- I chatted with one of them via internet today
- I made a long list of all the things I need to get done and then prioritized
- I had more options come up for projects (things really seem to be coming all at once the last couple days)
- I met with Brett and Devin tonight about the new biz stuff
- We celebrated Caleb’s birthday (again) with some of his closest friends – went really well
I’m grateful to be working with Jason and to feel that accountability to someone else.
I’m grateful to have prayed today for help with lust (even though I can always be better).
I’m grateful for the relationship I feel I’m developing, more and more, with my kids.
I’m grateful for this holiday season – I need to get things wrapped for Becky.
I’m grateful to be such good friends with Brett and Devin.
I’m grateful to have re-connected today with old work friends.
I’m grateful for the opportunities that came up yesterday with Mat and team.
I’m grateful for the experience I’m having being self-employed.
As I browsed LDS.org tonight looking for topics to study, I found a talk by D. Todd Christofferson titled, “Reflections on a Consecrated Life” from the October 2010 General Conference. The sub-title really caught my attention based on the state of my current situation:
True success in this life comes in consecrating our lives—that is, our time and choices—to God’s purposes.
I hope I’m always honest with myself about that fact that one of my main goals in life is to be able to serve multiple missions as I get older. I really, really feel this is my motivation for wanting to succeed in my work efforts: so I can afford to be able to serve in the Church with no limitations.
I don’t want to have ulterior motives. I don’t want to make money so I can compare myself to others or so I can drive a sporty car, or whatever. I’m excited to read more about this topic of consecration.
Every day, every hour, every minute of your span of mortal years must sometime be accounted for. And it is in this life that you walk by faith and prove yourself able to choose good over evil, right over wrong, enduring happiness over mere amusement. And your eternal reward will be according to your choosing.
A prophet of God has said: ‘Men are that they might have joy’—a joy that includes a fullness of life, a life dedicated to service, to love and harmony in the home, and the fruits of honest toil—an acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—of its requirements and commandments.
Only in these will you find true happiness, the happiness which doesn’t fade with the lights and the music and the crowds.1
This scripture reminds me of my patriarchal blessing where it talks about I will recognize opportunities to get my work done. I hope that I can recognize what “my work” is. I feel missionary work is a big part of it. I feel that’s why I’ve had no fear to do sales, because it’s meeting people, talking with people I don’t know, bringing something to them that they don’t even know they need. The Gospel is the most important thing I can take to people, including my friends.
Consecration therefore means repentance. Stubbornness, rebellion, and rationalization must be abandoned, and in their place submission, a desire for correction, and acceptance of all that the Lord may require. This is what King Benjamin called putting off the natural man, yielding to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and becoming “a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord” (Mosiah 3:19). Such a one is promised the enduring presence of the Holy Spirit, a promise remembered and renewed each time a repentant soul partakes of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (see D&C 20:77, 79).
I feel like this last paragraph is so key and it’s what the 12 step program is teaching me about myself and how I “submit” to the will of the Father in ALL things, not just to overcome my addictions.
I also feel “putting off the natural man and yielding to the enticings of the Holy Spirit” has a lot to do with lust and how I plan to fight the natural man – I MUST be worthy of the Holy Ghost at all times to help me fight off the “fiery darts of the adversary”.
By work we sustain and enrich life. It enables us to survive the disappointments and tragedies of the mortal experience. Hard-earned achievement brings a sense of self-worth. Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, and is the instrument of our service to one another and to God. A consecrated life is filled with work, sometimes repetitive, sometimes menial, sometimes unappreciated but always work that improves, orders, sustains, lifts, ministers, aspires.
…wholesome recreation is the friend and steadying companion of work. Music, literature, art, dance, drama, athletics—all can provide entertainment to enrich one’s life and further consecrate it.
I really appreciate this story, especially in relation to business dealings:
Years ago I became acquainted with two families in the process of dissolving a jointly owned commercial enterprise. The principals, two men who were friends and members of the same Christian congregation, had formed the company years earlier. They had a generally congenial relationship as business partners, but as they grew older and the next generation began to take part in the business, conflicts emerged. Finally, all parties decided it would be best to divide up the assets and go their separate ways. One of the two original partners devised a stratagem with his lawyers to secure for himself a significant financial advantage in the dissolution at the expense of the other partner and his sons. In a meeting of the parties, one of the sons complained about this unfair treatment and appealed to the honor and Christian beliefs of the first partner. “You know this is not right,” he said. “How could you take advantage of someone this way, especially a brother in the same church?” The first partner’s lawyer retorted, “Oh, grow up! How can you be so naive?”
Integrity is not naiveté. What is naive is to suppose that we are not accountable to God. The Savior declared: “My Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; … that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil” (3 Nephi 27:14). One who lives a consecrated life does not seek to take advantage of another but, if anything, will turn the other cheek and, if required to deliver a coat, will give the cloak also (see Matthew 5:39–40). The Savior’s sternest rebukes were to hypocrites. Hypocrisy is terribly destructive, not only to the hypocrite but also to those who observe or know of his or her conduct, especially children. It is faith destroying, whereas honor is the rich soil in which the seed of faith thrives.
May we consecrate ourselves as sons and daughters of God, “that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope” (Moroni 7:48; see also 1 John 3:2)…
I’m grateful for the words of living prophets. They couldn’t come at a better time for me than right now. So many answers come through the simple things – studying the words of the prophets, writing things down, and saying little prayers of thanks and supplication.
I know that Heavenly Father will continue to bless me as I do what He says; but if I do my own will, I have no promise. (I, the Lord, am abound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no bpromise.)