Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Follow Through

Most of the reason that I struggle sleeping is that I have a problem shutting off my brain at night. I don't know how people can just tell theirs to stop thinking. I am unsure if I will end up posting this, but they are some thoughts I had last night:

I was listening to a talk by Spencer W. Kimball and he began speaking of covenants that we make. While I was listening to this I thought about a conversation that I had six months or so ago with a friend. I was asked why I was an obedient missionary. Now I wasn't perfect. But I really tried. At the time I responded with something about my patriarchal blessing. Last night I realized though that that had very little to do with it. It was really because of the covenants that I had made.

I have struggles in my life. Not more than most, or maybe even as many as the median. But they are there. I have talents, though I am definitely not the most talented person I know. But I feel like I am good at following through. Before my mission, I went through the temple, I made covenants. I agreed that I would serve better. That was my choice, and it was something I didn't do lightly. When I said I was going to serve a mission, I did so because I wanted to. They told me that I would have to live a certain way, and since I had made the choice to go, and I had agreed to live that way by thus accepting. By being obedient to the mission rules I was just following through with what I said I would do.

President Kimball spoke about how if we aren't going to live up to the covenants we shouldn't make them. It is given no one will perfectly. Everyone will slip up from time to time. Everyone has violated their baptismal covenants at different times. No one serves perfectly. Thus the need for the atonement, the sacrament, and for repentance. I have a close friend who will not go to the temple for any ordinance because she is scared of transgressing after that. She understands the seriousness of those ordinances and covenants. In a way, I really respect that and think it is a wise decision. If she is not ready for it, then she should not go.

Though I understand this, I also acknowledge that she should be working towards going. That should be her goal. And the basis of this should be a better understanding of the atonement. We all live different lives and we all have different problems. Jesus Christ will bless us with strength greater than whatever the opposition is. At times I think if I had more trials maybe things would be harder. But I don't necessarily believe that. Those who meet more opposition are entitled to more help. If they stay close to the Lord and ask, the help will come. So if we make those covenants, God will absolutely help us honor them.

Like I said I'm not the best. I'm not always the best example. Sometimes I act a little harshly with people. I do feel that I hold myself up to at least that same standard though. I believe that I will be judged how I judge others, and honestly I feel like I'm not unreasonable. I'm hard on myself. I believe that if I committed to do something, if I said I was going to do it, that I should be accountable to that. And I feel that others should if they made that same decision.

The promised blessings are there. The Lord has promised help. We shy away from making covenants and receiving the entitled blessings from them too often because we feel that we are not strong enough, but He is. If we really want to follow through, He will make sure that we can.


Katie said...

I really enjoyed reading this...thanks for your testimony:)

indeazgirl said...

There's a reason why it took me 30 years to go through the temple. I knew I wanted to be 100% ready for that commitment. And even though I still wonder all the time if I'm doing enough, I know He knows I'm trying.

Carolyn said...

Brad, you are ridiculously AMAZING! I'm glad I just happened to go to your blog today. :)

RC said...

You know, sometimes I think about you and realize that even though you may not like it, or even admit to it, you have followed in your fathers footsteps (okay, don't panic I only meant some of them). When I joined the church I made a commitment to be the best that I could. While I have failed at times to uphold all the covenants I have made I have tried to stay close and do that which I have said I would. Home teaching, serving others, etc. is something that I tried to do 100%. (tried is the key word there). If you are going to do something then do it. I think my father instilled that in me, although I am sure he didn't realize being a member of the church was one of those things. I am proud to be your dad.

Bonnie said...

I love you Brad!!