Sunday, June 23, 2013

Time for Change


I have so many of them. Most of them are pretty lame. Many of them are quite common:

I'm too busy. I am too shy. I don't want to offend anyone or make them feel uncomfortable. I would rather keep to myself. I don't want to open up that "can of worms." The status quo is just fine. I feel awkward - I don't even know where to start. Someone else is better qualified. I don't know anyone who could use the gospel message. So-and-so would never want to hear it. The time is never right.

While it's possible that each of these statements is technically, in some way, true; it does not excuse my inaction. It does not absolve me of the responsibility - the duty - to do what I know is right. It just helps me to rationalize and justify my personal failures.

That said, it's not productive to beat myself up, either. It's time to just recognize the fault, and fix it.

Put simply, it's time to repent.

Time for change.

A great meeting like tonight's worldwide broadcast for mission presidents - The Work of Salvation - which all members have been invited to watch, can be a great kick in the rear to remind you of your obligations, and to inspire you to do what's right.

And our wonderful leaders do it so well - not by making you feel guilty, not by bullying or cajoling, but with gentle and loving counsel designed to inspire, uplift, and remind us of the great blessings we enjoy. The messages instill in us a true desire to live up to our divine potential, to serve, to share, and above all, to love.

The Lord is hastening His work. This has been repeated many times lately by the Brethren. I do not take that message lightly. It means great things are ahead. It also means that I need to step up my own game, because the Lord's work (you know, that one that is hastening) is performed by His people - His followers - His Saints. We are the ones who must accomplish that work, as His hands, doing His work on the earth as His servants, blessing and serving others.

As King Benjamin said, "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

Now is the time to serve our fellow beings, and thereby serve our God. All it takes is love, and a willingness to act upon that love. If you let love be your motivator, and let the Spirit be your guide, all you need to do is ignore your excuses (say "no" to laziness, "no" to fear, "no" to any and all of those false obstacles in my "excuse" list above) - and you will have success.

Tonight, we were reminded of some great and wonderful facts by President Monson and the apostles:

  • As we do our best, Heavenly Father will not let us fail.
  • When we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to His help.
  • Wishing will not make it so; the Lord expects our action.
These are powerful messages that can help us overcome the things that we let prevent us from sharing the gospel.

When I think of how happy the gospel makes me, when I consider the great blessings in my life that come because of the gospel, and when I think of the eternal significance of the gospel - I am driven, I am motivated, I am urged from deep within my soul to share the wonderful truths of the restored gospel.

Now all I need to do is ignore the excuses and do it.

The best way to share the gospel is in the way we live our lives. We should let it be evident in the way we live and serve others and build friendships that we love others and want them to share in the joy we experience in the gospel. If we can shift our focus ever so slightly away from ourselves and look outward to those around us, this should not be hard.

And's time for change.


Michaela Stephens said...

I felt the same way about the worldwide missionary broadcast. And I had a lot of excuses I had to deal with too. I thought of a few plans I could try to help the missionaries, but I was afraid.

What I ended up doing was writing down each of my fears and then asking, "What is that a problem for me?" to get to deeper fears, writing those down too, slowly peeling back the onion layers of fear until I could go no further. And then I debunked those fears, writing down rational and faith-filled arguments to cancel them.
That helped a lot.

Finally I felt able to do it, though I still had to overcome internal resistance to take the initiative and call the missionaries.

Yesterday I introduced my neighbors to the missionaries. I knew enough about both my neighbors and the missionaries to share good things about each with the other. I want my neighbors to feel comfortable talking to the missionaries when they meet them in the future. It was a good thing to break the ice.

Michael said...

Thanks for your comment, Michaela! I'm glad you have decided to be brave, confront your fears, dismiss them, and go forward with faith! :)

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