We [and by we, I mean I] had a wonderous morning! I enjoyed, so thoroughly, all three meetings today. I feel so wonderful and peaceful and calm and enriched and revived and uplifted and, just dang special!
I wanted to write down some of these thoughts before I lose them. We had High Council speakers today and one of them spoke about a talk Sterling W. Sill gave years ago. He has written several books, too, so the material might have come from one of those. He said there are three things we need to be doing.
#1 Have a ‘self-improvement’ program going on all the time.
#2 Be conscious of the forces working against us.
#3 Build our ‘house’ for all of eternity.
He spoke about the many ways we can be improving ourselves, our lives and our circumstances. Most of them are common sense. Pray, do what the Lord asks us to do, attend our church meetings, keep our covenants, love one another. Eat well, exercise, read good books. All of those things. He said look for the good in others. Look for the good in ourselves! Find something to love about ourselves and each of our children and spouse every single day. Find one person outside of our family to serve every single day. Follow the Prophet. Study the scriptures.
He also said there are many forces working against each of us. Every day. All day long. There’s drugs and alcohol, abortion, immorality, other addictions, breaking the Sabbath, becoming complacent, becoming so familiar with what we know that we don’t see a need to improve. There is too much Media — TV, facebook, email, gaming. All of these things have many ‘friends.’ We need to not become too familiar with these ‘friends’. He then showed us some Indian corn and said the kernels are different colors because of cross pollination and the fact that they absorb the characteristics of other corn in the same field. We are like Indian corn and need to be aware of the constant cross-pollination in our own lives. We need to be aware of the characteristics of others that we automatically ‘take on.’ [We must choose our friends wisely and associate with good people!]
A perfectly, normally, decent person can start to act like the least decent-behaving person in a room. I have noticed that on occasion. Everyone starts acting like the least desirable personality present. I do it. I notice that a rude person is getting all the laughs and I start to get rude and sarcastic. Or a child is misbehaving and quickly more children are misbehaving. The speaker just asked us to be more aware of those influences in our lives.
Then, he told the story about a man who asked his contractor friend to build a house. Money was no object. He wanted a fine home. He said to build to the exact specifications he had mapped out. The friend saw a way to cut corners and maybe put some money in his own pocket. So, he didn’t use the best building materials or the best finishing practices. Of course, the man then gave the house to his good friend. Brother Harmon said this is much like our own lives. The Lord wants us to build the best house we can out of the best materials. It’s the house we will live in for all of Eternity. We will become our very life!
Love this quote: [the reason for this whole post . . .]
Chief of all the wondrous works, Supreme of all thy plans,
Thou hast put an upward reach into the heart of man – Stirling W. Sill
It’s kind of like a homing device that we have in our hearts. We want to reach up. We want to reach heaven.
I surely haven’t done justice to his sacrament talk but I just wanted to jot down what I could remember and try to keep the feeing I had today, listening. I also want to start, today, to have a self-improvement program, be aware of all the forces working against me and build my house for all of eternity.
We all struggle. We are, each one of us, in different stages of trials, circumstances, injustice, conflicts, and obstacles. But we can’t lose hope. Satan wants us to lose hope. He counts on us losing hope! The Lord tells us: “And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” The Lords wants us to have all He has. The best of everything! The gospel is the greatest source of happiness!
Sometimes I see some pretty happy people who have nothing that resembes the gospel in their life! They have money and possessions, good job, good luck. They have beautiful children and things always go right for them. So, I sometimes wonder! I see others who live the gospel and it seems like nothing ever goes right for them. I see them struggle and lose their children and lose their businesses and lose their hope. But they have the gospel. Very confusing sometimes! But this I know:
King Benjamin told us: “And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.”
So, um. I want the never-ending happiness. I want direction and peace in my life. I want to recognize truth. How I go about that might not resemble how someone else goes about it. But I recognize these words as truth and my hope is that all those I love will, as well.
Be happy. Be blessed. Be merry. Be believing. Be balanced. Be hopeful. Be responsive to His light.