By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


How do we become committed to the gospel so that we are fulfilling our callings, sharing the gospel, serving others, showing up for activities, and so forth? I have been surprised to learn that some of the young women in our ward won't commit to a meeting or activity even just two days ahead of time because they "don't plan that far ahead." Sometimes teachers just don't show up on Sunday. Is that because people like to leave their options open in case they want to sleep in or something "fun" comes up to do instead? Is it poor planning, or no planning? Poor time management?

An eternal perspective and regular prayer and scripture study can help one realize the importance of the gospel and help one to set priorities. Still, we have to want to do those things and put our lives in order. We have agency and choice. So what do we do to want to commit and to make good choices?

I think about what Alma said about faith in Alma 32. He talked about nourishing even just the desire to believe and encouraging it to grow. That is what we can do about commitment--nourish even just the desire to be a committed Latter-Day Saint. The prayer, scripture study, and being open to the inspiration of the Holy Ghost can give us the knowledge about the gospel that we need in order to be committed to it. Perhaps, too, we need to teach ourselves and our children to make and keep commitments even in small everyday ways. We can commit to daily prayer and scripture study, commit to do our daily chores, commit to go to work or school or church, or other routine matters in our lives. How well do we already keep such commitments? Can we do a little better?

Do we need to learn how to manage our time better? Maybe we just need to sit down and think through a day or a week and make some notes to ourselves about what we need to do and when.

Those things will help with the mechanics of commitment, but ultimately we need to learn to know and trust our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we grasp the importance of commitment and of what we should commit to.

I don't have all the answers and I am certainly far from perfect, but it concerns me that people today don't seem all that committed to things. What do you think would help turn this around?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That brings saddness to my heart and causes me to wonder just how much of a testimony such people have. I see a little bit of it home teaching but, I don't have much interaction with the young people. From what I have seen it's not yet to that point in our ward as there is usually a good turn out for the various YW activities. As for the YM, if you have a basketball, they will come,kind of like the Pied Piper. Would be nice if the basketball wasn't necessary.
We haven't had any problem with adults bailing on teaching assignments, and since I don't plan on bailing tomorrow I guess that that trend will continue.From my perspective, Church wise, commitment is dependant on a strong testimony of the Restored Gospel.


2:45 PM  
Anonymous tjhirst said...

I was probably one of those youth without much commitment to the church (because it seemed to just be about the fluffy handouts and activities). . . until I found the gospel. Once I had my own personal connection with my Heavenly Father and I learned that the church is ultimately about Jesus Christ, I was prompted with an internal commitment to seek everything I could to grow and then give everything I could out of gratitude. It's like what President Packer has said, "True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behaviors. The study of doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." (Nov 1986 Ensign). My husband wrote on this subject in his stewardship as our Bishop. and I posted it on my web site. It is entitled, "The Parable of the Leftovers." I will leave the link as my URL.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

JR, it is sad, and I think you are right that a strong testimony is the foundation of commitment.

tjhirst, thanks for your comment and the link to "The Parable of the Leftovers". That was a good parable.

I think that what both of you say leads to is that we must be truly converted to the gospel in order to make and keep commitments and covenants. We have to know of its truthfulness and its importance.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!!

3:19 PM  
Blogger T. F. Stern said...

I've noticed such a lack of commitment in temple attendance; both from ordinance workers and patrons. I work at the Houston Temple on Wed evenings and wish those who are supposed to work would show up or at least find fill in workers if they can't. I also notice how many folks are there as patrons; sadly, not near as many as could be. We should have the temple at full or near full most of the time and yet often times we need temple workers to fill the gaps just to make a session. I think those who have to travel greater distances are more committed than those who have the temple so close. It all boils down to what's important in your life.

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Aaron said...

You've all said it. It all boils down to testimony.

At one point in my life I had just been released as Elder's Quorum President of a group of over 100 elders. I had served for 2 years and was struggling with some health problems and asked to be released. During that time it became easier for me to slack off on home teaching and other callings and over a period of almost 2 years I was hardly active in callings at all. I noticed I wasn't as happy and finally one day i woke up and remembered I had a testimony and it is a choice to be committed. It's like working out. You never want to do it at first, but once you do you're very glad you did.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

TF, yes, the temple attendance also suffers from lack of commitment, which is sad, too. I'm glad you mentioned temples. About the distance, when I read of the struggle and sacrifice that some make (say, in Africa or South America) to go to the temple on what may be their one opportunity to do so, it fills me with admiration for them and concern that those of us with temples near by aren't as committed and faithful.

Aaron, thanks for sharing your situation. It is like working out--you have to make up your mind that you will do it and you are always glad you did. And it's like Alma said about exercising your faith and nourishing the seed--the growth doesn't come without effort on our part, but the blessings come, too.

4:37 PM  
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