By Study and Also By Faith

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

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Personal Reflections

Life certainly isn't simple, is it? So much to be concerned about, not least of which is our own self improvement. After all, our Heavenly Father placed us here on earth to learn and grow and improve.

While we are taught to think for ourselves, this doesn't preclude listening to those who are wiser than we and receiving their counsel. We must not just receive their counsel, but we must actually implement it in our lives. This is easier said than done, but that makes it no less necessary.

Among those that we should listen to are our prophets, who counsel us at the Lord's direction. Sometimes we hear counsel that is difficult for us, but that makes it no less true.

There are a number of basic things we need to be doing in order to assure ourselves that we are doing what is right. These things include prayer, studying the scriptures as the word of God and not as linguistic documents to be parsed and argued over, studying the words of our living prophets and apostles, attending church and temple, and so forth.

There are temporal things we need to do as well--saving money, getting out of debt, not living beyond our means, storing food and other items in preparation for hard times, etc.

Everyone of us can improve in each of these areas and need to work on doing so. Service to others is also a very important aspect of living, as is strengthening our families.

We also need to care for our health and develop our talents and abilities. We should also do what we can to continue learning about a variety of subjects--the gospel, current events, and things that are of interest to us such as history or science.

It all sounds so overwhelming when listed together like this, but we are not expected to run faster than we have strength. We are, however, expected to be persistent and diligent. And who is it that expects this of us? Our Heavenly Father, who knows us better than we know ourselves and who knows what is best for us. He is also more than willing to help us, if we will let Him. Sometimes that last part--letting God help us--is very difficult. We think we should be able to do it all by ourselves. It is true that we need to choose to put in the effort, but we need to rely on our Heavenly Father for the strength to follow through and also for ideas on how to continue when we run into a road block. It is a sort of partnership between us and God that helps us to live life as we should. He can guide us in the right direction and help us to know right from wrong. He can provide inspiration and encouragement and confirmation that we are doing well.

I have my struggles, as we all do. I even have trouble with persisting and being diligent! Still, I know where help is and I need to keep going. That isn't always easy. There are times when headaches defeat me or when my back hurts abominably, as it is right now. I just have to remember that persisting and being diligent will help me to become stronger in all ways.

May God bless us all to be persistent and diligent.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Persistence and diligence. There is so much wisdom in those words. I appreciate your thoughts about the Lord not expecting everything of us right now, but he does expect us to keep moving, keep putting one foot in front of the other. The very definition of persistence. The scriptures use the word "endure" which I think implies the same thing.

Great thoughts, thank you.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Mary A said...

ymh, glad you liked my post! I like your image of putting one foot in front of the other. One step at a time is the way we go miles and miles. Thanks for stopping by!

1:09 PM  
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