Today I read Elder Robert D. Hales talk Coming to Ourselves: The Sacrament, the Temple, and Sacrifice in Service.
For the first time I actually could hear his voice in my head as I read. That was cool.
He started with one of my favorite stories, the Prodigal Son. I have always loved this story because it reminds me of all of us. I think we are each of these characters at different times in our lives. We are all the bitter faithful son that stayed and worked and feels jipped when his brother returns. We all have rejoiced when someone we love comes back. And... we all have had the experience of being the one that leaves. Think about it. We all left our Father and are working our way back, at the very least. :)
Elder Hales reminds us that "we are truly sons and daughters of a caring Heavenly Father, who loves us..."
I sure wish I remembered Him more. Maybe that would make my desire to be near him increase.
"As our spiritual desires increase, we become spiritually self-reliant."
He then asks, "How, then, do we help others, ourselves, and our families increase our desires to follow the Savior and live His gospel?"
Yes indeed, How?
Sadly, I didn't really find the answer on how it increase desire in someone who appears to have little or no desire. I did find ways to increase my own desire.
He first focused on increasing desire through worthy worship with the Sacrament.
"Our pondering helps us to recognize that through the Savior's sacrifice, we have the hope, opportunity, and strength to make real, heartfelt changes in our lives."
The hard part is to help wayward youth experience these blessings. Sometimes it feel impossible to get them to study, discuss, or discover the relevance of the Atonement when they claim to not believe in God. It is difficult to get them to search and impossible to get them to teach the Atonement to someone else.
I guess I just have something to work toward.
Elder Hales next focused on the temple. I remember listening to this talk. I remember writing down this thought.
If I promise to go to the temple each month something will influence my son's heart...
... and, if I exercise faith and start putting away money for a mission, someday it will be put to good use.
I started doing that. I can't say that I think it's making a difference, but at least I'm trying.
The last principle Elder Hales focused on was service.
"It is difficult for youth to understand how present actions will prepare them for or disqualify them from future service opportunities.."
Funny, but I think this is true for all of us. I think we often forget to think things all the way through and act on impulse. At least I do. It's that whole "open mouth, insert foot thing."
I think it is most evident in how self-reliant I can be.
Just get to higher ground. Then when the rains come up it won't matter as much, and I might just get a beach front house!
So that is what I learned. How about you?