|How will you embark this year?|
When Heavenly Father sent us to earth, he had a plan for us. For some of us that was many years ago, for others it was only a few. No matter how long ago our purpose is the same.
We live in a world of constant change. Many of you were alive when the first iPhone came out- even I was. It was thick and bulky and few apps could be purchased for it. In less than a decade the iPhone has dramatically changed, it is large, skinny, has a great camera, and even uses fingerprint scanners to log you in.
So what does this have to do with the gospel?
First off, God is not like technology. He never changes. So no matter if you came to earth 50 years ago or 5 months ago- your purpose is the same. So what is that purpose? Heavenly Father sent us to earth with free agency. He wanted to let us grow and learn. The purpose of our mortal mission is to become as Christlike as possible.
So that leads to my second point. We can be like the iPhone. Constantly improving. Fast, Efficient. Smart. Full of good stuff like the gospel (or gospel library). Wide spread like all the apps you can download. Money smart. Food conscious. Organized. A good communicator. Even skinny:)
It’s a new year! A fresh start. A clean slate. The perfect time to become the person you want to be. The perfect time to reach your full potential as a son/daughter of God.
I was asked to talk on new years resolutions. Don’t roll your eyes because they are overused or start taking notes because it’s January 11th and you have to remember these for next year because it wouldn’t be right for you set a resolution later than January 1st.
The Atonement is real so every day is a new start. You can become the person you want to be today, whether it’s January 1st, 21st, March 15th, or November 8th.
And for the eye rollers- I get what you’re saying. Everyone sets a resolution to be healthy, be organized, or save money. And I’m not saying those are bad- you go for it!
But I’m not here to tell you the perfect diet, one simple trick to organize your life, or the perfect plan to come up with 5,000 extra dollars a year.
The youth program plays a huge role in my life- I love it so much. Wednesdays and Sundays are pretty much my favorite days. Each Wednesday we recite the youth theme. And it recently it changed. So this year I decided to set a few of my resolutions around the new theme. It reads:
“O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day” (D&C 4:2).
Wow- thats alot. Serving with your mind, strength, heart, and might. Some of us find it hard to simply rub our stomachs and head at the same- much less serve with 4 parts of us at once.
So how can we do this?
Serve with our heart:
- Serve because you want to. Serve because it is important to you. Dedicate your whole heart to it.
- Serve spiritually. Serve The Lord by reading your scriptures, praying, reflecting on The Atonement, repentance, following the commandments, and giving him a few minutes of your time each day. If The Savior lived in your house wouldn’t you take a few minutes to at least acknowledge him, learn from him, and talk to him? Then do it in real life too.
Serve with might:
- This is similar to the first. Be dedicated. When you are raking your neighbor's yard, don’t be dreaming of cuddling up in your bed with a good book or movie, a yummy snack, and falling asleep. I don’t care if it’s negative 3 degrees and you haven’t slept in 3 days. Be there because you want to. Give your heart to The Lord for a few hours.
Serve with mind:
- Use your brain. Help tutor someone. Teach someone else. Use your talents to help others and bring The Spirit into their lives. Heavenly Father gave us talents for a reason don’t be like the foolish man who hid his talents. Use your talents to bless others.
Serve with strength:
This applies in 2 ways.
- Don’t be scared to serve. Don’t be scared to sit with the unpopular girl at lunch. Don’t be scared to be the only one who stops to pick help the shy kid pick up their books. There are people who need our help. Sadly in today’s world helping others isn’t necessarily “cool” or popular. But it’s part of our role as children of God and it’s what Christ would want. Isn’t his approval more important?
- Serve with your muscles! Don’t be afraid to get dirty. Sacrifice for others.It is so worth it for them and for you.D&C 73: 3,5 says “Behold, I say unto you that it is my will that you should go forth and not tarry, neither be idle but labor with your might. “And thus, if ye are faithful ye shall be laden with many sheaves, and crowned with honor, and glory, and immortality, and eternal life.” Wow! That’s alot of awesome blessings.
All this seems pretty overwhelming. But you can do it. You can become the person you want to be. You can do it!
I know we have a Heavenly Father who loves us. I know we are sons/daughters of God. You are special and you are loved. We were meant to shine. I know The Savior Atoned for our sins so we can come back to live with him someday. Because of him there is purpose to our mortal existence. We can be forgiven! Isn’t that an amazing blessing?! Heavenly Father knows each of your struggles. He knows you and as you strive to become more like him by serving with all your heart, might, mind, and strength and drawing close to him through the gospel; you will feel his arms around you. You will feel his love, his hope, and his peace that can be found no other way. I know my Savior lives and he is the perfect example.
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen