However Long and Hard the Road

This week, in one of our readings, we got to read a speech by Elder Holland called, “However Long and Hard the Road.”

I’ve posted a link to the video on YouTube, and I think it is worth watching if you have a little time.

In this speech, Elder Holland tells us the importance of enduring and persevering no matter what may be thrown at us.  He tells of the many trials that will come to each of us during this lifetime, and the importance of learning how to overcome them.

This really stood out to me this week, and helped me to realize that trials are going to be a part of each of our lives.  And we must learn how to overcome them.  If we don’t, we will end up holding ourselves back, and not living up to our full potential.

As Elder Holland shared several different stories of trials by those that have come before us, it really helps to put in perspective just how much our ancestors have gone through to get us to the point we are now.  We must not let these people down by giving up as things get hard.  Instead, we must learn to push through, persevere, and overcome the adversity that comes to all of us.

The 7 Habits

This week, we finished up reading a book called Mastery, by George Leonard.  The book was great, and does a great job of telling us what we need to do in our lives to become masters over anything that we wish to be better at.

We also had a few readings to go through, one of which was a summary of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey.  Of the 7 habits mentioned in this summary, I think that the first one, being proactive, stands out the most to me.

I feel that this habit is the most important, as it requires us to take it upon ourselves to start being better, and start on a path to become more than we currently are.  If we wait for someone to tell us to do it, or wait for someone to put a plan in our hands, we can sit waiting for years.  It is necessary to be proactive in all that we do.  We must prepare ourselves to move forward, and be ready to react to any situation that may come our way.

As we endeavor to be proactive, I feel that we start on the path of mastery that George talks about in his book.  We must have the willpower necessary to start on this path, and then we must be willing to stay on that path.  Doing so will help us to master anything in our lives that we wish to master.

I know that each of us has unlimited potential to do whatever it is that we want to do.  We must be willing to have the courage to start doing better, and practice at being better each day.  If we do this, we all can overcome any obstacles that may stand in our way.

Taking Offense

This week in our Book of Mormon class for Pathway, we are reading Alma 43-63.  As we read through the various chapters, we also have videos to watch throughout the week.  One of these videos is titled “And Nothing Shall Offend Them”, and is by Elder David A. Bednar.

I really enjoyed listening to this talk and if you haven’t seen it, I would suggest watching it.  In our lesson, it only shows a couple of minutes of the talk given by Elder Bednar, but after watching this, I had to go watch the entire talk.  I really enjoyed listening to him talk about this subject.

As he speaks about people that have become less active in the church because of being offended, it really hits close to home.  For many years I stopped going to church myself because of things that had been said or done in the past that offended me.  For a while there I thought I might never go back to church again.  Even though I feel that I had a testimony of the truthfulness of the church, I let my thinking get clouded and really started to blame others for my inactivity.

In his talk, Elder Bednar states that “ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me.”  He further states that to be offended “is a choice we make.”

This is something that I have struggled with a lot in the past.  I really believed that I was wronged by things that people have said to me in the past and I really believed that I was right in my thinking.  At one point, I remember having a conversation with a good friend of mine where we talked about how I felt with people at church.  He really upset me when he said at one point, “it’s your own fault.”

I can remember being extremely upset with him and not wanting to talk anymore about it.  It has taken me quite a while, but I have come to learn over the years that when he said this to me, he was correct.  Just as Elder Bednar states, it was my own choice to be affected the way that I was.

As I have come to realize this, I have been able to make my way back to church and I am stronger in my faith than I ever was before.  I know that I have a long way to go and so much to learn, but one thing I will never let anyone do to me again is offend me to the point that I stop going to church.

I have a brother in law that really helped me come back and has helped me so much by reminding me that I am at church for myself and for my family – not for anyone else.  I will always be grateful to him for his patience and his persistence to help guide me back to the Gospel.  He really helped me to understand that what is important for me, is to concentrate on the relationship I have with my Father in Heaven and with my Savior.

As I have continued along my path back at church, I really strive to be helpful to those around me.  I really hope to be able to serve those that are in need with anything that might be asked of me.  I believe that this attitude is what the Savior would want me to do.  I believe that trying to live by His example is what I should be striving for every day.

I know that these types of situations can be very difficult to overcome.  Those that have offended others usually don’t think they have done anything wrong or they think the person offended should just get over it.  The person offended usually wants to distance themselves away from church and anybody associated with it.  This creates a horrible situation for everyone involved, but the biggest problem is for the person offended.  There’s usually not a realization that the main person they are hurting is themselves and their family.

I’m glad to have watched this video this week as it helps to strengthen my resolve to help those around me.  I know how hard it can be to come back to church, but I also know how great of a feeling it is to do so.  I hope that we can all strive to be mindful of others as we interact with them to help avoid these types of situations.  And I also hope that we can mindful of those already in these types of situations that we might reach out to them with love and friendship to help bring them back to where they belong.


Even as I am

As I write this entry, we are starting our 2nd semester of the Pathway program.  As it was last semester, it seems that we will be doing projects to show what we have learned from the previous weeks.  I am very grateful to be able to have the opportunity to continue with these entries as I have found them to be a great help to me in my learning.

In my last post, I mentioned how we had been working on a project where we focused on a specific Christlike attribute and how to become more like Him by striving to attain that attribute.  We will be doing a similar project this semester but we will be focusing on several attributes instead of just one.

As we began this semester, we watched a video called Christlike Attributes. If you haven’t seen it before, I would recommend watching it as it gives a great picture of the person our Savior is.

The video starts by quoting from 3 Nephi 27:27 saying, “Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily say unto you, even as I am.” I know that as we study the scriptures and as we strive to become better each day, it is the Savior that we should be patterning our lives after.  We should look to His example and do what we can to be more like Him.  

I hope that as I continue along this path that I have begun, that I will be able to become more like my Savior.  I know from my previous experiences that I have a long way to go in this respect.  But I also know that with His help, I can achieve great things.

As we begin this semester, I am beginning to work on the attribute of diligence.  I chose this attribute because I believe as I become more diligent it will become easier to focus on additional attributes in the future.  I know that we can all do great things with the help of our Father in Heaven, but I also know that these things must be done in small steps.  In order to be able to accomplish something great, much diligence must be practiced in order to make it happen.

I love the scripture quoted above from 3 Nephi 27:27.  It is a direct answer to the type of person we should all strive to be.  We should all look at ourselves and see what we can do to be more Christlike.  Once we establish what it is that we can do, we should strive with everything we have to make it a reality.

I look forward this semester to studying more from the Book of Mormon and learning more about how I can become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Starting the Blogs for the Kids

OK – we had a lot of fun tonight – we started up 2 new blogs; one for Briana and one for Audrey.  We were going to get one together for Tyler too, but he was busy playing the PS3 – so we’ll get his going tomorrow (hopefully).  I’ll be posting the links to each of them in the sidebar shortly, so make sure to check them out and let us know what you think about our family project!

Disneyland – Day 6

Well, we’re home now. It’s been a great week, but as I sit here on my own bed, it feels really good to be home. We slept in a little this morning and got everything packed up before heading over to the parks one more time before leaving. We started out in Disneyland where we hit Indiana Jones, the Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean one last time. Kaylee then said she wanted to go on Thunder Mountain, so we had to head over there and get on before she changed her mind – she loved it! Then we headed over to CA Adventure to ride the Tower of Terror and California Screamin’. We had a lot of fun, but I think we were all ready to go home. The drive home was crazy – Friday night driving to Vegas from California is not a good idea. There are tons of crazy people on the road!! But anyways, we made it home safe and now we’re looking forward to the rest of this next week. Rob, Brooke, and Caleb flew in tonight and we’re excited to be spending time with them!!