Tag Archives: desire

Tender Mercies in my Life

Honestly, I have had a ton of tender mercies of the Lord in my life.  Ones that I have not seen I am sure.  In fact, I am sure there are more tender mercies that I have not seen than those that I have recognized and recorded.

One such tender mercy was yesterday at work.  I work at a sandwich shop in a town about twenty minutes away.  It is kind of like Quiznos and Subway but has a specific atmosphere and also has dinner items and waiters and waitresses.

So, last night I was on the schedule to waitress and I just was not feeling it.  I did not want to go to work and waitress.  I thought to myself as I was driving there that I would be totally fine being on the cash register or putting vegetables on sandwiches for people.

I got to work, clocked in, and put on my apron for serving.  I got a few things ready and then the shift manager said that I was on register for the night because all of the people couldn’t come in who were scheduled.  Such a tender mercy.  I was so relieved.  I know that the Lord is mindful of me, even in the details in my life.

Not only did I not have to waitress, which I usually enjoy doing, the night was also very slow.  This meant that it wasn’t as stressful and it was actually quite enjoyable.  And, because it was really slow the owner said that we could go as soon as we had everything ready to close for the night.  So, we got off right at 9pm rather than at like 9:30 or 10pm.

I know that my Savior loves me and the my Heavenly Father cares very dearly for me.  I know that He loves you too.

What Desirest Thou?

What are you reaching for in your life?

Desires

Our desires are a huge part of who we become.  If we truly desire eternal life and to live with our Heavenly Father again, we will take the steps necessary to reach that desire.  On the other hand, if we desire the pleasures of the world to satisfy our carnal appetites, we will follow down the path that leads to misery and endless wo.

Dallin H. Oaks recently gave a talk titled “Desire.”  In it, he says:

“I have chosen to talk about the importance of desire. I hope each of us will search our hearts to determine what we really desire and how we rank our most important desires.

Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming.”

He continues to talk about how we are ultimately judged according to our desires:

“The prophet Alma had a great desire to cry repentance to all people, but he came to understand that he should not desire the compelling power this would require because, he concluded, “a just God … granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life” (Alma 29:4). Similarly, in modern revelation the Lord declares that He “will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts” (D&C 137:9).

Are we truly prepared to have our Eternal Judge attach this enormous significance to what we really desire?

Many scriptures speak of what we desire in terms of what we seek. “He that seeketh me early shall find me, and shall not be forsaken” (D&C 88:83). “Seek ye earnestly the best gifts” (D&C 46:8). “He that diligently seeketh shall find” (1 Nephi 10:19). “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (D&C 88:63).

Readjusting our desires to give highest priority to the things of eternity is not easy. We are all tempted to desire that worldly quartet of property, prominence, pride, and power. We might desire these, but we should not fix them as our highest priorities.

Those whose highest desire is to acquire possessions fall into the trap of materialism. They fail to heed the warning “Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world” (Alma 39:14; see also Jacob 2:18).

Those who desire prominence or power should follow the example of the valiant Captain Moroni, whose service was not “for power” or for the “honor of the world” (Alma 60:36).”

Later in his talk, he speaks on righteous desires as he says:

“We should remember that righteous desires cannot be superficial, impulsive, or temporary. They must be heartfelt, unwavering, and permanent. So motivated, we will seek for that condition described by the Prophet Joseph Smith, where we have “overcome the evils of [our lives] and lost every desire for sin.”5 That is a very personal decision. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell said:

“When people are described as ‘having lost their desire for sin,’ it is they, and they only, who deliberately decided to lose those wrong desires by being willing to ‘give away all [their] sins’ in order to know God.”

“Therefore, what we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity.”6

Truly, desires dictate who we ultimately become.  What are your desires?  Have you ever thought of praying for more righteous desires?  As I have done this in my life, my life has been transformed to be directed more towards my Father in Heaven.

 

 

The Need to Succeed

What type of car are you driving?

Today’s World

In the world today there is a great push towards success.  What are we willing to do to achieve this success?  Some are willing to do pretty much anything.  At times when one is willing to do anything, and he begins cheating his way up to the top, in the process, he destroys himself.

Success and Greed

Sometimes people get to the point that their success is driven by greed.  I think Gordon B. Hinckley covers this principle well in his book Standing for Something on pages 26 and 27:

“Everyone wants to be successful.  The question is:  Successful at what?  Successful at earning money, successful in marriage, successful in our own sight and in the eyes of our friends?  None of these aspirations is necessarily wrong.  But greed is an insidious trap that has the power to destroy those whose eager search for success becomes the driving force of their lives.  Greed is the devious, sinister, evil influence that makes people say, ‘What I have is not enough.  I must have more.  And I will do whatever it takes to get it.'”

There are dangers when it comes to doing whatever it takes to reach success.  Cheating and dishonesty often become involved and people in essence, destroy themselves.  Hinckley continues:

“During the past few years, an alarming number of individuals began working with integrity and honesty and lived in reasonable comfort, but they were not satisfied.  In their greed to enlarge their own kingdom, they enticed others to invest with them.  And those who invested in their enterprises, in many cases, were also plagued with the affliction of greed.  They listened to stories of large returns with little effort.  Like a dog chasing its own tail, the momentum of the scheme increased until one day there was a collapse.  Both the promoter and the investor were left only with shattered dreams.  What had been a friendly and pleasant association became one of accusation and meanness, if not criminal prosecution and attempts to recover losses through civil litigation.”

It is so important for us to remember our values and standards as we strive to be successful…  We must think of if we are striving to enlarge our own kingdom or if we are striving to enlarge the kingdom of God.  I love how Hinckley ends his chapter on honesty:

“Men and women of integrity understand intrinsically that theirs is the precious right to hold their heads in the sunlight of truth, unashamed before anyone.  Embodied within this simple principle and character trait rests the foundational virtue of every person and of every society.”

Can you hold your head up high and in the sunlight without shame?  How can you be more honest in your desire for success?

Talents

Each of us have many God-given talents.  It is our responsibility to share what we have been given with others.  We must not try to diminish what we are able to do only to make others feel better about themselves.  There is nothing wrong in doing things as well as you can.

We can show our love to others as we teach them the things we know and share with them our talents.  As we are sincere and following Christ’s example in sharing our talents and skills with others, we will know that we are not becoming prideful.  We must always remember where our talents, skills, and abilities come from, and that is from our Heavenly Father.

Are you seeking to enlarge your own kingdom or the kingdom of the Lord?

Desiring More…

Do you desire more?

Unmet Desires

There have been many times in my life where I have desired more… More of different things… things that I have desired…  I love the hymn “More Holiness Give Me.”  The lyrics describe some of my desires for more:

“More holiness give me, more strivings within.
More patience in suffering, more sorrow for sin.
More faith in my Savior, more sense of His care.
More joy in His service, more purpose in prayer.

More gratitude give me, more trust in the Lord.
More zeal for His glory, more hope in His Word.
More tears for His sorrows, more pain at His grief.
More meekness in trial, more praise for relief.

More purity give me, more strength to o’ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains, more longings for home.
More fit for the kingdom, more useful I’d be,
More bless’d and holy, more, Savior, like Thee.”

I love my Savior, and I want so much to be more like Him.  I have wanted so much in my life to know more of Him so that I can come closer to Him.

Trials to pass

Sometimes I have also wanted in my life for trials to pass so that I can continue serving, so that I don’t feel like I am inept or unable to do things.  This scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 98:24 helps to calm those great desires and gives me comfort as I go through trials:

“But if ye bear it patiently, it shall be accounted unto you as being meted out as a just measure unto you.”

The Lord knows us perfectly and blesses us as we are patient with trials in our lives.  He knows who we need to help and how much we need to experience in order to best help them.  He knows what we need to learn.

Not getting more right away

Sometimes, well, a lot of the times, our desires to have more do not seem to come right away.  At times, this can be very frustrating.  It has helped me to try to think of the Lord’s timing rather than my own.

The Lord helps us along our way.  He leads us to that which is good and true.  Sometimes, He does not allow us to have more of our desires immediately to actually bless, strengthen, and help us.  I love this scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 78: 18:

“Ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along.”

We learn piece by piece and little by little.  As we come unto Christ and accept His doctrine, more is given to us.  Though we may have an overwhelming desire to know all or to know more, we do not always have this privilege.

What we do know

We can do much with the things that we do know.  Just because we do not feel like we know much, does not mean that we cannot act on that which we know and have faith to move forward, even without knowing other things.

I can have faith to know that I will one day have an eternal family.  I can have faith to know that I will be with my earthly family in heaven and for eternity as I make and keep sacred covenants.

I can have faith in the Lord’s love to me and others as I feel of His presence in my life.  I do know enough and have faith that as I continue to do the Lord’s will, I will learn more and be able to gain more knowledge day by day and little by little.

A Couch Potato…Is it you?

When are you going to actually start cleaning up your life?

Desires to change

Have you ever really wanted something?  Have you ever wanted to accomplish or achieve a certain goal or task?  How far do you get?  Do you tell mentally tell yourself that you are going to do something different with your life to become better?  Do you ever not get to the point of actually doing that thing you told yourself you were going to do?

A Wake-up Call

I believe that it is time for us each to wake up.  It is time for us to get up from the dust and away from the television, and actually start doing those things that we mentally tell ourselves we are going to do.  We do not get places by just sitting and waiting.  We can do things now to become better, to improve ourselves in the ways that we want to improve ourselves.

I am not trying to be harsh, I just think it is very important for us to realize that we get much further in life as we work towards our goals with diligence.  Nephi said this to himself in the Book of Mormon as he was taking inventory of his life.  Perhaps we too, should be telling ourselves the same thing.  The verses are found in 2 Nephi 4:28-29:

“Awake, my soul!  No longer droop in sin.  Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.  Do not anger again because of mine enemies.  Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.”

How to keep our strength strong

I realize that it is not an easy thing to not ‘slacken’ our strength while we are going through many afflictions.  I know that when we keep our strength as strong as before when we are going through hard times, it is what helps us through.  We can get through the depression and through the unemployment and through the heartbreak as we keep our faith strong and as we rely on our Savior.

In order to keep our strength present in our lives we must be diligent in doing the small things.  We must realize our potential by taking opportunities that come our way.  We are able to take opportunities that come our way when we are prepared for them.  We become prepared as we live our lives with exact obedience and diligence in working towards our goals.

When we tell ourselves to change

Let us be the ones to take the first step to change as we tell ourselves to.  The first step is indeed the desire to change, but we don’t get anywhere if we do not do anything about that desire.  If we do not do anything, the desire becomes a lost hope.  How many lost hopes have you allowed into your life?  How many desires are you still allowing to become lost hopes?

We must remember to do those things that we tell ourselves to do, even if it means putting post-it notes all over our house (this is how I often remind myself to do something).  I love how Dieter F. Uchtdorf describes it in his article, “Your Potential, Your Privilege.”  He says:

“Too often we attend meetings and nod our heads; we might even smile knowingly and agree. We jot down some action points, and we may say to ourselves, “That is something I will do.” But somewhere between the hearing, the writing of a reminder on our smartphone, and the actual doing, our “do it” switch gets rotated to the “later” position. Brethren, let’s make sure to set our “do it” switch always to the “now” position!”

Sometimes we may say that it is not possible to change all of the things that we wrote down or mentally told ourselves to do.  Instead of becoming overwhelmed, let us pick the one thing that we believe is the thing we need to improve upon at this time in our lives.  I understand that doing a little bit at a time is more effective to many people than biting off more than you can chew all at once.

We have help.  We don’t need to do it all on our own.

We have help in trying to become better individuals.  This help is found in the Savior, Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father.  Dieter F. Uchtdorf also says later in the article:

“As you read the scriptures and listen to the words of the prophets with all your heart and mind, the Lord will tell you how to live up to your privileges.”

As we do our part, the Lord is more than happy to help us realize our potential.  Please don’t get down on yourself and beat yourself up for all of the things that you have not done.  Think of the things that you have done.  Even if they are small, they are accomplishments.  Christ will help you to do more as you continue to work hard and do the best you can.  Do not worry if your best does not measure up to someone else’s best.

Heavenly Father knows you.  He knows how much you can do.  He knows your limitations; He also knows your potential.  Please get off the couch and try to do something more.  Try to act instead of allowing yourself to be acted upon.  God loves you.  Please let Him help you and follow His guidance.

Safety for the Soul

Following the Lord: not knowing beforehand what you should do

Listening

As we listen to and obey all of the commandments and words of the Lord, we are able to overcome the world and all of our trials and tribulations.  As we obey, the Lord is with us to bear us up and strengthen us.  He helps us to choose the right and to come unto Him.  He protects us from the evil influences of the world.  There is a scripture in 1 Nephi 15:24 in the Book of Mormon, which states:

“And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God; and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.”

It is vital that we cleave unto the word of the Lord.  As we do so we will be blessed beyond imagination.  I had an instance in my life where I decided not to listen to the Lord’s prompting voice because of my own desires.

Stitched Toes

I was about ten years old and had a really good friend who came to my mom’s daycare.  One day, while my mom was out shopping and someone else was watching the daycare, my good friend left with her mother who came to pick her children up.  I was disappointed that my mom wasn’t back, because I wanted to ask if my friend could stay the night.

A couple minutes after they left, my mom came home.  I was so excited, I could hardly contain myself.  I wanted my friend to stay over.  I was downstairs and started running up what we called the ‘long flight of stairs’ in my family.  I stopped when I got about three steps up.  I thought I had heard someone tell me to use the other stairs.

I turned around to look and see who was there, but there was nobody.  I stood there and thought about it for a bit, then decided to keep running up the stairs.  This was the fastest way to get to my mom anyway and I wanted my friend to come back over.

As I ran, I put my foot a little to close to the edge where the eight foot tables were stored, and my toes caught the metal edge underneath one of them.  I was going so fast that as my toes caught on the edge, they started sliding down.  Before I knew it, I was down five or six steps crying very loudly.  My toes hurt, and they were bleeding.

I couldn’t move.  Luckily my mom heard me and came running down to see what was wrong.  She quickly got a cold cloth to wrap my toes in and brought me to the car.  We went to the hospital, and I got stitches.

I learned a great lesson that day, and have since had it reaffirmed to me many times after.  That lesson is that when the Lord commands or prompts you to do something, you do it, even when you don’t see the logic behind it.

Not Knowing Beforehand

Nephi, in the Book of Mormon had this lesson brought to his attention as well as he was going back to Jerusalem to obtain the plates.  He says in 1 Nephi 4:6:

“And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things that I should do.”

Sometimes we do not know and do not understand the things that the Lord wants us to do.  We just need to move forward in faith and know that the Lord will always provide a way for us to do His will.  We can see the great faith that Nephi had of this principle as he states in 1 Nephi 3:7:

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father:  I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which He commandeth them.”

The Lord’s Help

The Lord helps us to do His will, and as we obey and follow His commandments, He trusts us with more.  This is seen in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 of the New Testament as the Lord gives the ones who increased their talents even more.  As we are given and obey more commandments and promptings of the Lord, He is able to trust us more.  In return, He blesses us greatly.

As we choose to follow the Lord, He allows us to fly higher and higher, to become better and better people.  I have seen in my life that rules and commandments and promptings of the Lord to live a certain way, do not restrict us.  They allow us to be free and safe.  By having safety for our souls by doing the Lord’s will, we are able to accomplish great things we never thought we could accomplish.

Creative Success

To create as God creates

Recreation

One of the therapy groups I would always attend while in hospitalization programs and partial hospitalization programs for depression was recreational therapy.  This was a group where we did various activities to help us realize that there are things we can do to keep ourselves busy and relaxed at the same time.

Sometimes for this therapy group we would go on outings in the community, play games, or learn new crafts.  This was where I picked up origami again and started making paper birds, cranes, frogs, flowers, etc.  Finding time to wind down and do something that we enjoy, that does not have a deadline, is important in our lives.

Recreation is a good way to keep our lives in balance.  As we spend time with our friends and with our children or family, we are able to build and strengthen relationships.

Have you ever noticed that recreation has the root word of creation?  What new insight does this bring into our recreational activities?  In essence,  we are re-creating.  Our lives have more meaning as we learn how we can live better by how we are better able to create.

Creation

I have absolutely loved creating new things ever since I was a child.  It is and was an inherent desire.  I would color pictures and build towers and make up songs.  It made me have a sense of fulfillment or accomplishment.  I felt good.  As a child, we do not let other people’s opinions stop us from our creative intuition.

One does not have to work in the Arts to be creative.  People who come up with business plans and who find new, more efficient ways to accomplish goals, who re-arrange furniture, etc. are creative as well.  I am sure there are aspects in each day of your life where you are creative.  What has it been today?

Heightened Creation

God created the world and each one of us.  We are each one of His masterpieces.  How do we treat His creations?  We come unto Him as we recognize the creations we participate in throughout our lives.

There are ways beyond skills, talents, abilities, and hard work that allow us to better create.  Let me tell you a story to illustrate my point.

Acting

It was the afternoon in my Acting II class, and we were each to choose partners and scenes for our duo acting assignment.  I was a little concerned because I knew that the play we were choosing scenes from had inappropriate language in it that I was not comfortable saying.  I ended up with a scene where there was only one word in my part that I was uncomfortable with.

As my partner and I rehearsed multiple times, I would just skip over the word.  I hadn’t really decided what I was going to do.  It was really hard for me because I wanted to excel in the class.  I battled with myself as to whether I should use the word or not.  I counseled with my mother and some close leaders, but I still was not settled on what to do.

I even ended up going to the professor and explaining my feelings about using that type of language.  He told me that it was ultimately up to me what I would end up doing, but that he would encourage me to use the word.  He told me that by using the word, I would step onto another plateau in a sense.  I would be opening a new door that would lead to more possibilities and greater ability in my acting career.

As I left, I felt disheartened.  I didn’t know what to do.  I went to the Lord again in prayer and told him of my feelings and how I wanted to be obedient to His laws and His standards.  As I knelt and pondered, a peace came over me as I decided to not use the word.  It felt good to know that I was staying true to myself and what I believed.  I did not let the desire for success in the class, override my desire to be an obedient daughter of God.

The day that we were to perform our scenes came.  My partner and I did well.  In fact, my professor said that the scene was the best acting he had ever seen me do, and had little else to comment on.  I felt like it was my best acting as well.  It was an amazing feeling.  I know that the Lord was helping me and blessing me for my decision to stay true to Him.

The Spirit and Creation

I will stand as a witness of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places.  I know that as I do this He helps and strengthens me to be more than I am.  By staying close to His spirit, I have greater ability to create.  I love this quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

“The more you trust and rely upon the Holy Spirit, the greater your capacity to create.”

As you have relied on God for help and done the little things, like reading scriptures and praying, consistently in your life, how have you seen this promise come true?  What can you do to increase your creative capacity?  I know that Heavenly Father is waiting to help us with our righteous desires, and that as we rely on Him and His Spirit, we will be better able to succeed.