Saturday, December 24, 2011

Baskets, Benches, and Benefits

Growing up I spent a lot of time in my driveway shooting baskets. I've always loved basketball and found it easy to spend a lot of time practicing my free throws or whatever else. However, my mother knew that other skills in my life would be more beneficial then just being able to put a ball through a hoop. For instance, she encouraged me from a young age to learn to play the piano. I didn't always find as much joy sitting on that hard piano bench as I did playing out in the front yard. In fact, there were times when my mother was probably very disappointed in my lack of dedication. I remember her saying something to the effect of, "If you would spend half as much time practicing the piano as you do playing basketball just imagine how good you could be."

Looking back, I wish I had listened to my mother on that subject as well as others. Sports are fun and we can learn a lot about life and about ourselves from them. But as time goes on, they seem to matter less and less in the eternal scheme of things. What is important is that we live the kind of life that God wants us to. We should keep His commandments and do the things that He has asked us to. In this, lies true happiness.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Time

I have really enjoyed this Christmas season as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This time of year has always been a special time for remembering Christ in my life but being a missionary just amplifies it. I feel that the greatest gift any of us could give to another is the gift of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Presents, packages, and stocking stuffers will come and go but Christ offers us something that won't disappear or fade with time. I pray that this Christmas season we will have charity towards those around us and pass the good news of Christ along. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Back on the Path

When you have done something for a long time it is rather easy to keep doing it. However, when we you get out of doing that particular habit it is just as easy to discontinue it altogether.
For instance, I ran cross country and track for three years in high school but once I graduated and got out of the running routine it became much more difficult to motivate myself. As a result I am currently out of shape and don't really desire to go on runs in the morning.
This same principle applies to church attendance. Just as I love to run, I love going to church. It keeps me in shape spiritually. On my mission I have seen many who have left the path of church attendance. I have also seen many choose to come back. At first it is often hard to return but as they have worked through that initial discomfort they've been able to reap the benefits of going to church.
Even though it might be hard at first the blessings of going to church are well worth it in the end.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


This Christmas season I hope that we can all have JOY. Maybe the word joy could actually serve as an acronym for our priorities this time of year.

J for Jesus
O for Others
Y for Yourself

Our focus should be on Christ, His life, what He did for us. One way that we can show our love for Him is by serving the people He died for. I have found some of the greatest joy in my life by serving others. If we will focus less on ourselves and more on our Savior I know that this Christmas can, and will, have greater significance.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Running Between the Lanes

At our track in high school we had eight lanes that looked a lot like this. I actually never ran in a race which required me to stay in one lane for the entire run. I was more of a long distance guy. We just run wherever. Anyway, I wanted to expound on this principle of staying in our lane.

Our Heavenly Father has outlined a plan for us. We call it the Plan of Salvation. In order to win the prize we must play by the rules. This includes diligently following the commandments, which I would compare to staying in your lane. However, unlike a track meet, if you somehow do get out of your lane you are allowed to make a lane change back to where you need to be. We call this repentance.


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