Thursday, February 24, 2011

   Serving others is our greatest source of happiness. It is always a sacrifice big or small when we give ourselves and our time to others, but with a sacrifice something is always gained. A sense of peace and wholesome happiness comes when we are in the service of others. A greater happiness is gained when a greater sacrifice is given.
   "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully", 2 Corinthians 9:6. That scripture rings true to me. As my dad would say, "You get what you put it into it." To have happiness, serve others.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What's on The Menu Today? Fruit...Spiritual Fruit

My Beloved Apples
   Alright, so earlier this morning I was having breakfast and noticed my bag of apples on the table. "Seems pretty insignificant" I thought to myself, "they are so easy to get just go to the store and buy some fruit". However, spiritual fruit requires a little more effort to gain. That's something I wanted to write about today. The work, strife, and toil in planting your seeds and the care and patience in nourishing the seed to get your fruit.
   With actual fruit the effort can vary. Someone can spend a season growing their fruit and later keep it, share it, or sell it. Our spiritual fruit can only be gained through our own work. You can't just go up to someone who has spent years in gaining knowledge and understanding of the gospel through prayer and study and ask them for some of their fruit. I'm sure they would be more than willing to share it with you, but you can't get it with such little effort as asking for it.

   There are a few scriptures that highlight our need to work at giving our time and effort to the Lord and the fruits that we can receive.
"And he that reapeth receiveth wages,
and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and
he that reapeth may rejoice together."
John 4:36

"For every tree is know by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes".
Luke 6:44

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance..."
Galatians 5:22-23

   For me life is made a little sweeter with the fruits of the Spirit. The day goes better, I feel a little happier, and the small effort of inviting the Spirit everyday is the cause for happiness. So read your scriptures, pray in the morning, focus on others, and help those in need. With the little effort given throughout your day you'll be able to have a fruit salad...and what a delicious salad indeed.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where Did the Time Go? Why Do I Feel Like I've Lost a Part of Me?

   It's been two months since I started my mission on December 1st of 2010. In only two months I felt like I have remembered every moment of my entire nineteen year existence on this earth, and for a while I felt like every moment that has passed in my life has been lost. Everything that I have lived through or experienced is merely a memory. Its kind of depressing when every moment in your life just happens and after that its gone.
   You grow so attached to those memories of your playful youth and summer fun as a child. Those times with your family and friends are postponed for two years and when you return home things will never be as they once were. Kind of sad, huh? Well, all of these thoughts and emotions stemmed from my head, so I felt it best to stop thinking in such a short measure of twenty years and start thinking of eternity. Which was a good idea because there is a lot of happiness when thinking of existence in terms of before, now, and forever.
   As I continued pondering my life the words "line upon line, precept upon precept" from 2nd Nephi of the Book of Mormon came into my mind. I soon realized that everything that happens in our life stays with us, nothing is lost only gained. Its such a comfort to know that all those wonderful moments in our life aren't lost, but instead are apart of us and makes us what we are. As for those not so wonderful moments, those times of struggle, they still make us better than what we were before.
   There is a scripture in The Doctrine & Covenants in Section 122:7 that helps remind me of those hard times in my life like those times of doubt and discouragement. It says "And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackeness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape opent the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."
   So when you start dreaming of the past and longing for those moments of happiness remember that it only gets better. Every second passed is a second gained. Life is not a countdown to the end, but an account of the infinite. Keep your thoughts in the now and enjoy the moment. Because that moment is a part of you and won't happen again.
   President Monson had this to say of life, “Sometimes we let our thoughts of tomorrow take up too much of today. Daydreaming of the past and longing for the future may provide comfort but will not take the place of living in the present. This is the day of our opportunity, and we must grasp it.” President Hinckley also said "Life is to be enjoyed, not endured." Two great pieces of counsel to follow.
   I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen