Friday, May 13, 2011

Eternal Perspective

The lessons just never seem to end. I learned yet another important lesson this week. In fact I’ve learned many lessons, which is why I thought it was important to start a blog, so that I could have a place to record the things I learn, and by doing so, help others in their struggles. So this week, I lost sight of my long term goals. I convinced myself that allowing a little bad to happen was much better than having a lot of bad happen. What I should have done, is had more faith. I needed to have more faith that although the temptation wasn’t going away, that it would if I continued to faithfully endure. I convinced myself that I knew better than God knew. I thought that taking things into my own hands was the best way to overcome. I am thankful that I was able to keep it at just a little bad, but that still doesn’t make it right. With help from my Heavenly Father and from my Savior, I have learned how to be better at controlling my thoughts. This has saved me on numerous occasions. However, at times, I just get things stuck in my head, and they don’t seem to want to leave. I try whatever I can think of, and sometimes it will go away for a little while, but then it will come back later. This was the case this week. But I have learned a lot.

I have learned that I need to not only pray for the strength to make it through today, and for the knowledge of the things I need to do today to keep myself safe, I also need to start praying to know the things I need to work on and be aware of even before they happen. If I can anticipate things happening, then I can come up with a solution before they happen rather than leaving me guessing when a different temptation or situation arises. One solution I have come up with for when things get stuck in my head is to get them out. This week I got them out by looking things up. But in the future, I am going to get them out by telling my friend what is in my head. It is as if keeping the thoughts in my head just seems to make things worse. If I can just tell someone what is going on in my head, then I am hoping that will be enough to get them out. 

At the end of the day, I need to just keep my eternal focus. I need to remember what my potential is. I need to remember what it is that I can become. If I am going to become like God is, then what should my life look like while I am here on earth? Having that perspective changes a lot of things. The struggle is just keeping that perspective in mind when a trial or temptation comes. I try to see everything as a learning opportunity. If there happens to be something that goes wrong, I really try to analyze it and figure out what went wrong, how if perhaps could have been prevented, and how to prevent it from happening in the future. As long as I keep learning and improving myself, I am progressing, and that is what the Lord wants.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Worthy of My Potential

I recently had a friend come into town to stay with me and to visit. I knew that I wouldn't have to worry about slipping up or anything while she was here, because I would always be with her. Sure enough, everything was just fine, and we had a great time together. It sometimes is hard to keep up the same sincerity in prayer and scripture study when someone is visiting, because I felt like I just didn't have the time to study that I normally do. I read my scriptures everyday, but it wasn't the study that I had been having, or that I would have liked to have had. Same with my prayers. I still prayed every night (and I think I prayed each morning), but it wasn't with the same sincerity and meaning that it should have been. Anyway, I think I let down my guard while my friend was here. Once she left, I got down on my knees and prayed. I had a feeling that the next day was going to be difficult, and that Satan was going to try to bring me down. I prayed to know what I could do that night in order to be protected the rest of that night, and the following day. I prayed that I would know the things I needed to do the following day in order to keep myself protected, and for the Atonement to continue strengthening me to withstand the temptations of Satan. I prayed for that shelter in the barn again, because I was afraid I had grown a little weak.

So anyway, while I was praying, some things that have been occupying my mind lately, came back to me. I have been thinking a lot about potential. Elder Oaks gave an address at the last General Conference of the LDS church called Desire, which I have really been thinking about. In it he states, "When we have a vision of what we can become, our desire and our power to act increase enormously." That line has really stuck with me. What can I really become? What am I going to be like in the eternities? If I am going to become like God, am I acting appropriately? So this thought came to be that night, and I began to pray that I could live my life worthy of my potential. It was amazing what a difference that perspective made. Instead of being bogged down with worry about the next day, and what temptations might be thrown at me, I had a peace and calm assurance that I could become something great, and that the Lord was helping me on my way to become that. I knew the path still wasn't going to be easy, but I knew that with the Lord's help, I could do it. I had a vision of my potential, and through that I knew that I could become much greater than I am. My desire to act in righteousness increased, as well as my power to act in righteousness.

Sure enough, that day did bring temptations, but I was able to overcome them. Remembering my potential helped me to keep my desires in check. I know that my Savior is the ONLY one who understands my every feeling. Sometimes I want others to know how I am feeling so that they can comfort me, but I have learned that they will never completely understand. They may for a moment, but they have their own life, and their own feelings. The Savior is there for me, and because of the Atonement, He knows everything about me. He has literally experienced it all, so He knows EXACTLY the comfort that I need, and He knows how to give it to me, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I love my Savior.