Saturday, January 22, 2011

Three Important Lessons

Back in the 70's, I was in the Oakland Temple Pageant and it had a major impact in my life. I think that is when I first realized that the religious things I had been taught from time to time, were real. It was hard to live my life religiously when my family wasn't religious. That was the major decision for leaving home to go to a private church college. Due to those decisions as a teenager, my life started a slow process of change for the better.

I work with the youth in my job and at my church. I really wonder sometimes if they realize
  1. how short life really is
  2. that what they do now really does matter to their future
  3. in the end, very few, if any, friends will be there for them, sometime even family won't be there but our relationship with the Savior will only change if we do, He will always be there
I watch the youth a lot and some absolutely amaze me. Others I worry about. Life is to short to throw away. We all assume we will live long happy lives but that isn't what happens. Good people die young too, and we never know what our future holds. We can hope for cures and a safer world but there will always be new diseases and issues that will affect the world. Bad decisions others make can play a role in our life. What we need to do is learn to love life now. Learn to use the situations we are confronted with to become better people. The statement, "I will be happen when..." needs to be deleted from our vocabulary. Be happy now, do things now that will make your future more enjoyable.

What we do now has a huge affect on our future. The more dishonest you are now the harder it will be to be honest in your future. The attitude one has about morality and dress standards as a youth are usually carried on in life and very hard to change. The work ethic you set in high school and college will most likely be the same as you have for a job or with your family. Positive change is one of the hardest things to succeed in. It is possible, but the older you get, it seems the harder it is to make changes. I can look back in my life and see some of the decisions that I made and how they change the path I was on. Fortunately most of them were good decisions but not all of them.

I am one of the few people that can say my childhood friend has stood by me my entire life. Maybe that is because I am the only 'family' from her past that she has. Friends are important to have but they can often change throughout life. Everyone always says at high school graduation that they will keep in touch but it rarely happens. Fortunately with the internet we can reconnect a lot easier with people. Even families can drift apart, but the one constant is Christ. He doesn't leave or change, we do. It is like the picture of him at the door but he can't come in unless we open it.

Humans are good at rationalizing anything to make it alright. If we practice rationalizing enough, we can truly start to believe ourselves. The theme for our youth at church this year has been around for a long time. This time when it was introduced it really hit me, this is a good motto for life. It gives me hope and yet guidelines to practice bettering myself. I just pray as I work with the youth at church, they will grasp the importance of this theme and use it to better their lives.

“We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things” (Articles of Faith 1:13).

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