Sunday, June 3, 2012

Your Meaning

Our Relief Society Instructor used this video to start off her lesson:

I've always had the gospel as part of my life in one form or another. You would assume that as a return missionary I would become adept at answering these worts of questions with scriptural evidence to back up my assertions. But after being home for almost three years, I'm realizing I didn't know as much as I thought I did.
As a missionary, you learn to make and set goals. You do this daily, hourly, by the minute. It is necessary to train us and refine us. It's easy because you can have confidence that it your goals are always true and right. It is good to have conversations with people about the gospel, to teach lessons,  and visit with less active members. It is good for anyone and everyone to do that. And it is right for you to do because you are a missionary and your purpose is literally spelled out and recited everyday. (For me, it is engraven in my heart in Spanish):

Invitar a los personas a venir a Cristo, 
a fin de que reciban el evangelio restaurado mediante 
la fe en Jesucristo y en su expiacion, 
el arrepentimiento, 
el bautismo, 
la recepcion del don del Espiritu Santo y 
el perseverar hasta el fin.

But then you come home, and your perspective needs to make a drastic shift. You are supposed to think of yourself. It's disorienting. Suddenly, what's "right" isn't so clear anymore. I don't mean right as in the difference between right and wrong, but what is "right" for each individual, unique person. We all have the same goals of happiness and peace, but the ways we can reach those goals are unique.

I really appreciated this relief society lesson, because it forced me to reconsider what I am doing and why. My personal mission statement had been constructed on a base of what I could achieve: get a masters degree, find a fulfilling job, marry in the temple, create a family, etc. Those are all worthy  goals, and I'm still striving to reach them. But I think it's important that our purposes be something that we can accomplish daily. They aren't a single achievement but a sustainable state of being. 

And I think that is what living the gospel is supposed to mean. We don't have the gospel so that we can complete our personal checklists, but so that we can become whole.

We have help available to us so that we can figure out what we're supposed to do and who we're supposed to be. Near the end of her lesson, our relief society instructor shared this scripture from Alma  chapter 37:

Seems simple enough. I'll let you know how it goes :)

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