Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bon Voyage!

Well friends, I'll be a taking a brief hiatus from blogging as I'll be spending 24-7 during the next few weeks working with teenage girls in the Especially For Youth program at BYU. Wish me luck! I have wanted to get involved in this spiritual camp for years, and I finally start tomorrow! I'm a little nervous, just because it's something new, but I am excited to get to work with teenagers in a way that is so different from my relationship with them at school.

To top it all off, I LOVE the theme for this year, which is "Steady and Sure." It comes from Mosiah 5:15--

"Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen."

There is so much to talk about in relation to that single verse: so many analogies to be drawn, so many scriptures to cross-reference, so many quotes from general authorities to examine. I have learned so much as I have prepared lessons over the last month. The scriptures truly are limitless and do open up new worlds of understanding when we delve into them. I'm sure in the next few weeks I'll learn even more than I ever thought possible about this topic, but for now I'll end this entry with a thought I've had in regards to the theme--

Jesus Christ is the rock of my salvation. Because of him, I can become exalted and receive blessings unimaginable to my mortal mind. When I rely on him, I am strong enough to weather any storm. I cannot succeed in this life on my own, but I can excel when I couple myself with Him. It has been said that humility is not a sign of weakness, rather it is evidence that we know where our true strength lies (True to the Faith). I know that God knows me individually and that he will never abandon me. He will hold me up when I have no more energy within me, and He will help me soar higher once my strength has been renewed. Of that I am sure. I will look to Him and live, sure and steadfast in His love.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Our Right and Our Duty

I know this is a little belated, but HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

With the anniversary of the the birth of this country, I have reflected a bit on the wonderful gift and responsibility it is to live in The United States of America. Amid all the festivities of playing with friends in Park City, my friends and I took a moment to read an excerpt from the document that started it all-- The Declaration of Independence. A phrase in that document impressed me that I had not paid much attention to before. Here's something to get you thinking. See if you notice what I did:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."
- The Declaration of Independence

I had never noticed previous to this year the comment that "mankind are more
disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." So true, isn't it? We get so comfortable with what we're used to that we don't stand up for something that needs to be changed. It's like a little kid that refuses to let the splinter be pulled out of his hand because he is afraid of the pain it might cause, ignoring the relief that will come after and the increased pain that will come if the splinter is ignored.

It reminds me of another famous quote that says, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." I don't think that this only applies to politics. In this world of changing ideals and moral standards, it is so important to take a look at our own beliefs and decide what we are willing to fight for. Without that commitment to uphold truth, our world is in a lot of trouble. May we each live in a way that throws off the evils of the world and actively supports things which will promote truth, for that is our right and our duty.

That is my soapbox for today :)