Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday's Gratitude

Today, I am grateful for all those little challenges your church leaders give you.

I think it was a couple years ago that President Hinckley gave us the challenge of reading The Book of Mormon by the end of the year. I'm a slow reader and really have a hard time understanding the scriptures. I read the challenge in the Ensign, but I quickly ignored it thinking no one else would pay attention to it either. Apparently I was wrong. Within a month the whole church was buzzing about it and I was a month behind. I did it...barely.

About a month ago I was given a challenge by my Young Women President, passed on from the Stake Presidency, which was given the challenge by the General young Women's presidency. The challenge was this: Read The Book of Mormon with the Young Women in mind for at least 5 minutes each day, Pray each day, and Smile.

So each night I postpone my reading. I don't know why I do this, but I do and so I usually end up doing it pretty late when I'm getting tired. It sounds awful, but it isn't. I have never felt like I've gotten so much out of the scriptures. It's quiet and I don't get distracted once I start.

I think the key to my success is that they gave us one of those free Book of Mormon's (They scrap booked a cute cover) and told us to mark it up. I have. I know it isn't a coloring book, and I don't have a pattern to why I mark them the colors I do, but it makes me pay better attention to mark words that stick out and to write what I'm thinking it means in the margins. I would never do this with my nice scriptures, but I feel good about doing it with these.

Last night I felt icky so I decided to lay down for a couple minutes. I fell asleep and woke up around 1:30 or 2:00 in the morning, realizing I hadn't done my reading. So I got up did some other things I needed to do (put Peter's lunch together, he had overtime), and then said my prayers and began reading.

If it hadn't been for this challenge given by my leaders, I wouldn't have done it. My excuse is there's always tomorrow.

What's the difference if it is today or tomorrow? Let me tell you. It is the obedience that makes the difference. It is them giving you a challenge, you following it, then you being tested on that challenge (The temptation to skip one night...after all, you have a good excuse). The blessings come when you prove faithful to that challenge. When you let the Lord know you take it seriously, that is when His Spirit can be felt more strongly and your understanding is quickened.

So, even though I might want to groan when I'm given those challenges that add another thing to my to do list, I am grateful for those challenges and the opportunity it gives me to prove myself to Him and to myself.

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