Happy Chinese New Year!
I am so grateful to be on a mission. Can you believe that I have already been out a whole Year!?! I have found my problem. My problem is that I am lazy. I find ways in which to procrastinate. I find ways in which I can do something less effective that keeps me from having to go out of my comfort zone. I find ways in which I can justify my fear. I think that everyone feels these same feelings. No one likes to go out of their comfort zone. No one wants to constantly be pushed just a little beyond their limits.
Many, if not all of us can find ways to fill our time with the good instead of the better or best. It is just so easy. But, if we truly want to be happy there is no shortcut. "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life..." (3 Nephi 14:14)
How do we keep ourselves always doing that which is best and allow ourselves to enter "in at the strait gate" (3 Nephi 14:13)? We enter the gate one step at a time. Through our temperance and virtue we are given the opportunity to walk in a straight course to life eternal. Temperance is self-control. Virtue is not something we strive for but rather it is something we attain through righteous living. Virtue is something that comes because of our "temperence, patience, brotherly kindeness, godliness, charity, humility, [and] diligence." (Doctrine and Covenants 4:6).
How do we then motivate ourselves to knock so that we may receive? We could be motivated by our trials which compell us to be humble but "he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant;" (Doctrine and Covenants 58:26). There must be a better way. We must choose to be humble. Alma chapter 32 teaches us about how to choose humility. "Yea, he that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed—yea, much more blessed than they who are compelled to be humble because of their exceeding poverty." (Alma 32:15) The next verse of Alma 32 gives us a little more insight: "Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe." (Alma 32:16)
To allow ourselves to be motivated we must have Faith and Hope. This belief in things that we cannot see is what will bring us to a desire to test the word of God. This is our motivation and through this faith and our constant study and prayer we gain the motivation to "walk blameless before him, that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received" (Alma 7:22). Thus giving us the opportunity to see the blessings that come from our "temperance, patience, brotherly kindeness, godliness, charity, humility, [and] diligence" (Doctrine and Covenants 4:6). One of these is Virtue. I know that through our constant building of faith we may be filled with a desire to know. Through this desire we will be motivated to live righteously and we will be able to attain the blessings the Lord has in store for us. These blessings will then motivate us even more to be diligent. Through our diligence I know that we can accomplish great things. I know that Heavenly Father loves us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
PS I hope that makes sense I was kind of studying and typing at the same time. Thank you for the pictures. I love you all. I am jealous that you get to ride bikes. That is one of my favourite things to do but I need to drive a car. All day long. I know that as we "go and do" (1Nephi 3:7) we will be blessed.