Thursday, July 15, 2010

Living A Mission...

Went to institute last night. Great time. We've been studying the presidents of the church and this week we talked about four prophets, George Albert Smith being one of them. There came a point in the lesson when our teacher, Brother Martin showed us a code of conduct that President Smith wrote and said he would follow. There were eleven great points on this list but one of my favorites was number five:

“I would not seek to force people to live up to my ideals but rather love them into doing the thing that is right.”

Wow. That hit me right on because of a realization I had a few months back. A lot of people had began to ask me if I ever wanted to serve a full-time mission (even though that would be four years away) and seemed a little surprised when I answered, "Honestly no, I haven't really thought of it." I have nothing against serving missions and I think that its a wonderful experience. But I've never felt like that's quite the path for me. I'm not saying that I'll never serve a mission but right now that doesn't feel like its right. I didn't really know how to explain that to people without it not sounding how I felt.
A few months ago I had a non-member friend come up to me after school and what he said has stuck with me. We had been talking about religion earlier in class. He told me that in a high school like ours, (which is predominately LDS) he finds it hard to feel like people understand him. But he then told me that he always appreciated the way that I lived and believed in my religion but that I didn't expect it out of others and I was still a good example of my church. He said that I was proud of my religion, I supported and defended it but I didn't push it upon others. It took me by surprise. I never expected anyone to tell me that. I'm far from perfect and I've made a lot of mistakes. Heck, I thought I was just going to school and seminary everyday and getting by, but not standing out to anyone. I've been raised to be very tolerant of others and their beliefs. Not everyone in my family is a member of the church. Many of my friends aren't. It's never really made a difference to me. But for someone to tell me that? It made me feel good. And then I had a "Ah-ha" moment. Maybe my mission in life isn't to go out and serve eighteen months in a foreign place. Maybe my mission is life is to live the very best that I can, to live the gospel, and to teach by love. Because love is a message that anyone can understand. So yes, I accept my call to serve a life of love and service, of giving a helping hand and bearing my testimony through words and actions. It won't be easy. I'm going to mess up a lot and who knows where I'll be going. But it's going to be worth it in the end, because that's how life is.