Divine Procrastinations

お帰りなさい! Welp, I have made it through my first week of my last Japanese class! The class is a lot of fun, actually! We are reading “Kozo no Kami” (“The Ant God”?) and some other short stories like “Torokko” (“Mining Truck”?).. I’m not sure exactly how you would translate either of those.. guess I still have to work on my Japanese skills .. 🙂 It will be fun, though! It honestly feels like I am stretching and working out a muscle that I have neglected for a while now, so it’s good to get back into the language. I have my first test coming up soon though, so we will see how it all goes! Luckily, I don’t have to write kanji (漢字) but instead just have to translate and do some kanji readings. That’s quite the relief since kanji characters are my weak point, and writing is all the more difficult.

So I have a rant today that I’d love to share! I’m going to try and be short since I want sleep.. I have quite the week ahead, full of work, class, dates, and comedy.

Divine Procrastinations. At church today we spoke about what we really think is important in life, what we are doing to achieve those things, and what keeps us from actually doing them. I like to take these questions seriously and so I thought about what really held me back from being/doing the spiritual things I know are most important to me. I feel that the most important thing in life is serving the Lord and overcoming the temptations that keep me from not wanting to serve Him. D&C 4:2 “Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.

The weakness that hits is that I rationalize, along with EVERYBODY else, why today is not the day to work my hardest at becoming Christ-like. See, when I was a missionary I knew I had 2 years to work my hardest to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I knew that the stronger and more developed my Christ-like attributes were then the better the tool I would be for the Lord. When I wanted to be more patient and humble, then I had to be patient and humble AS SOON AS POSSIBLE so that I could be a benefit to the Lord. I worked on it hard for weeks at a time! Now that I’m home from my mission when I think, “Oh, I should work on patience..” I then think, “Meh.. I’m sure I’ll learn it before I die.. or, before I have a family. I’m fine for now..” I have no desire to work my hardest to serve God “with all [my] heart, might, mind and strength..” unless I know it is necessary for me. If I knew I was going to die in 2 years I know I would be working A LOT harder on my spiritual self than I am now.

And that’s what Divine Procrastinations are; Divine not because they are given by God, but because they are procrastinations given with a divine perspective in mind. God wants us to repent TODAY. And He wants us GOOD and BETTER than ever before! He wants the best for us because He loves us SO much! We are only limiting ourselves by our own stupid lack of discipline! I hate my lack of discipline and lack of motivation! That’s the whole point! To overcome those weaknesses of the flesh and to consciously decide, That’s it! I am going to work at my sins! I am going to work at my shortcomings and work out my salvation, “with fear before God..” (Alma 34:37) knowing that if I DON’T then YES I will be eternally ruined!

So NO, I don’t want to procrastinate my salvation! I DON’T want to procrastinate my repentance! I’m here to SERVE the Lord! I’m here to be HIS servant to those around me! Listen to what Nephi says about his own sins at first, and then the language he has upon committing his heart to this change; 2 Ne. 4:17 “O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.” Have you ever heard such personal pains in the scriptures? The only other is Christ, it seems. Then Nephi lists all the miracles and blessings that God has given him through his life and culminates in his famous Psalm of Nephi in verse 28, “Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.”

Alma 34:33, “…do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then commeth the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.”

Let us all go forward with faith and strength to fight off the temptations that beset us, and to become the pure testimony of Christ in word, action and thought. As we do we will truly work out our own salvation.


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The New Start, Old Logic

Well finals are over! I took my Econ 381 final in a little over 2 hours.. It. kicked. me. hard. haha, but it was really interesting stuff, so I enjoyed the class. I would love to be an econ major, but my brain just doesn’t work that way, where you instantaneously learn a principle, apply it to a graph, analyze it algebraically, and manipulate it with real world data. That’s what every class was in this Macroeconomics class.

So what’s next? I have my FINAL Japanese class for my minor! I’m really nervous for it! I picked up my textbooks for the class yesterday.. they were two small novels in Japanese, with all the trimmings of being written from up to down and then right to left. Nothing new of course, but I hope they don’t expect us to just start reading from day one… because that is definitely not going to be me! Let’s hope that the class is bigger and I can hide in a corner.. and let’s hope the Lord blesses me with the Gift of Tongues ALL over again :). どうすればいいかちょっと分かりませんよ! Yeah, you get the picture.  I’ll just take it one class at a time (even though the classes are 2 hours long!) and try and study hard to keep up. I do love Japanese, though, and my teacher is Watabe Sensei, so I’m pretty excited to learn from him and get to hang out with a nipponjin (Japanese) once again. (PS I’m insanely jealous that my best friend, Phil, and his family all got to go to Japan!!)

So, with finals fresh in the mind I am reminded of a lesson of prayer that I learned while in Japan. From my mission journal, February 23, 2007 – Sendai, Japan – Elder Groberg of the Quorum of the Seventy shared this in a talk called, “What is Your Mission?” Out of five specific points to build a closer relationship with our Savior, number four was, “Pray diligently and fervently at least every night and every morning.” I testify that statement is true. I know how much closer I have gotten with my Savior because of diligent fervent prayer. I also know the lonely sadness that comes with knowing I have not prayed as I should. Praying is crucial for any spiritual growth. I know that is truer than anything else!

You know there was one time I was sitting in my bed in Japan thinking before I went to sleep. And I was thinking, “Wow, I really should say my night prayer now before I end up falling asleep and missing the chance (as I had so many times previously on those tired nights).” But, I would end up always justifying my reason not to at that second so that I might keep thinking about whatever. Well that particular night I had a voice in my head pretty much yell, “GET ON YOUR KNEES AND PRAY!!” I was surprised by it, whether I or you believe it was my own conscience getting at me or outside help, it was still pretty surprising! Probably Grandpa Brigham coming to help a weak missionary out. To my detriment and stupidity, instead of following the advice I just laid there and thought about the random outburst within my brain. I ended up falling asleep without closing the day with a prayer.

Anyway, I know this is all random, but it all came back since the testing center is the building with the most prayers happening in it at any given day. With that: Here comes Japanese 322!

I love the Oquirrh Mountain Temple!

Oquirrh Mountain Temple

Oquirrh Mountain Temple

Hi everyone who still keeps up with this blog! I love the Oquirrh Mountain Temple! I went on a double date(ish) to go have a tour of it before it is dedicated in August, and it was AWESOME! It was soo pretty, inside and out! We got to go through the whole place, even the Celestial Room (which was gorgeous!), and then outside it was soo pretty because their was a beautiful golden/red sunset in the west and a huge thunderstorm rolling into the Salt Lake valley from the southeast. I’ll have to put some pictures up when I can, but I’ll have to get them from Lucy since she was the only one with a camera. You should go! It’s free! Or go to any temple open house you can when one is in your area.. you won’t regret it! Let me throw down some links for y’all..

http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/oquirrhmountain/

http://www.lds.org/reservations/0,10751,1619-1-561,00.html

Man, life is good! I can’t complain, despite having my Econ 381 final this week! Maybe it’s summer and that’s why it’s all good, but I love life right now. I know I’ve been TERRIBLE with writing on my blog, but I decided today I would put something up. I’ve written a lot of different random spiritual thoughts I’ve had in my palm phone.. and I was thinking maybe I’ll list some of those. I’d love to get any feelings or opinions on any of these! Wish me luck on my macroecon final too!

  • Spirits in the next life maybe take investigators that they are sharing the gospel with to scripture study, church, sunday school, and lessons that their descendants are giving in this world so that they may learn about God’s work here on earth.
  • Random thought for people who don’t believe in miracles: Miracles are happening all the time all around us and to us. They happen so much that we think it is normal life and we are used to it. When we decide to believe in God, His love, and miracles then we will begin to see them.
  • It is a much longer trip home when you worry the entire time. Even though we have so many reasons to stress and worry we can choose to not. We can choose to not fear and put faith in that Heavenly Father will make the difference in the trip. Then the trip back to Him will pass away with a glad heart and like a dream.
  • Whenever I have the chance to teach, or speak on gospel topics, I think I tend to teach very specifically because I feel like we all have strong general testimonies of the gospel, but we need to continue to gain deeper and more specific testimonies of the gospel. We do need to build up our base of the most important gospel principles, namely faith, repentance, and the atonement of Christ, but I try to teach that simultaneously. Ideally, we might study the basics on our own enough to where the church leaders know that they can teach the more specific doctrine and meat of the gospel.
  • The dawn after your night of personal Gethsemane will be a blessing of a small vision of your entire life so that you will see the objects on the horizon and you will see a silhouette of your life. The Lord will grace you with understanding of what that night of agony will do for you in your life.
  • Revelations 1:5 “And His like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; as his voice as the sound of many waters.” The Lord’s voice is like the great rushing of waters.. If you were living in the day of the Bible and Book of Mormon times, and you heard an airplane engine how would you describe it to somebody else? You would think of the loudest and busiest other noise you can think of, which for them would have been a waterfall or fast, rushing water. So this description probably doesn’t mean God speaks like a waterfall, but that it is full of power and might. Doctrine & Covenants 110:3 “His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah […]”
  • The Lord needs faithful, obedient servants in EVERY area of the world. In every career, every study, and every nation the Lord will work through is servants to move His work forward, and to bless people’s lives.

Yay for blogging about the gospel!