We had some fairly new people in the ward speak in sacrament meeting yesterday. They’re a young couple who moved here after basically throwing a dart at a map, and suddenly everything worked out for them. Now they’re expecting a baby and the husband landed his dream job at one of the top-rated companies to work for in Georgia, which just HAPPENS to be headquartered out here in the middle of nowhere (and he started job hunting only after they got here). They both come from amazing backgrounds, and foreign countries, and they have such impressive testimonies. They are definitely an example of what I want to be like after I finish my mission. You can tell how they are led by the Lord.
It’s been hard not to think about home and post-mission life, lately, and I don’t necessarily mean that in a negative way. One of my companions is finishing his mission in a couple of weeks, so I’ve watched him make his “plan for the next life” on the Missionary Portal this transfer. One of my good friends finishes next month. A lot of the people we’ve taught lately are YSA-aged. To top it all off, this is a college town… It leads one to some introspection, and it has led me to ponder the phrase, “Forget yourself, and go to work,” that famous adage from Gordon B. Hinckley’s father.
I used to feel like that meant something a little more harsh, like “stuff all your feelings deep inside of you, become stoic, and work tirelessly like a robot until you collapse.” Fortunately, I have now concluded that it means something much less ridiculous.
There are two ways to over-focus on ourselves:
1) Pridefully exalting ourselves above others because of our talents or their shortcomings. This is tempting to do as a means for gratifying the “natural man.” It’s a temporary thrill, but ultimately leads to unhappiness.
2) Mistaking self-destruction and deprecation for humility. Heavenly Father wants us to believe in ourselves. Being too hard on ourselves can easily be just as harmful as pride.
In the words of President Uchtdorf— “Some suppose that humility is about beating ourselves up. Humility does not mean convincing ourselves that we are worthless, meaningless, or of little value. Nor does it mean denying or withholding the talents God has given us. We don’t discover humility by thinking less of ourselves; we discover humility by thinking less about ourselves. It comes as we go about our work with an attitude of serving God and our fellowman.
“Humility directs our attention and love toward others and to Heavenly Father’s purposes. Pride does the opposite. Pride draws its energy and strength from the deep wells of selfishness. The moment we stop obsessing with ourselves and lose ourselves in service, our pride diminishes and begins to die.”
So go and find some way to serve others this week!
On another note, working in this large area forces you to eat out for lunch too often… Luckily, Chick-fil-A is good.
Painting service project