We once again had a lot of meetings this week but i learned a ton this week not only from the meetings but from the book of mormon as i read and also from some talks that we listened to. One of the talks we listened to was one of John Bytheway's. I can't remember the title but he quoted John Taylor and this was the quote: "When men say unto us, you are not like us, we reply, we know it, we don't want to be. We want to be like the Lord". And i had to pause the talk because i wanted to write that quote down and it really stuck with me for a while. Before i go on about that let me mention another thought that i have had all week. I've had a hard time knowing when to train my trainer since he's falling back into his old routines that he was in before he got the call to train. I'll admit sometimes it's so much easier to just let him sleep during our "lunch break" and personal study and just study my scriptures instead of waking him up and telling him we need to be out working or studying our scriptures and lessons. I started to think that as long as i'm trying to be obedient then it would be okay if i just study the gospel until he wakes up. But then i had this very sharp thought one day earlier this week and it was this: "You can find loop holes for rules and instruction, but you CAN NOT find loop holes for choosing the right!" Every time i think that maybe there's a way to still obey but also give into other circumstances i have that same thought come to my head and then i think about what John Taylor said and i tell myself that i do not want to be like anyone but the Lord. If everyone around me hated me and persecuted me, it would all work out in the end as long as i am honoring and obeying the Lord and trying to be like him. I love the lessons that we can find in the scriptures from just reading even a few verses. I read Alma 49:4 the other day and i thought, "Am i disappointing satan and his followers with my preparations of defense against him? Do i have any place for him to come in without my permission or is his only way in through my entrance where i am personally guarding, ready to smite down any temptations?" And in the chapter just before this in chapter 48 verse 16 it says that moroni didn't like shedding the blood of the lamanites but his heart glories in keeping the commandments and in resisting iniquity. Can we honestly say that we glory in resisting iniquity or is that still a burden to us to give up our sins and resist them as they try to arise again? We have to build such strong defenses that nothing can come in unless we swing open the door and welcome sin into our lives ourselves. But the great thing is that the Savior is right there helping us to build those strong defenses every time we ask him to help and try to do what's right. How mindful of our situation do you think the Lord is? Don't you think he would know best what we need and what will help us the most? "Oh, how merciful is our God!" -Alma 24:15
"Happiness comes from your situation, Joy comes from your focus." Where is our focus? Are we focused on our situation trying to find momentary happiness? Or are we focused on Christ, ready to face trials with Joy in our hearts? "There is no such thing as a bad day, just bad moments." Don't let a bad moment get you down and make you think that you are having a bad day. Let yourself get back up, look to the Savior and say, "Today is still a good day". President Hinckley's Father once said, "Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve." If we find ourselves unhappy or maybe a little down, let us remember this quote and find a way to contribute, create, and achieve. "Stand a little taller, rise a little higher, be a little better. Make the extra effort. You will be happier." -President Hinckley.
It is not my hope to tell anyone that they are not being/doing enough. My hope is to show everyone that there is never a limit. There is never too much scripture study, never too much knowledge of the Gospel in our minds. We can ALWAYS grow and find more Joy in our lives and bring more happiness to the lives of others until they too can find this Joy themselves. We are here to show God that we want to live with him again and that we are willing to do what it takes, so why wait till tomorrow to read the book of mormon? Why wait till next week to go to church? Why wait till next month to get a new temple recommend and go back to the house of the Lord? Why wait to show God that we love him? He will bless us immediately when we do what's right (Mosiah 2:24).
Love you all,
-Love Elder Cluff