Since General Conference isn't far behind us I have a new vault of topics to speak on. I would like to talk a little bit about the phrase used as a title for this post, spoken by Elder Garrit W. Gong. The complete quote goes like this:
"When you are ready, please open your heart to the Book of Mormon, again, for the first time. Please pray with real intent, again, for the first time.
(Elder Garrit W. Gong, 'Always Remember Him', April 2016 General Conference)
This short phrase, as I've thought it through, can be applied to most things in our life that have the ability to become mundane and commonplace. Extraordinary things should not become 'the norm' in our lives, but we should seek to make them always extraordinary. As we read our scriptures we should strive to not just stare at an organized succession of ink symbols on a page for 15 minutes. Our prayers should be a communication that can't be replaced by numbering all of the common phrases and blessings we want or need and then simply saying "Dear Heavenly Father, 15. 21. 34. 1. 27. 3. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. As I was told early in my mission by a wise goofball of an Elder "If you're becoming robotic, you're doing it wrong". The fullness of the gospel is a lifestyle, it's meant to be lived to the fullest if we truly want the greatest measure of blessings our Father in Heaven has in store for us.
Our Heavenly Father doesn't see us as beings that only experience great happiness and fulfillment for a short period of time and then we return to a nothingness from whence we were born. We came from glory and he wants us to return to glory. Our life is not a "brief candle" as Shakespeare's Macbeth puts it. We weren't created to simply go 'the way of all the earth' after a brief stint on the Pale Blue Dot.
Our Father in Heaven has provided ways for all of us to grow in faith, testimony, and happiness. Patience may be required, but renewed vigor and happiness await the faithful. If at all your life has become unfulfilling, it doesn't have to stay that way. Not long ago I felt, as I had in the past, that missionary work was becoming mundane. I made a choice for it to not be that way. I came to know through personal revelation what things would be required of me in order to have greater happiness, charity, and faith in this work. I have since begun again, for the first time, to be a faithful disciple of Christ.
I hope that you all have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder Gailey