This morning my daughter and son-in-law returned to school in the midst of a snow storm. They arrived safely, but they left us a mess. Who knew the constant damage that can be done, receiving and letting go of your children. Not only to their parents, but to their siblings as well. I thought it was tough when I was the child coming and going. But as a parent, so many other concerns add to the intensity of the situation.
Throughout the Christmas break, there was a lot of activities that took place. Last night we reminisced over the holiday visit. I observed that the events that seemed overwhelmingly unforgettable always surrounded the work we engaged in. It was the conversations around the bed foundation we made in the garage. It was my son-in-law telling me to cut the plywood at 72 3/4″ instead of the correct 74 3/4″ that made it fun to laugh at. It was the dust, the allergies, the late nights working together on wood projects and business plans that will ultimately last the years of memory.
I remember the long days, nights and weekends with my parents renovating the house on Laie point. Those days are un-eraseable in my memories. I remember mixing concrete in a wheelbarrow, pouring grout down masonry walls with a bucket and a rope. I remember hauling blocks around a job site, my friend falling off a roof top, myself falling from a 20 foot scaffolding, scavenging and eating oysters for lunch at a job in Kailua with my brothers, driving tractors and bobcats, popping wheelies, pouring concrete to build theaters, standing in the back of the truck going home from work, curling up in the back of the truck going to work, trying to get out of work, eating dinners after work, going surfing after work, getting taken out of school to pour concrete, removing asbestos from BYU-Hawaii auditorium, etc.
But my mind paints a murky picture about birthday parties (both my own or those that I went to), the arcade, the christmas gifts, the hanging out, the movies watched, the t.v, shows, etc. The feelings around those memories aren’t as impactful. We may not have had many of those things, and that may be the reason that they have less of an impact, whereas we had a lot of work experience. But still, as an adult I have noticed the same pattern with my children. It’s the working through hard things that have the longest lasting impact.
I still remember one christmas season when my daughter and I built jump boxes. It was freezing. She didn’t enjoy the work. We didn’t even have the right tools, and we made a lot of mistakes. But I will hang on to that memory with her forever!
Our world wants us to place importance on occupations, earnings, grades, awards, entertainment, athletics, the arts, music, etc. By placing huge spotlights on such items, the world makes such things the focus of happiness. Yet, in the end, those who have had their sights on the things of the world, missed the real joy of life and find themselves empty and alone.
There is still a greater work that exceeds the importance of any other labor, that has the power to produce such lasting happiness within a family that has not been tapped by men, and still needs to be done. The family that engages in this work will not only create the greatest of memories, but will be the things of legend to all their posterity. My parents used to tell us of Phillipino families who came together and got each other out of debt, and now they are rich. Although that might suite the seeking of the treasures of the world, it dulls in comparison to a family who knows the Son of the living God.
I am often balked at when brining up the idea of individually coming into the presence of Christ and obtaining my calling and election sure. Can you imagine what people will think when they learn that I never limited this blessing to one individual. It has always been my entire family, and generations to follow. It has always been intended to become one with the Fathers, and to be one with my posterity as well.
Reflect upon the memories of joy that are vivid and unforgettable and you might find that your memories surround the work too. If that is the case, then the invitation offered you might well be the marvelous work to bypass the joy you have felt in the past, to produce for you the greatest of joys in the future. That work is to know Christ and God the father through the words of Christ.
The work that produced the great memories for me in the past was not work that I chose to participate in. Most times I was forced into it. But the value at the end was still mine. However, this work cannot be forced, coerced, or done by compulsory means. It can only be done with a willing heart. It can only be done by those who want to know God. There is no other way to obtain it.
This work requires that you let go of what you think you know concerning God. It requires fresh eyes, open to letting the heavens teach, void of trusting in men. This requires the letting go of traditional concepts, recognizing your ignorance, and seeking the source of knowledge and truth. Such work requires trust and honesty.
When the Lord teaches that no man can serve two masters, He is addressing those who will engage in this work. We cannot grab hold of the rod and follow the mist of darkness. They pull in very different directions.
That is what this blog has always been about, talking about the words of Christ in the effort to know Christ and God. In the past I have hurt peoples feelings speaking directly about our ignorance concerning the words of Christ. I tried to soften those negative effects by addressing preparedness and food storage, but that too was unappealing. I withdrew further to waiting for questions to be asked before talking about the scriptures, but even then it was too much. As much as I avoided the social networks, I found that a blog could produce a constant wave of talking to my family about the words of Christ, without pressuring them into reading, thus inviting, and leaving it to them to choose to read or not. That has always been the purpose of this blog- to talk of Christ.
This year, I feel very impressed to invite those who are reading here to put the words of Christ first. It’s obvious to me that the direction things are headed, it’ll be your knowledge of Christ that will be your only floating device in the Titanic of a destruction ahead. My definition of putting the words of Christ first means to read the Book of Mormon, the same time, every day, consistently, for an entire hour, without interruption, without miss, for at least 100 days. Then, whenever there is a conversation about the words of Christ, listen in, compare your understanding with what is being said. Question your understanding and ask yourself if you really understand it or if it’s a place you need more attention. Then let it go and continue this process.
As individuals each of us will learn something different. But what will occur as we come together in conversation is, we will all have a portion of knowledge about Christ and an opinion that we desire to share naturally. We will all be engaged in the conversation about Christ because that was what we’ve been practicing anyway. Then… when we get together, Christ will recognize the softness of our hearts (only produced by the study of the word), and Christ will magnify us Himself, and produce for us grander blessings than we have imagined ever before.
It is my belief that through the immersion in the words of Christ, we can obtain a personal witness of Christ. The invitation is ours. The challenge is offered. It doesn’t require miracles, but it will produce them. It only requires that you provide a place, don’t cast it out by your unbelief (your wrong beliefs), and a regular exercising of your faith. While others are devising new year resolution exercise programs for the year, make this exercise program of greatest importance. I assure you, the results will be highly rewarding.