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October 13, 2013

Living on Purpose: Being a Christian

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Best @ 5:17 pm
My name is Mitzi.  I am posting on this blog along with many other friends and neighbors who are also Mormons to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I decided to preface my posts with the title, “Living on Purpose” because that’s exactly what I’m doing.  I hope each morning when I get up that I will do a little better than I did the day before in discovering my purpose here on earth and fulfilling it.
I get significant help from praying to God, reading scriptures, participating in religious services regularly and serving others both inside and outside of my family.  I want to share some of the things I have learned throughout my life in the sincere hope of helping someone else find peace and happiness.  We all have tremendous purpose and that becomes more evident as we pause to evaluate how the hand of God has touched our lives each day.  Here is an example and what it taught me.

When I was 10 years old, my parents built a house in a Denver, Colorado suburb.  After all the unpacking, we started in on the yard.  Appealing at first for the large wealth of potential it provided, when the boarders were in and sprinklers ready, we were exhausted.  It was summer.  There were bugs- or rather bug colonies.  The day the pallets of sod arrived was mildly exciting, muted only by our pure fatigue at the sight of more grueling work. 
My mom started in as early as she could but by midday and only part of the front done, she surrendered to pure exhaustion and sat on a bench in the small shade of our front porch.  The job was too big.  Despite the urgency of the wilting sod rolls, she had completely drained her physical wells.  I wanted so much to help as did my four siblings, but the rolls were too heavy. 
Later that afternoon, a most wonderful neighbor drove by and perceived our need for help.  He immediately called everyone he could and organized a sod laying party.  It was more of a surprise party for us- we had no idea help was on the way!  My parents had very few motivational words for us as we headed back out to the daunting piles of sod.  Even though dad was home, his contribution was still drastically insufficient for what needed to be done.  The urgency was increased by fading sunlight and rapidly drying sod.  We could not wait- morning would be too late.

Suddenly cars started pulling up in front of our house.  Whole families got out in work clothes and gloves and just started grabbing sod rolls and hauling them.  More and more people arrived.  The transformation of our yard was incredible, but the transformation of our spirits was even more so.  Amidst the hurried effort to lay sod, there was a beautiful hum of happy conversation.  Everyone worked, sweat and swatted bugs together never stopping until the work was done.  In the glow of our back porch light and several flashlights, we laid the final roll of sod.  The impossible suddenly possible thanks to many wonderful hands.

I felt something amazing that night as a little 10 year old.  It was the pure joy of service.  A joy felt by both server and served.  And I learned what it means to be Christian- “to be called [God’s] people and [to be] willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light” (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 18:8) 
In all that Jesus Christ did through His mortal ministry He sought to teach this basic principle:  “Love one another; as I have loved you” (Holy Bible, John 13:34).  This is how a true disciple is to be identified.  Christlike love means reaching out in kind ways to those around us- from opening a door for someone to forgoing a cool evening inside to help a weary neighbor lay sod. 
I believe that no act brings greater joy than one performed in behalf of another.  I have been on a stage in front of a cheering crowd.  I have felt the exhilaration of intense fun on a roller coaster.  I have felt the joy of a great paycheck after hard work and the relief of an A in a difficult class.  However, nothing quite compares to the deep satisfaction I get when I know I have helped someone.  It’s true.  Being a Christian means following in Christ’s ways, acting as He acted, and loving as He loved. 
I love being a Mormon because in every lesson I have ever been taught, in every sermon I have ever attended, in every teaching I have read from our prophets and apostles, this one resounding truth is continually emphasized:  “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins”  (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:26).

I could not begin to name all the people who were there.  Many of them may not even remember that evening but everyone in my family does.  And we still feel fantastic whenever we reminisce!

-Mitzi Robins

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