Friday, December 21, 2007

My Life in the Chruch

In response to Elder Ballard's challenge, I will tell a little about my experience as a member of the Church. I attended a religious seminary class every morning before school all four years of high school. Since then, I have read the scriptures essentially every day. Daily scripture reading changed my life. Before I started reading, I was a terrible high school student. The spiritual nourishment of seminary and scripture reading gave me purpose. I became a stellar student and that all combined to prepare me to serve a mission for two years preaching the Gospel in Philadelphia. I was never happier.

On my mission I learned to express myself to others. I learned the Gospel by giving all I had to the work. There is no other opportunity to offer all my money, time, and energy to the Lord. That sacrifice has set the path of my life. I then attended BYU, where I took religion classes from the best teachers in all the Church. I took classes on Isaiah, the New Testament, The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and anything else I could fit in my schedule. I was never happier.

A little over a year ago, President Hinckley, the prophet of the Lord, issued a challenge to the men of the Church. He said to obtain all the education we could. I took that challenge seriously. After that challenge, I prepared for and took the GMAT. I have started the MBA program at Texas A&M University. And I have never been happier.

I have learned from all these experiences that the happiest times in life come when I follow the prophet. Nothing has been easy, but it isn't supposed to be. I believe more and more that the greater the challenges, the greater the joy. Jesus certainly experienced that. He endured the cross for the joy that was set before him. In life, we all have our own crosses to carry. The cross I have had to figuratively carry has taught me that God lives and knows me. Not only that, but He is interested in the affairs of my life. I could never have planned the course my life has taken, but I can plainly see that God's hand has directed my path. Whatever price I must pay to become acquainted with God is worth the price. Nephi was highly favored in his afflictions. Really, it is only through affliction that anyone realizes how highly favored they are.

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