Finding Your Voice

“Each one of us has talents that naturally exist inside of us and each one is specific. Your specific set of talents is what makes you a unique person.” The purpose of this article is to teach an important principle that can help you discover your authentic life purpose, and innate talents and gifts. This principle can be summed up in one word, service.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:25-26)

President Spencer W. Kimball offered a simple expression of the more excellent way:

“Service to others deepens and sweetens this life while we are preparing to live in a better world. … When we are engaged in the service of our fellowmen, not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective. When we concern ourselves more with others, there is less time to be concerned with ourselves! In the midst of the miracle of serving, there is the promise of Jesus that by losing ourselves, we find ourselves! (Matthew 10:39)

“Not only do we ‘find’ ourselves in terms of acknowledging divine guidance in our lives, but the more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. … We become more substantive as we serve others—indeed, it is easier to ‘find’ ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!”

“Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you. But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.” (Jacob 2:17-19)

When spending your time using your skills to help and lift others, you start to discover your own authentic life purpose and innate talents and gifts.

I can say this because I have seen it work in my own life. I had the opportunity to serve a two year service mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there I spent most of my time teaching and serving others. I can honestly say that during my missionary service, my strengths and talents increased more than any other time of my life.

I believe that one purpose of educating and training ourselves vocationally is to help us be of better service to others. Yes it’s important to make enough money to support ourselves and our families, but don’t lose sight of how your talents and your wealth are to be used to help and serve those in need.

In your quest to find yourself, its more about focusing on others then focusing on yourself.

References

Christofferson, T. (2015, September 7). Saving Your Life. Retrieved from

Lift: the power of service, Mormon Channel. (2015)

The Coat: the story of charity, Mormon Channel. (2011)

https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2014/01/saving-your-life?lang=eng

Life Has a Purpose

“The three most common excuses I here in my consulting practice for postponing the initiation of inspired ideas and life dreams are, one, I don’t have enough time, two, I don’t have enough education or experience, and three, I don’t have enough money.  Here is the cold harsh fact of life, no matter how hard you work, no matter how much you study, no matter how much money you earn and tuck away, there is still no guarantee that the stars will align in the way you want them to.

“Using the time money education gap excuse will not only keep you stuck where you are but even worse, it will actually make you fill justified in postponing your dreams and goals,” Said Richie Norton the Author of the New York Time Best Seller The Power of Starting Something Stupid.

I quoted this not to say that those things are not important,  what I am trying to express is that we don’t need all the time, money or education in the world to be able to start something great in our lives. We can start now. Things will work to gather for our good if we put forth hard work and diligence.

Our lives are meant to be so much more than commuting, working, eating, surfing the Internet, sleeping and watching TV.

I believe our lives should be filled with purpose driven experiences and projects that bring joy, happiness, purpose and meaning to our lives and others. The evils of this world would have us believe that we can’t do great things. That’s a lie.

Life is short, and I strongly believe that God has given each one of us a allotted amount of time to use our gifts and talents to help make this world a better place. As a result we can’t afford to idle away our time doing things that don’t matter. We would do well to focus our energy on educating and training ourselves and then taking that experience and knowledge to lift, inspire and serve others.

“Your life matters, your life has purpose, your meant to be happy,” said Richie Norton.

In a revelation from God given to Joseph Smith, states, “Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.”

D&C 58:27-29

“On returning home from my two year mission service for the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my mission President David B Hate told me three things that transformed my behavior.”

He said to me Richie, I want you to go home and number one get your education, get all the training you can get.  Number two he said, make your mark, do something with that education and training to make a difference in the world. And number three is the most important, get prepared to be used, what he meant to say was get prepare to be of service; All the success in your life won’t mean anything if you lose it with the world,” said Jim Richie, the director of the Wallace center of Entrepreneurship at Brigham Young University of Hawaii and a successful entrepreneur.

Produced by Chase Hauver

References

Norton, R. (n.d.). The power of doing smothing stupid.

Building Dedication Gordon B. Hinckley  [YouTube]. (2002).

The Richie group, Jim Richie [YouTube]. (2014).

Create, Dieter F. Uchtdorf [ Mormon Channel]. 2009

God’s View of a Successful Life

If we fail at becoming successful in the things of this world, does that make us failures in the eyes of God?

The world demands a lot from us to reach success. It demands things that we sometimes do not have control over. It Puts us in situations where if we don’t produce certain out comes we are looked down on in society. Even if we sacrificed all we had to achieve a specific goal or outcome, and did not attain it, we are turned away and given the title of, “failure.”

But God has a different prospective that can bring us a lot of peace. From the early history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there was a faithful member whose name was Oliver Granger. Granger was a very successful business man, who was called to help the church.

“He was called on a mission in July 1838, soon after the Church leaders had fled Kirtland for Missouri, leaving behind unsettled debts and much property, including the temple. In section 117 the Lord called Oliver Granger to return to Kirtland as “a merchant unto my name” (verse 14) to “contend earnestly for the redemption of the First Presidency of my Church”-adding, “And when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase” (verse 13; emphasis added). There is a powerful gospel lesson here about the Lord’s bottom line-for his merchant and for us all.” said John S. Tanner in the talk titled on sacrifice and Success.

In this verse the phrase that is emphasized is “for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase”, what did the Lord mean by this?

Elder Holland a Apostil of the church said “Every person, young and old, has had his own personal experience with falling. Falling is what we mortals do. But as long as we are willing to rise up again and continue on the path toward the spiritual goals God has given us, we can learn something from failure and become better and happier as a result. … Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward.”

“So while I hope you succeed in your righteous desires, I also hope you won’t measure yourself exclusively by your successes and failures. God’s words to Oliver Granger remind us that we are more than our résumés, GPAs, salaries, and scholarships. What endears us to heaven is our sincere sacrifice; our sincere efforts to love God and our neighbor are sacred. The Almighty does not require success, but he does require sacrifice,” Said Tanner.

I feel when it really comes down to it, we should measure our self by how much we have sacrificed and strived to rise up and keep going, and not on how much money we have, or good our grades are. Though those things are helpful to have in this world we need not forget what really matters.

“This doctrine is simultaneously comforting and frightening: the Lord mercifully accepts our sacrifice when we lay our all on the altar, but nothing less than our all is acceptable. For him, the widow’s mite means more than the millionaire’s munificence precisely because she gave her all (Mark 12:44). Sacrifice outweighs increase on the scales of heaven-which are the only scales that ultimately matter,” Said Tanner.

Tanner continues, “Our fundamental religious duty is to strive, not to succeed-recognizing that the outcome is in God’s hands. As T. S. Eliot says in the poem “East Coker,” “For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.”

In his talk Tanner illustrates this principle through the example of Shadrach, Meshech, and Abed-nego from the bible. He explained, these men knew that God had the ability to save them from the fiery furnace. They also trusted that there outcome was in God’s hands. As a result they were more worried about staying faithful to God, and not its results. Hence they had the courage to stand up to King Nebuchadnezzar when he commanded them to pray to false Gods.

Like Shadrach, Meshech, and Abed-nego I feel our motive should be motivated by love and righteousness than by gain and prestige.

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were spared martyrdom. But they stand in the same position before God as Abinadi, (Mosiah 11-12) who was not spared a fiery death. From an eternal perspective, the outcome is irrelevant. What is sacred is the readiness, not the result; the sacrifice, not the success,” Said Tanner

God loves all of us, and wants us to become great, he can help create our lives into something glorious and wonderful. We need to trust him and focus on the things that really matter. God does not want our money or fame, he wants our hearts. Our sacrifices and obedience are more sacred and important to God than our individual successes and achievements.

We have enough people who are successful in the things of the world. We need more people who are successful in the ways of God!

Produced by Chase Hauver

References

Tanner, J. (2013, April 25). On Sacrifice and Success. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nczw6xHJ0I

Will of God, Mormon Channel. (2012)<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr8xvw0cgw0>

Good Things to Come, Mormon Channel. (2010).<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nczw6xHJ0I>