Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Thoughts: Back to Basics

Last week, I had the idea of sharing some ideas, from church meetings, that impressed me. Yeah, don't go looking for that post; it never happened.

Happily, what was true last week is still true today. And what I needed to remember and ponder from last week, I still need to remember and ponder today. So...

Last Sunday, in Relief Society, Shandy reminded us that gospel basics are important, in this case prayer and scripture study. She referred to a talk by Elder L. Tom Perry, Back to Gospel Basics, given in April 1993. He talked about efforts to fortify church members in Peru, and the decision to emphasize just two basic principles of the gospel: family prayer and family scripture study. He recapped the results:
The blessings that have come to the Peruvian Saints from practicing these two basic gospel principles, daily prayer and scripture study, have been most remarkable. It soon became evident that faith and testimony were increasing among members of the Church there. There has been a significant increase in sacrament meeting attendance, which has resulted in a greater sense of community and increased interest among the Saints in loving and caring for each other. Though travel to the temple has become increasingly difficult and dangerous, surprisingly, temple attendance is up significantly.

A renewed emphasis on two basic gospel practices—daily prayer and scripture study—created a dramatic change and offered increased spirituality and works among the Saints there.

The success of the Peruvian Saints should teach all of us the importance of adhering to the basics of a gospel-centered life.
The emphasis in that quote is mine. It seems I need to be reminded, again and again, to focus on these basic principles. I need to become truly committed to making these a priority in my life, every day.

Conveniently, Shandy also referred to a first presidency message about commitment, by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf ("Brother, I'm Committed," Ensign, July 2011).
Commitment is a little like diving into the water. Either you are committed or you are not. Either you are moving forward or you are standing still. There’s no halfway. We all face moments of decision that change the rest of our lives. As members of the Church, we must ask ourselves, “Will I dive in or just stand at the edge? Will I step forward or merely test the temperature of the water with my toes?”

. . . Those who are only sort of committed may expect to only sort of receive the blessings of testimony, joy, and peace. The windows of heaven might only be sort of open to them. Wouldn’t it be foolish to think, “I’ll commit myself 50 percent now, but when Christ appears at the Second Coming, I’ll commit myself 100 percent”?
I don't want to "only sort of receive the blessings," so... I am recommitting, diving in, moving forward, to make these basic principles - prayer and scripture study - a priority in my life.

Happily, I can choose to commit again and again, til I finally get it right.

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