On a recent Sunday morning, I lay in bed pondering before getting up to start my day. My heart was filled with joy and gratitude for the many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon me. I am grateful for a wonderful husband. We complement one another in so many ways. Our marriage is a blessing to each of us. We are both aware of it and frequently share these feelings with one another. I am grateful to be a mother and step-mother. I love writing. I have wonderful friends. I love all of my callings — both the official ones extended by my priesthood leaders and the ones the Lord has extended to me privately. I have a life filled with love.
When my heart is full to overflowing with gratitude I express it in words, in thoughts, in prayers, in obedience to the commandments, and to the promptings I receive. Perhaps most importantly, I am filled with a desire to magnify my callings—wife, mother, writer, sponsor, and church callings—as a form of service to the Lord, to express my thanks.
I pondered these things in my heart that morning. Later, in Sacrament Meeting the talks were on magnifying our callings. Coincidence? I think not. One speaker shared this quote:
“What does it mean to magnify a calling? It means to build it up in dignity and importance, to make it honorable and commendable in the eyes of all men, to enlarge and strengthen it, to let the light of heaven shine through it to the view of other men. And how does one magnify a calling? Simply by performing the service that pertains to it.” (Thomas S. Monson, “The Call of Duty,” April 1986, emphasis added.)
As I look for ways to magnify my callings, I become aware of areas for improvement; ways in which I can better perform that service. I try to live my life in a state of recovery, or, in other words, a state of repentance. To me, it is the same thing. At an earlier time in my life, finding an area with room for improvement might have filled me with guilt, discouragement and shame. Now I see that the Lord has opened my eyes to a new opportunity to show my gratitude to Him by seeking His guidance and following His direction as I work to grow and become better—to progress in becoming perfect (or complete)—as He and His Father are.
Sure, there are times when my list of stubborn shortcomings (the ones I have been working on for years) seems sufficient without the addition of any more opportunities for improvement. But I know that as I take the Lord’s yoke upon me, He will give me rest. I know that He will help me do just a little bit better today than I did yesterday if I rely upon the enabling power of the Atonement. I know that I need to live in the present and just do those things that He directs me to do in this moment. And as always, I remember:
“And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.” (Moroni 7:33)
- What are you grateful for in your life? How do you express it?
- What opportunities do you have to magnify your callings – official and personal?
- What will you do today to progress?
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