Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.
...ordinary people are the ones who determine the outcome of human events in the end - not kings and princes, not masters and tyrants. It is laborers and workmen, cousins and acquaintances that upend the expectations of the brilliant and the glamorous, the expert and the meticulous. It is plain folks, simple people, who literally change the course of history - because they are the stuff or which history is made. They are the ones who make the world go round.
There are no extraordinary men... just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with.
There are no great men. Just great challenges which ordinary men, out of necessity, are forced by circumstances to meet.
How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects?
Or a sophisticated project they can see or touch?
Or a reputation that precedes you?
Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow up?
Some say, "well, that's fine, but I don't have those."
Yeah, that's my point. If you don't have those, why do you think you are remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular? It sounds to me like if you don't have those, you've been brainwashed into acting like you're sort of ordinary.
Great jobs, world class jobs, jobs people kill for... those jobs don't get filled by people emailing in resumes. Ever.
When children are baptized and confirmed (see D&C 20:41, 43; D&C 33:15), we place an eye within them—the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost (see D&C 121:26). With the Restoration of the gospel came authority to confer this gift.
The Book of Mormon gives us the key:
“Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. … Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you [and your children as well] all things what ye should do” (2 Ne. 32:3).
If you will accept it in your mind and cradle it in your feelings, a knowledge of the restored gospel and a testimony of Jesus Christ can spiritually immunize your children.
One thing is very clear: the safest place and the best protection against the moral and spiritual diseases is a stable home and family. This has always been true; it will be true forever. We must keep that foremost in our minds.
The scriptures speak of “the shield of faith wherewith,” the Lord said, “ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (D&C 27:17).
This shield of faith is best fabricated in a cottage industry. While the shield can be polished in classes in the Church and in activities, it is meant to be handcrafted in the home and fitted to each individual.
The Lord said, “Take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand” (D&C 27:15).
Our young people in many ways are much stronger and better than we were. They and we should not be afraid of what is ahead.
Encourage our young people. They need not live in fear (see D&C 6:36). Fear is the opposite of faith.
While we cannot erase wickedness, we can produce young Latter-day Saints who, spiritually nourished, are immunized against evil influences.
As a grandfather who has lived a long time, I counsel you to have faith. Things have a way of working out. Stay close to the Church. Keep your children close to the Church.
In Alma’s day “the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it … had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God” (Alma 31:5).
True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior.
Find happiness in ordinary things, and keep your sense of humor.
It is also true that there is an order to things in the Church. When you are called to an office, you then receive revelation that belongs to that office that would not be given to others.
No member of the Church is esteemed by the Lord as more or less than any other. It just does not work that way! Remember, He is a father—our Father. The Lord is “no respecter of persons.”
We are not worth more to the onrolling of the Lord’s work than were Brother and Sister Tuotai Paletu’a in Nuku’alofa, Tonga; or Brother and Sister Carlos C. Fuentes in Santiago, Chile; or Brother and Sister Peter Dalebout in the Netherlands; or Brother and Sister Tatsui Sato of Japan; or hundreds of others I have met while traveling about the world. It just does not work that way.
And so the Church moves on. It is carried upon the shoulders of worthy members living ordinary lives among ordinary families, guided by the Holy Ghost and the Light of Christ, which is in them.
My dear young friends, as Samuel was told, for those of you who do not yet know the Lord, to whom the word of the Lord has yet to be revealed, please open your spiritual ears and eyes. Tune your hearts and souls, as I had to do on my old crystal radio. Set your receiver to the exact spot in your soul where the spiritual signals are coming through. In so doing you will be able to perceive the simple, ordinary things of life in a marvelous new light. You will have remarkable spiritual insight.
To do this you will have to pray fervently, with a clean mind and a humble heart. You will need to earnestly try to keep all of the commandments. You will need to be in harmony with the leadership of the Church, from your bishop and stake president to the First Presidency.
If you can learn to hear the whispering of the Spirit and be guided by your spiritual leaders, you will avoid many of the pitfalls and heartaches of the world. You will have a comforting feeling of your great worth as a choice son or daughter of God. To this end I bless you.
Mine is the sure witness that God lives, and that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. Of this I testify with all my soul
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