Author: Matthew Watkins

Until the day I die . . .

I loved the second area of my mission. The Bishop was totally on board with missionary work. The ward mission leader was a rock star. The ward was warm and accepting. And the boundaries were large enough to stave off knocking on someone’s door more than once every 2 months or so (this was back in the day when tracting was almost all missionaries ever did). It was really awesome– definitely one of the highlights of my whole mission.

I was there a long time. I spent 6 months (and 5 companions) in that ward. But no matter how awesome an area is, you can still burn out.

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Joy. It’s our purpose!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you today? How about the past week? The past year? Or overall? Would you (and those around you) consider you to be a generally happy person overall? Maybe you’re just not a “happy” kind of person. Maybe you’re not a total grump, but maybe on the overall personality spectrum, you’re a bit closer to the Mr. Grinch end than the Relief Society President end. Maybe you’re holding out hope that you would be eventually happy. You know, once your sons have returned from their missions. And your quorum takes their ministering assignments seriously. And your husband stops leaving the toilet seat up. Or maybe you’re just enduring life right now and looking forward to that day of release when you will finally be able to rest in eternal felicity in heaven because sure then you will be happy, right?

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The Remembrance Cycle

I like listening to my dad tell stories from his time in the army. One thing he observed is that the drill sergeants he had were very much like the drill sergeants you see in the movies: insulting, swearing, and strict almost to the point of abusive. And he saw why. Although my dad was a married, returned missionary with 2 kids when he enlisted in the army, the rest of his group were 18 and 19-year old boys. And they acted the part. The primary goal in basic training is to crush you and try and get as much of the silliness and horseplay out of you as possible.

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Something’s missing

I’m in the middle of the saddest part of the Book of Mormon. Throughout the latter half of 3 Nephi, Christ ushers in a period of peace and national righteousness that gives us modern readers a little preview of the Millenium. Then, 3 Nephi ends, and by the end of the very next chapter, the Nephites are largely corrupt and ripe for their final destruction. No gradual decline this time– they come out in open rebellion against God, the day of grace is past, and you know this is the end of the end. Each time I read the story of their self-destruction in my studies, it feels more sad and sickening than the last. This time through, I noticed some interesting details from the war accounts from Mormon 2 that I had overlooked before.

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The Immediate Atonement

This post first appeared on Power in the Book of Mormon The Atonement of Christ is the center of our faith. But it’s also the principle of our faith that is probably hardest to understand. Not just because it’s infinite beyond the scope of our mortal minds, but because the whole notion that Christ could pay for sins He didn’t commit just kind of blows our minds. I don’t know anyone who has claimed to look at the calculus of the Plan of Salvation and figured out how it all works out. Twisting the Atonement And that’s OK. We don’t...

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