Author: Matthew Watkins

Don’t try to follow all the Lord’s counsel at once

There are many things in our day to day, secular lives that we “ought” to do. Like putting the junk mail in the recycling bin instead of the trash can. Or opting for the salad over the meat lover’s pizza. But we often don’t do what we know we should. Why? Because we’re lazy?

Maybe. But I think it’s mostly because we see these “suggestions” as optional– like “extra credit” in life. They are something to strive for when time permits, but not something so important we should bend over backward trying to make it work. Trying out all the little “suggestions” in life all at once is impossible, and we know it. So we accept the fact that we simply can’t lose 50 pounds and reduce our carbon footprint and double-pay our mortgage and get that promotion and spend more time with family and learn a new language and write that novel all at the same time. Not everything is worth the effort right now. We have to focus on what’s most important (provide for our families, etc) and then decide which “suggestions” we want to focus on with our remaining attention. In other words, when it comes to secular matters, we are realistic and we prioritize.

But wait. We are faced with the same deluge of suggestions about the spiritual matters of our lives, too.

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Ministering: Less Talk, More Action

A few weeks ago, I was called to be the ward mission leader. Since then, I have been pondering on what I need to do to magnify my calling. I have served with a lot of different ward mission leaders both on and off my mission. Some jumped in with the missionaries. Others never learned the missionaries’ names. Some rarely missed an opportunity to attend teaching appointments. Others rarely attended Church itself. Some were overbearing in their calling. Others couldn’t bare to be in their calling. It’s a wide spectrum.

So how does the Lord want me to serve? What should my focus be? How can I put new energy into visiting the “same ten people?” Or do we need a new approach entirely? A lot of weighty questions on my mind. I’ve been trying to discern how Christ wants me to serve in this capacity.

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They fell that we might be . . .

This post originally appeared on Power in the Book of Mormon. I was sitting at a crowded airport gate a few days ago, planning out episode 9 of my Small and Simple Things Podcast*. This episode is all about the fall of Adam and Eve. As I researched, I fell on that familiar verse from the Book of Mormon: Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy. Yes, Adam fell that men might be. As a seminary student, I loved that verse because it was short and trivial to memorize. Whoever says you won’t use the...

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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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