This week was full of wisdom and counsel that made me stop and think many times. I came up to the mountains outside of Sequoia National Forest to work for the next 9 weeks.
As I took time in my busy schedule I wanted something to help me quiet my heart and be more open to this weeks teachings. I decided to start with President Faust’s video. What a great place to start. Listening to him reminded me of him when he was with us and how he taught and how kind and loving he was as a prophet and apostle and mostly as a man. I am grateful for how he consecrated his life to build the kingdom and serve Heavenly Father’s children.
My Consecrated Life
I sat with this idea of consecration long before we even started this class.
A few years ago I was sitting down looking at my life and wondering what I could do to prepare myself for my future. I had decided to go back to school and start a new path. I was working in my 3rd year in behavioral health and was starting to have experiences in that work that lead me to believe that I would be a good teacher or maybe even a therapist. I thought about what it would take for me in the church to be the kind of man that would attract a partner who I could go to the Temple with. I used to be a Temple worker in San Diego and I had a small taste of what it meant to live a life that allowed me an experience in consecrating my time and talents to a purpose bigger than myself. I shaved my beard every Saturday morning and spent 5-6 hours on those days helping others make their own covenants. At this point I was probably just starting to understand my own covenants. I had served in callings in both young men’s presidencies as well as two Elders Quorum Presidencies. I thought about my personal life in a new way that helped me start to see myself in a new way. Little did I know I had already started my path to living a consecrated life.
My Life Consecrated
Here are some areas in my life that I have a clearing chosen to be consecrated to building the kingdom in my life
School – by choosing to attend BYI Idaho online I have chose a school that will help me keep a gospel focus on my studies.
Degree Program – I have always known that I was called to serve others – in and out of the church – like I mentioned earlier I had started to focus my thoughts on how I could serve others. The fields of Therapy and Education both are opportunities to serve others in my work.
Personal Life – being single I had to make some hard choices about what I wanted my personal life to be. Here are just a few examples:
1. Morality – it is not easy being morally clean when you have no one and nowhere to express those needs and feelings. Making this choice has never been easy for me and I am hoping that somewhere it pays off; though to be honest I am not sure how invested I am in this idea anymore. Time will tell.
2. Service – I chose to lend my life to service. Every Sunday afternoon I volunteer my time to working at a Homeless Hospitality House called Andre House in Phoenix. I have become part of a wonderful community of the poor, the homeless and other like minded Christians who seek to serve on a daily or weekly basis.
Two years ago I was listening to a podcast called OnBeing. In this particular episode the host Krista Tippett was speaking to a Jesuit Priest named Father James Martin. In hearing Father Martin’s story the words that he spoke resonated deep in my heart. After years of growing up in the Church I had never heard the Gospel of service spoke in such a way; so much that I even considered becoming a Jesuit Priest. The Spirit spoke to me strongly about my personal calling here in this life. I knew then that I had a different path, or at least one that was to be uniquely my own. I have never socially fit into the LDS Church but have always had a strong love for God and serving Him and his children. When I heard this message I felt a deep understanding that I did have a path that fit me; that fit the way God speaks to my heart. I firmly believe that God has a way for all of us to find our way back to him and live a life that He would be proud of; in or out of the LDS church. If I have two core beliefs they are
1. Find your calling that God has laid out for you.
2. Don’t wait to be called. Find your calling and go out and serve – and in that service you could most possibly find your calling!