"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."
2 Nephi 31:20 The Book of Mormon
When I was in Institute, (it's like a Bible study class for people who are in college) I had this really awesome teacher. Bro. Asquith was his name. One night he read this passage from The Book of Mormon. By itself it is a powerful message, but Bro. Asquith put a spin on it that took it to another level. Focus on the phrase, "endure to the end".
ENDURE- to continue in the same state; to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding
Yes, we should endure. Life can be hard, we may have to overcome suffering and misfortune. And it's vital that we are unyielding in our faith and hold fast that the Lord has a plan for us. But what if we change the word endure and replace it with excel?
EXCEL- to be superior to ; surpass in accomplishment or achievement
Bro. Asquith had us substitute endure with excel and this passage took on another meaning. We should overcome trials, but we don't have to continue in the same state. The 13th Article of Faith says:
13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things! To excel is to do more than just endure. We must be actively seeking to become better, better at being honest, better at being chaste and benevolent, better at doing good to all men.
Putting it in this perspective really opened my eyes to my potential. I can excel, I can do more. I don't feel remaining in the same state is all I can do. Sometimes while I am enduring I feel like a get a little stagnant. I don't feel like I am slipping backwards, but I don't feel like I am moving forward either. Without progression one cannot grow, you will remain in your current state.
I try to achieve this progression through goals. Setting goals is something I learned back in my Young Woman years. My goal right now is to read The Book of Mormon again. I have read it 3 times in my life. I know it should be more. There have been several times that I have set the goal to read The Book of Mormon again, and just can't seem to complete it. Now I have motivation in that Facebook has added a challenge to read The Book of Mormon starting now and finishing before the new year. I have signed up for this goal and am determined to complete it this time.
In fact, if anyone wants to join me in this you are more than welcome...hint, hint....Don't sweat it if you don't have one either. I got the hook up for ya'. Just go HERE and one will get sent out to you right away absolutely FREE! You're welcome! And then this way we can all excel together!
Happy 43rd Birthday Matt!
5 months ago