Thursday, October 10, 2013

I Can Do It Now

Also, that's a great tie!
Is it weird and narcissistic to think that Dieter Uchtdorf was called as a prophet and apostle of the Lord solely to be a spiritual guide for me? Like every talk he has ever written and every speech he has ever given is for me, about me, pertains to me and is exactly what I need to hear when I need to hear it? Is it strange that if I had a patronus, I think it would be an elderly, handsome, German, former airline pilot? Maybe other members of Church or people who hear him speak think the same thing (probably not about the patronus - I'm embarrassed that I even typed that. but every year when I hear him speak at conference, I want to stand up and cheer. Which would be odd, if I was at home, and inappropriate, if I was watching Priesthood Session at the Stake Center. 

Last April, President Uchtdorf spoke about how we should celebrate our difference and stop worrying so much about being the same. I blogged about it here. And this October, he spoke about how we need to quit being such whiny babies and just live life to the best way we can. He, of course, said it a lot more beautifully and elegantly than that. In fact, how he said it was:
We may think that women are more likely than men to have feelings of inadequacy and disappointment—that these feelings affect them more than us. I’m not sure that this is true. Men experience feelings of guilt, depression, and failure. We might pretend these feelings don’t bother us, but they do. We can feel so burdened by our failures and shortcomings that we begin to think we will never be able to succeed. We might even assume that because we have fallen before, falling is our destiny. As one writer put it, “We beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
I mean, how true is that?? (And did you catch The Great Gatsby there?) I spend a lot of time in my life worry about the things that I've done wrong, or the parenting mistakes that I've made, or the 7 bowls of cereal that I ate before bed, or the bad review I got at work, or the fact that I haven't been running for two weeks so why even bother trying tomorrow?

And then a little bit later in the talk he said this, which really struck me:

One of the adversary’s methods to prevent us from progressing is to confuse us about who we really are and what we really desire. 
We want to spend time with our children, but we also want to engage in our favorite manly hobbies. We want to lose weight, but we also want to enjoy the foods we crave. We want to become Christlike, but we also want to give the guy who cuts us off in traffic a piece of our mind.
Don't you ever think, "Why does this person get to have that amazing, fulfilling, fun job and I am stuck at this one? I'm just as qualified as them." or "I wish I was one of those people that just loved exercises. It's too hard for me because I JUST REALLY LIKE COOKIES!" or "Yes, I want to be a famous writer. But I also really need to get past this level on Candy Crush, so I don't have time to write?" Oh, you don't think those things? Just me? And when he says "engage in our favorite manly hobbies" he is clearly talking about watching the most current cycle of America's Next Top Model, right? 

I think I spend too much time thinking about the life that I sometimes wish I had, instead of thinking about the amazing life that I do have. I am incredibly blessed. I have a great job that pays the bills and keeps a roof over our heads. I have a beautiful home, an amazing and intelligent wife and three really funny and charming and lovely kids. I don't have a dog - I mean, life is great! And really, if I do want to be a great runner and lose 20 pounds it's totally within my power to do that. I just have to decide to do it and do it. And if that goal isn't a priority for me right now, that is OK too. But I shouldn't be anxious and stressed and unhappy about the things that I am not achieving.

President Uchtdorf then said:
It is a great source of spiritual power to live lives of integrity and righteousness and to keep our eyes on where we want to be in the eternities. Even if we can see this divine destination only with the eye of faith, it will help us to stay the course.
We don't need to stress and fret about every shortcoming and every failure. We shouldn't worry about every misstep. We should know who we are and what we want our lives to be and focus on that and on making the decisions and choices that lead us there.  And that's all. When you mess up, move on. When you fall down, rise up. When succeed, pat yourself on the back and then move on to tackling the next goal. When you blog about how you imagine a prominent leader in your church is your patronus, don't sweat it.

And in closing:

My dear friends and brethren, no matter how many times you have slipped or fallen, rise up! Your destiny is a glorious one! Stand tall and walk in the light of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! You are stronger than you realize. You are more capable than you can imagine. You can do it now! 
Ken loves you. And I believe in you.

You can do it now.

You can read/ listen to/ watch the whole talk here. And you should. 

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