I was thinking today about a lesson I taught to the young women in our youth group not so long ago. As I was sharing some experiences with the girls, I mentioned how when I lived in Jerusalem many years ago, we always looked for opportunities to sing “I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked.” Then I came home and realized that most of the people around me would never have that opportunity. It occurred to me that it’s more important to “Think Today What Jesus Thought,” and keep his words pouring into our minds and hearts every day. Our lesson that day was about why it’s important to read the scriptures daily.
Sometimes being an active church member can be a bit overwhelming–Mormons have 3 hours of church on Sundays, Family Home Evening on Monday nights, Youth Activities every Tuesday evening, the high school kids go to Seminary classes every other day, We pray our thanks for every meal, we have personal prayers morning and evening and oftentimes in between, we read our scriptures daily, we plan and help with special activities, we accept callings to serve where ever we are asked to help (there is no paid ministry in our congregations and everyone has a job to do), we have Presidency Meetings, Family Events, Firesides, we visit and look after others in the neighborhood (Home and Visiting Teaching), and we try our hardest to keep a lot of commandments that make our lives happy and filled with joy. We are always busy. Sometimes it just feels overwhelming.
And sometimes I feel like it would just be nice to drive away and do nothing. Does it really matter that we are faithful and Do All These Things?? Wouldn’t it be nice to actually go to the cabin for the weekend and stay there the whole weekend instead of coming back to take care of our responsibilities on Sundays?
I told the young women that whenever I turn on the radio in the car and hear a song from my teen years, almost without fail, I can recite every word of it. I lived in an era of radio and cassette tapes (pre-digital when we were not so surrounded by music as kids are now), so the number of lyrics that went into my head stands no comparison to what is going into their minds. I never intentionally memorized the songs I heard. I just heard them enough that the words stayed registered in my mind.
I think the same thing happens when we do all of our “church” things. We are continually putting Christ’s words into our minds. We hear them, we read them, we surround ourselves with them, and without even being conscious of it, we are learning and registering the language of the Spirit and the words of Jesus. The more we so this, the more we are able to think what He thought and understand how he did what he did, the more our lives become like His. Our minds begin to think like His. Our hearts turn as His did. We are able to follow him because we become like him. So all the little insignificant words we speak, or verses we read, all add up into a pattern that moves our lives into paths that will make us happy. Our lives are quietly blessed in amazing ways because we are familiar with the “lyrics” of the music that will take us back to our Heavenly Home.
Perhaps more important that walking where Jesus walked, is thinking what he thought and trying our best to do what he did. Sometimes it may feel like we are just going though the motions, but we are establishing patterns. Patterns of service and caring and awareness and giving that move us to be more like Jesus.
Today the 2014 theme for our youth world-wide was introduced: “Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness” (Moroni 10:32). I would like to join them in that quest. For me that means keeping busy doing good things. How about you?