Archive for March, 2011

Joining the Club

Caleb is 8 and a member of our local congregation.  One day at school he had a conversation that went a little something like this:

Classmate:  “Hey, Caleb.  Wanna join our club?”

Caleb:  “Sure!”

Classmate:  “Okay, you have to say every swear word you know.”

Caleb:  “I don’t want to join your stupid club!!!”

And Caleb stomped off sad and disappointed.  Often, joining a club or “following the crowd” helps us to feel accepted, but at what cost?  It takes courage to stand up.  Often when when stand up we stand alone.

I grew up in a home where I was encouraged at an early age to ‘Say No’ to many things my parents knew we would be exposed to in later years.  In addition to smoking and drugs (D.A.R.E), I committed to not drink tea, coffee, or alcohol; substances that are addictive and can harm our bodies.  Swearing was one thing I didn’t want to do.  Or have immoral relationships before marriage.  Because of these choices, sometimes I was made fun of, but I knew the reward would be great if I didn’t give in.  Now, I am far from being ‘practically perfect in every way’, but I was able to avoid many situations where my morals and standards could have been compromised.   Many of those I went to school with struggled, and the repercussions often affected more than just the next day.  Some are still dealing with the consequences long after graduating high school.

I know many of the choices we make have eternal influence even when they may seem small and insignificant.  At the time, it was sometimes devastating to be laughed at and left out, but looking back–it was worth it.  It’s been 5 years since I’ve graduated high school, and many people have come back to thank me for my example.  I ‘believe in being an example in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity’ (1 Timothy 4:12).  So does this boy.

How wonderful it is…

Anne Frank  was a Jewish victim of the Holocaust.  In July of 1942, her family went into hiding in the hidden rooms of Anne’s father, Otto Frank’s, office building. After hiding for two years, they were discovered and transported to concentration camps. Anne Frank and her sister, Margot, were eventually transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they both died of typhus in March 1945.

With that stark introduction, I would like to share one of my favorite quotes from her.  Anne writes:

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

I feel Anne Frank is talking about Charity.   Nothing we do makes much of a difference if we do not have charity.  This, I believe.  With my whole heart.  Because charity breeds love.  And love is an emotion that often motivates us in what we do.  Every human being deserves to be loved.  Regardless or race, faith, appearance or whatever else.  In circumstances–where life is particularly difficult–there is always a way to make it better.  Maybe not always by improving our situation but looking to improve others.  Here is a short clip by Elder Wirthlin, a special witness of Jesus Christ.  He has passed away now, but Elder Nelson supported him so he could relay this important message. 

Having pure charity and love for others can set us apart from the world and we can show that we truly love God.   For that is the Great Commandment.  If we seek opportunities to serve, I know it can change us; our hearts will become pure and we will have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually (Mosiah 5:2). 

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

‘Holy’ Boots!

I’ve achieved it!!  ‘Holy’ boots!!!

In November of 2009, when I got called to upstate New York, one of the first things I was told was how bitter cold the winter’s were here.  It’s proven true.  So, I went out and bought a really long puffy coat.  I may look like a burnt marshmallow but that’s okay.  I was fortunate enough to find a hand-me-down pair of boots when I got here from a Sister left and has long since gone home.  They’re great.  Kept my feet warm and dry.  Until a couple of weeks ago…  I’ve worn them well and I’ve worn them out.

We had been walking.  And walking, and walking, and walking.  If you ever see us, it’s probably as we’re walking.  We are doing our best to follow the Spirit and find people who are prepared to hear the message we bear.

It was a particularly rainy day when I noticed the holes.  We’d just finished talking to someone who was…quite intoxicated actually, about prayer.   We meet a lot of different people everywhere we go; people from all races, countries, backgrounds and faiths.  Sometimes we even play a game, ‘Who’s on the other side” as we knock door to door.  Most the time, I’m way off, haha.  But I love this aspect of our work.

I feel like I’ve landed into one of my favorite books.  I do have shoes on my feet.  I do know what I know.  We do look over streets with great care trying to feel (by the Spirit) if we should go there. The bang-ups and hang-ups certainly happen, but I cannot stop.  There are waiting places, people waiting to be found; we don’t have to be lost or alone.  Our success can be 100% guaranteed, not only 98 3/4% as we learn what true.

My name is Sister Wilkinson, I’m off to great places, and you can be too!

P.S.  If you have served a mission try to put yourself in this story.  It’s kinda neat!