Sunday, January 5, 2014

You can't do it alone

Sorry it's been a while, folks.  I'd give you excuses like being out of town for two weeks, getting ready for school to start, etc., but that's all they are, excuses.  But what matters most is that we're back!  Gauchay and I love writing in this blog and we sure love all of you that read it.  We may not know who you are, but we hope that in some way we are able to write something that allows the Spirit of God to touch your heart.

I've had an interesting few weeks.  I've discovered that you really find out who you are when you're taken out of your daily routine, when you're put in an entirely new situation.  It's one thing to be able to live a Christlike life when you've gotten into your groove.  When every day is the same and you start to be able to expect where Satan might tempt you or what situations you usually find yourself in that require a little extra courage.  But then that all changes when you end up in an entirely new situation.  And to me that's when you finally find out who you are.  That's the experience I had over these past few weeks.

Now don't get me wrong, I loved spending 2 weeks with my in-laws and out-laws, but it sure taught me something.  All of a sudden I had no routine to fall back on, no normalcy that told me what to do next.  And I found out that I wasn't really living the gospel the way I wanted to.  And I found out that I was relying entirely too much upon myself to get through those times of temptation.

Satan sure knew what he was doing.  He knew just where to tempt me and what to put in my way so that I would be faced with a new situation that might prove challenging.  And instead of relying upon the Lord, I relied upon myself.  And as I've contemplated this over the past few days, I've been re-taught something I've known for a long time, but seem to have forgotten: I can't do it alone.

Today our bishop said something that I found quite interesting.  He said that we are about to the point to where we can do everything ourselves.  If we don't know something, we look it up on the internet on our personal computer.  We can completely entertain ourselves on our personal devices.  We all have our own cars, our own phones, our own debit cards, our own Facebook accounts, etc.  We, as a people, seem to be withdrawing more and more into ourselves.  But this is not the Lord's plan.

He does not want us to do it alone, because He knows that we can't do it alone.  In the Book of Mormon it says, "it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." I hope that those colors don't make it confusing.  There are two key points here: first, that it says that we're saved by grace.  This grace is not something innate within us.  It is the grace of God that comes from Christ's Atonement.  So we are not saved by ourselves.  But, it says that we are saved by grace after all we can do.  So first we have to do everything we can, and then turn to Christ and let his grace help us.  

As we contemplate this new year and look at all that we want to accomplish, I pray that we will all recognize that we can't do it alone.  As you try it alone, you will find that you are constantly lacking, that it never quite works out right, and you'll feel a spiritual void in your life.  I promise that as you turn to Christ and tell him your plans and what you plan to do, He will, according to the righteous desires of your heart, help you to reach your eternal and spiritual goals.  This I know, and I am so incredibly grateful to my Heavenly Father for teaching me this over these past few weeks.


  1. Just a thought about the "all you can do" --- it varies from time to time and day to day --- My brother-in-law amended the commonly heard admonition "Endure to the end" to "Endure to the end ... of the day." I think that's how we do it - day by day, minute by minute - and I agree --- not alone. Thanks for the food for thought, Ben.

    1. You are so right, Sister Holmes. Thanks for the thought, I totally agree. I once thought that I couldn't define what "all I could do" was. But I think that we can. We know when we've done our best. However I've found that we often like to define "all we can do" after we've already done it. You know what I mean? We look back and say "dang it, why didn't I do that? I could have done this or this." And then we beat ourselves up. But that doesn't work. It counts as all you can do IF in the moment it was all you could do. Don't define all you can do by looking in the past and seeing what you missed.