Do you ever want to be so much more than you are? I have a picture of what I want to be. God tells me to do something and I do it at the drop of a hat, without fear. That last part is what is hard for me. I'm scared a lot! My imaginary me also can discern the Spirit whenever He speaks. It's not that I don't hear Him. It's just that I know He says way more than my miniscule spirituality can discern. I would know my Scriptures by heart and not get confused by all the new Book of Mormon names. I would also be cheerful all the time. No sadness, no crying, no fear, no secretly wishing someone (whom I won't name) would fall down and break both arms. Hmmm...this is going to be a long paragraph, but there are a few more wishes for the imaginary me. My house would be spotlessly clean ALL the time, the laundry would always be caught up, and I'd bake something delicious every day. Do you know what else? I wouldn't exercize for an hour and then sit down and eat chocolate. Never mind, I don't wish that. I know the Old Testament said the heavenly bread called manna tastes a little like honey, but there must have been chocolate flavor in it somewhere.
I'm not sure I'll ever be the imaginary me this side of eternity, but I'm not one to give up. I don't want to improve as a means of showing worthiness, I know I will never be worthy of heavenly glory. For that reason, as well as many others, I am so grateful for the atonement. I want to improve so I can be more like Him. I want to be more like my Heavenly Father. I spent some time today sad, and wondering how someone who was dear to me, who taught me the gospel, could end up being so unrighteous. It was consuming me. I couldn't grasp it. Then I read Helaman 6. In this chapter the roles were reversed for the Lamanites and the Nephites.
Now, it was the Nephites who were behaving so unrighteously, and the Laamanites who were becoming righteous. It stood out to me because I had always looked up to the Nephites as a people, as I once had the person who had taught me the gospel. There were two things that stood out to me.
First, NO ONE is exempt from the possibility of an unrighteous life. We cannot progress without progressing. Previous righteousness will not keep us righteous. We have to constantly be learning and growing, or we'll end up unrepentant. The second thing that stood out to me, was what pleased the Father about the Lamanites. It said, "And thus we see that the Lord began to pour out his Spirit upon the Lamanites, because of their easiness and willingness to believe in his words." That was it. Believe. That sounds remarkably like "having the faith of a child". When my children are little, and they ask me a question about how something works, or why something is the way it is, they never question my answer. They assume, because I am mom, that I must know. That is a remarkable trust and one I take very seriously. Oh! how I long to be that way with my Heavenly Father. I want to have an easiness and willingness to believe His words. Funny, I have the willingness. It is the easiness that is getting me.
For now, I look across the distance of where I am and where I want to be, and sigh. But I know that even if all I can take are tiny steps forward, eventually, I will get there.