I need some real help here Gramps. I’m wanting to be a better person in my life, and I want to help people and do righteous works, but there’s something always stopping me from becoming that someone. I feel like there’s no hope or encouragement. A lot of the time I feel like just leaving the Church, although the Spirit is felt very frequently, can you help?
I’m not too acquainted with rugby, so let’s take football for the example. There is a running back who is pretty good. So the quarterback, who calls the plays, often feeds him the ball for a running play. He occasionally makes a touchdown, but is frequently tackled after making a few yards. So he says to himself, “I’m really no good. My strong desire is to make a touchdown every time I get the ball. And look what happens! I am tackled nearly every time. There’s no hope of ever making a touchdown.” So in his discouragement he throws down the ball and walks off the field. And the team loses one of its great players.
Believe me, you are one of those great players. In an environment fraught with wickedness you want to help people and do righteous works, but it seems that you are frustrated in reaching your goals.
Here are a couple of suggestions–don’t try to make a touchdown every time you get the ball, just try to make a little yardage. Helping people is seldom accomplished by great works or heroic deeds, but by the small niceties and courtesies of life. If you can be the first to say “hello” when meeting someone on the street; if you can sincerely inquire about their well being; if you can show interest in the details of their lives; you will tend to make them happy. People want to be noticed, and when they are, it brightens their day.
Another thought–the most effective sermons are always taught be actions rather than by words. The quiet example of a righteous life will impact the lives of others more than shouting at them from the housetops. If you quietly refuse to participate in unclean activities, but remain open and friendly with those who invite to participate, they will respect you and, if they are worthy, will try to follow your example. If you follow those temptings of Satan to leave the Church, you will play directly into the hands of the enemy. By following the promptings of the Holy Spirit you can never go wrong.