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Question

 

Dearest Gramps,

I’ve currently serving in a tough responsibility in the church, and while I know exactly what it’s worth for me, it’s beginning to wear me down, and my desire to serve is fading. My question is simple: how do you generate desire? What can I do to strengthen my love for the work and rekindle the fire I once had? Or otherwise, should I try to learn to suffer through hard trials? I would love some advice. Cheers and a half.

Kyler

 

Answer

 

Kyler,

I think both of your proposals are valid, and in part, yes, we must simply suffer through sometimes in spite of a lack of desire. Part of this comes from the fact that we are mortal, and as such, we are imperfect, and no matter how much we learn and grow, we will always fall short. The natural man (the enemy to God) will always be a part of us in this life–thus the principles of long-suffering and the like. We simply grin and bear it.

However, we also know that we can change the very desires of hearts that they have no more desire to do evil, but to go about doing good all the day long. This change usually takes time (a lifetime and more), but it can happen. Of course we know that part of changing who we are is practicing good habits and the like. But even good habits and hard work will be insufficient to truly change our characters at the deepest level. For that we must turn to the Atonement. Only through Christ can we truly become Christlike.

What you are looking for is more application of the Atonement in your life. As we go through our lives, we can, as you have pointed out, get worn down and worn out. As we get older (and I should know) we often want to move more towards ease. The world teaches us that this is the proper order of things. We should ultimately retire and live lives of nothing but pleasure seeking. But the gospel teaches us to endure to the end and to press forward serving God until the end of our lives. The only way we can do this is to become submissive and meek as a little child. That can be a challenge as we get older. We don’t feel inclined, generally, to become more like a child as we get older. But this is the gospel.

Now I don’t know if your situation is related to your age, or simply the calling itself, but the point remains. As we move through life, again and again, we will face the need to humble ourselves and to turn to the Atonement for strength.

Turning to the Atonement is done through obedience.

“Now wait a minute,” you may say. “I’m asking how I can serve better and you’re telling me the solution is to serve better?”

Well…yes. It’s one of those gospel paradoxes. Lose yourself to find yourself, etc.

This is the plain truth of it. If you want to get the fire of your calling back, then figure out how to magnify it more. Serve more. Pray more. Study more. Turn to the Lord for strength in all of this, and He will bless you and help you to develop the humility you need. He will bless you that your weaknesses will become strengths.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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