- By Elder Thatcher

A Thematic Blog - -By Elder Thatcher
"By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tenaciously Happy - It's not Panache

Let me share some of the best advice I have ever received.

I never met the French scientist Louis Pasteur, but when I began my adventure as a missionary, the following words by him were repeated to me until I could never forget them. "Let me tell you," he said, "the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity."
Tenacity: the quality of holding fast; of being characterized by keeping a firm grip; of being persistent.

This phrase embodies a lot of wisdom, but one thing that it taught me is that my duty trumps my desire. Sometimes, I would prefer not to do hard things; I don't have the desire; my circumstances don't make it easy. There are always a miriad of excuses, but duty is something that cannot be excused.

I believe it might be a duty to be happy; to search for knowledge and beauty and find peace.

True, it is a difficult duty at times--we are like water and seek for the path of least resistence--but we can rise above our circumstances; we can choose to shape our own destinies. We can choose to be tenacious, for therein lies our strength. If I am only good when it is easy to be good, if I only forgive those who forgive me, if I am only happy on days that are 75 degrees and sunny, am I truly good, forgiving or happy?

In others' words...
"If men had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until they were secure, the search would never have begun....Life has never been normal....Humanity...wanted knowledge and beauty now, and would not wait for the suitable moment that never comes....The insects have taken a different line: they have sought first the material welfare and the security of the hive, and presumably they have their reward. Men are different. They propound mathematical theorems in beleaguered cities, conduct metaphysical arguments in condemned cells, make jokes on scaffolds, discuss the last new poem while advancing to the walls of Quebec, and comb their hair at Thermopylae. This is not panache; it is our nature."
- C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Today is Better Than Yesterday - This Too Shall Pass

A great story was related on September 30, 1859 at an address given to theWisconsin State Agricultural Society in Milwaukee.  One may wonder what importance such an address could be.  The question is undoubtedly answered by the fact that the address was given by Abraham Lincoln. 
The story was not originated by Mr. Lincoln; it is the product of numerous Near Eastern folklore traditions.  Mr. Lincoln shared it in this way.

"It is said an Eastern Monarch once charged his wise men to invent a sentance, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations.  They presented him with the words, "And this, too, shall pass away."  How much it expresses!  How chastening in the hour of pride!  How consoling in the depth of affliction!" 

This was brought to my mind just this morning because honestly, it was really hard to get bed this morning.  That just happens sometimes.  But it is wonderful to remember that it's temporary. 

In others' words:
"Embrace this day with an enthusiastic welcome, no matter how it looks...When you are physically sick, tired, or in despair, steer your thoughts away from yourself and direct them in gratitude and love, toward God.  In your life there have to be challenges.  They will either bring you closer to God and therefore make you stronger, or they can destroy you.  But you make the decision of which road to take.  Put all frustrations, hurt feelings, and grumblings into the perspective of your eternal hope.  Light will flow into your soul.  Be grateful for every opportunity to serve.  As you are learning this lesson right now, God wants to give you something better."    -F. Enzio Busche

It is important to remember that the things that are most important are things that last forever and are not evenescent.  However, I believe that in this life, which itself is temporary and will pass, the things that are momentary combine together to shape us in ways that are everlasting.  If we respond correctly to the positive and negative situations in our lives. 

"This is our one and only chance at mortal life...opportunities come and then leave....The most important lessons are those that teach us what is important and what is not."
-Thomas S. Monson

I'm going to include this movie not because of the New Year.  That's a little bit of old news.  Mostly because it's what I've been trying to say in others' words.  I ask that you watch it and apply the quotes I provided above.  Remember Lot's Wife.  Today is better than yesterday, and tomorrow will be better yet.