I thought I'd share some of my thoughts this week with you. Sometimes I get impressions and I start writing. I wrote this in the last week.
I was inspired by something my teacher said today. He said, "trying is not enough." I was reminded of something my mother used to say. When myself or one of my brothers would say "try", she would say, "Trying is a noisy way of doing nothing". The actual meaning of this never hit me until recently. I feel now, however, that I am beginning to understand. I would like to combine the two statements and add a twist and say, Trying is failing. And I believe this. If we are simply trying, then we are not succeeding.
What does it mean to try? I believe the definition of try is to attempt something not believing you will succeed or not wanting to succeed. Simply trying is a lack of faith. For example saying, "I will try to repent" is showing a lack of faith in the saving power of Christ and His atonement or showing a lack of faith in the power of God to help us and strengthen us. Most often however when we find ourselves saying "I will try" we are demonstrating a lack of faith or confidence in ourselves. Sometimes we may say this casually, but how often do we think it? We may not even say or think the words, but, the definition is: to attempt, not believing we can succeed. How often do we go to attempt something not believing we will succeed. That we will come up short of our expectations. I think we often do this. Probably every day for some. How we overcome this, I believe, is through faith. Some might say you cant just have faith that things will work out and its going to happen. If this is so then they are forgetting what faith is. We are taught that faith without works is dead. And this is true. Faith is more than just believing, it is doing. And doing is the opposite of trying.
I saw a sign in Spanish that read, "fe en acción" which translates to "faith in action". The sign was trying to demonstrate someone exercising faith. But the way I read it was "faith is in action" or "action in faith". Faith is action or faith is doing. If doing is the opposite of trying then the definition would read; acting in confidence believing you will succeed. When we have faith we act on things that will help us achieve the end goal. We have faith in the end goal. We act to achieve success.
So why is faith important? If we do not have faith in ourselves, if we are trying and not doing, we will fail. We will not achieve our goals. Faith is necessary in all aspects of life. As a missionary, in school, in work, and in every day trials. Just as important as faith in ourselves and even more so maybe is faith in God, faith in Christ. They are here to help us in all aspects of life. They have given us purpose in life. Our purpose revolves around them. We cannot succeed without faith in Christ. It is the first principle of the gospel. Without Him we cannot receive eternal life, we cannot live as eternal families. Through faith in Him we can overcome any obstacle that stands in our way of achieving those things. He understands what we´ve been through, what we are going through, and what we will go through. Through faith in Him we CAN do all things--1 Nephi 7:12. This faith leads to action. Spencer W. Kimball said "Your faith will perform miracles, especially when you get your hands and feet involved." Through faith acted upon we can work miracles. We can accomplish anything with the help of God. It is all through faith. Faith is the foundation of everything we do in the church. All of us need faith.
I have had many questions on my mind lately. One of which is: Where does my motivation lie? Another is: What do I want to accomplish? I have gone about wasting time and talent for the better part of my life. Even in times where I do work hard towards a goal, so much time is wasted. So much more could be done, could be accomplished. Gordon B. Hinckley said in regards to our Heavenly Father, "He never intended that you should be less than the crowning glory of His creations." We have so much potential we don´t recognize. I don´t think any of us can realize our full potential here on earth. In another quote Goethe said, "Every man has within himself a continent of undiscovered character. Happy is he who proves the Columbus of his soul." We can accomplish so much more than we think we can. What potential lies within each of us? What un-found strength is waiting to be discovered?
I believe the key to life is to act. To do. There is a quote I heard once that goes, "There are two kinds of people in this life, those who act, and those who do not." As I said, acting is a result of faith. First we must believe in ourselves. Then we must decide what kind of person we want to be: The one who acts or the one who does not. Paul Kane said, "You can live the impossible dream, or you can live an excuse. It´s all up to you."
In no way, however, does having faith and acting upon that faith make things easy. If it were easy we would not grow. We must have the faith, however, to be able to push through the trials and difficulties. Edmund Burke said, "It is only through resistance that we gain strength." So when we are met with resistance, we can go forward with faith and become stronger, or we can doubt our ability, our faith, and we will falter-fall short- and receive no strength. As we face trials we will all struggle at times. And sometimes we must try and try until our attempts help us see our potential and our trying turns into doing. With this being said, it is necessary to point out that just as there is a difference between doing and trying, there is a difference between trying and failing. As Gordon B. Hinckley said, "You have not failed until you quit trying." If at times we must try to keep from quitting then try and try again until we gain the confidence, the faith, to DO. To quote the movie Robin Hood, "Rise and rise again until lambs become lions." So, at times we must try, but until we do, we cannot become lions.
Never give up and never let your faith in yourself falter. Gordon B. Hinckley said, "Believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to do great and good things. Believe that no mountain is so high that you cannot climb it. Believe that no storm is so great you cannot weather it. You are not destined to be a scrub. You are a child of God, of infinite capacity." To add to that Elder Bruce D. Porter said, "Don´t let your faith dim in the storm of life." Do not falter, and if you do, pick yourself up. Choose to act. Remember the great people of old. It was Nephi who said, "I will go and DO". Live every day so that when you are lying on your death bed, you have no regrets. And always remember that you are not alone. Christ is ready to carry you through the darkness. Have faith in Him. Have faith in yourself. And remember you have potential, waiting to be discovered.