Years ago when I was serving as a Seventy, I got this type of a reply when we challenged people to be baptized. It was always centered on either the word of wisdom, Sunday activities, paying tithing or service. To be truthful, I have thought about what I give up, time & money, to be in "good-standing" and or Temple-worthy. Some of my family has fallen away due to this same struggles.
When those thoughts enter my mind, I remind myself about all of my blessings that are directly associated with: joining, baptism, paying a full tithe, and serving in many callings, (which equates with staying active), the Church when I was 17, in West Virginia.
Those hard-choices(?) makes me put off the natural man and draw closer to Christ. My children have witnessed the blessings that have made my wife and I stronger in the Faith and they marvel. One time my youngest daughter looked at my year-end accounting form and she said, "Dad you could buy a new car, every year, with what you and mom contribute". While that may be, I pointed out several blessings we receive from paying our offerings and she was amazed.
I am reading the book "The Savior's Final Week" and realizing what Christ did for us is such a great Sacrifice, that anything we are able to offer back to Him is small potatoes. I would recommend this book to, and for all, who have doubts about your offerings to Him.
I agree wholeheartedly, and appreciate your encouragement. The connection I made as an alcohol and drug counselor is the one to relapse.. Terri Gorski said, "recovery is like walking up a down escalator." Imagine how much work that is! I began to see, using 'me' to explain better, I could imagine my goals, dreams and literal vision of my children entering the Temple. When I slipped in prayers, scriptures and so on, I lost the vision a bit. If I continued in this pattern I wouldn't think about it much. Pretty soon I'd be annoyed if someone brought it to my attention, and later arguing with or avoiding you about it. I can literally see my vision when I'm on the right path, and lose all sight of it when I'm moving downward. People can sometimes be in this situation, and still attending church, holding a calling. Talk about a wake-up call. It is imperative we keep climbing, by following those who know, and lift the feeble hands that hang down, without judgement. But we are each climbing a down escalator, ourselves. It gets better as we keep moving and don't stop. There was a beautiful painting in an Ensign years ago,. I couldn't find it recently. It was of people climbing a spiral staircase, each holding a hand upward to the person above, and down to the person below. The scene faded into pure light toward the top, and into shadow and darkness toward the bottom. It was beautiful.
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