Complacency. It comes nipping at our heels at every opportunity. Even excited new converts are eventually at risk. Satan lulls us into feeling content—we have our testimony, we know the restoration was real, we follow the prophet. Bam. Done.
And then we turn our attention elsewhere. This is when some of us falter in scripture study, prayer, and temple attendance. Satan gives us endless excuses and tells us that as long as we know, we’re in.
I once wrote, “It’s the same with falling away from the truth—we think we’re safe, so we let our guard down. It happens slowly, in almost imperceptible increments. We stop striving for even greater closeness with our Father in Heaven. We justify carelessness in keeping the commandments. Soon we cease to feel promptings from the Holy Ghost. Daily diligence becomes monthly diligence, and then no diligence at all.
Real conversion isn’t just sitting back and knowing. It’s active. It’s energetic. It makes you want to share what you know with others. It gives you clear purpose, radiant hope, abiding peace. It changes your motivations and your very heart.”
We honestly have the most exhilarating news since the resurrection. Christ’s authority is back on the earth again! We have a living prophet! We can be sealed to our families for eternity! I don’t normally use that many exclamation marks, but if they were ever justified, it’s in proclaiming these truths to the world.
Sometimes I look at people passing in office hallways, supermarket lines, really anywhere. And I think, “Which ones are ready? Which ones has God prepared, who are searching for truth?” We can’t always discern this, so we need to pray for inspiration and then lovingly approach people. When the Holy Ghost knows we’re willing to do this, we’ll see miracles. We’ll actually find those people.
We need to remember what’s so thrilling about it all. Have we grown too familiar and comfortable in our chapels that we take them for granted? What a blessing it is to be able to meet weekly to partake of the Sacrament. How uplifting it is to mingle with the Saints and offer help to those in need, cheer to the downhearted. How our hearts can soar as we sing the hymns and really think about the messages.
Our church buildings are holy places. Testimonies can be gained here, service can be rendered, and each of us can be refined as we accept callings that make us stretch and grow. This is a truly cool place. Look at the people who volunteer to do everything. Literally everything. From the bishop to the crew cleaning the building, we’re all just giving of ourselves.
It’s thrilling to realize how inspired our welfare program is. People get commodities they need, and do some work to help them contribute. It’s the marvel of the world, because it works. When implemented correctly, not one member falls through the cracks. Everyone is cared for.
Under God’s inspiration, Joseph Smith founded the Relief Society. What an incredible organization, one of the oldest women’s groups in the world. They accomplish so much I can’t even list it all here. They succor so many and find help and healing for themselves as well.
Prophets and apostles. Patriarchal blessings. The Gift of the Holy Ghost. Church programs that include counseling and addiction help to aid anyone in need. Priesthood power to bless, to ordain, and to heal. I have personally witnessed miracles, and you probably have, too.
Humanitarian Aid—millions and millions of dollars sent immediately, all over the world, whenever there’s a crisis. Often to places where there aren’t even any church members. Medicine, blankets, wheelchairs, food– This is what Christ would do, so this is what we do.
Seminary. Church universities. Girls’ Camp. For the Strength of Youth. Each one an ingenious idea for our young people. And Primary, filled with incredible teachings that bring Christ into every child’s life. Not only that, but here’s where young Latter-day Saints get their first opportunities to speak in public, polishing this skill until it’s the envy of every upper grade classroom.
Our missionaries amaze the leaders of other faiths. Pastors and ministers are stunned that these young people pay their own way and devote 18 months to two years of their time, just to bring others to a knowledge of their Savior and the restoration.
Temples that truly do dot the earth, and provide saving ordinances for millions of people beyond the veil. Pioneers who stand as inspiring examples, motivating us to keep striving.
We’re the world leaders, by a mile, when it comes to genealogy. We’re responsible for countless names added to the earth’s family tree. And our doctrine of eternal family relationships stands as a beacon of hope, a teaching not found elsewhere.
Adam and Eve! Seriously, we’re the only ones who can explain why Eve partook and then got Adam to partake. God’s entire, incredible Plan! Agency and the war in heaven! Babies who die and go immediately to the Celestial Kingdom. The three degrees of glory. The scattering and gathering of Israel. Personal revelation! We could go on and on, listing phenomenal doctrines and blessings that are not only logical, but thrilling!
Take a moment to jot down the personal blessings and miracles you’ve seen as a member of this amazing faith. Let’s keep our enthusiasm and our gratitude strong and vibrant. Every time I see a video of a “thrill seeker” in some daring escapade, I think it looks exciting, but it pales in comparison to the thrill of this gospel. I wish I could say to every one of them, “Hey, if you want a thrill beyond your imagination, read the Book of Mormon and pray about whether it’s true.” This, my brothers and sisters, is the thrill of a lifetime.
Hilton teaches Seminary. She is also an award-winning playwright, and the author of many best-selling Latter-day Saint books. Those, her humor blog, and YouTube Mom videos can be found on her website.