I, Garrett, being nineteen, and on the verge of serving a mission for the LDS Church, hereby invite you to my blog. Normally my mommy will keep track of this blog, especially when I finally get out serving, but I wanted to put down the first entry.
My theme is found in 1 Peter 2:9, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood... that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."
I chose this verse because each part of it has stood out to me in my life. It also resembles the kind of person that I want to become, both during my mission and after.
This semester I am auditing a class at BYU called Mission Prep with Professor Bott. This man is amazing. He is hilarious, he tells great stories, and he brings the Spirit so strongly with every lecture. He really brought home the fact that to be a missionary for the Lord is not simply a thing that all Mormon boys do when they turn 19; it is a sacred calling. Out of the 6+ billion people on the earth, only 50,000 are LDS missionaries. We are given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We get to devote 2 complete years to teach, convert, serve, and uplift the world around us. Those years are God's, not ours. It is a unique chance to grow and come close to Heavenly Father like never before.
I know He wants me to serve a mission. Time after time, during quiet moments in my life, it comes as this gentle yet firm feeling: This is what I am supposed to do. This is my calling. It pierces through all confusion and anxiety, and overtakes my heart with this solid, firm resolution.
I know Heavenly Father bestowed upon me His royal priesthood. God found something in me that earned His trust, and has called me to carry the holy priesthood and to be a blessing for others. He has given me authority to do His will on earth. It is both the greatest gift and the greatest responsibility He has ever given me. I am His son. I know He has a purpose that He wants me to carry out through this priesthood.
I have felt God's light all throughout my life. I trust Him. Though I am not perfect, Heavenly Father has helped me overcome so many of my faults, and I know He will continue to help me overcome them. His love is so complete and pure that nothing else in the world could be compared to it. There is no way I would be the person I am without that love. And I love Him so much. That's why I decided I'm going to dedicate myself to Him.
So I will be spending the remainder of this winter break at BYU to 1) work in my school classes, and 2) prepare myself to serve Heavenly Father once the summertime comes. I have a quote from one of the leaders in my church that describes how I feel about missionary service:
“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature…. Christ changes men, and changed men can change the world.” – Ezra Taft Benson (1989)
I testify that is true. I know because it has happened not only to me, but to all who trust Heavenly Father. This isn’t about me; it’s about helping, serving, and shining the light Heavenly Father has given me. And you know the funny thing is, I can’t keep this light to myself. My heart longs to share it. I hope that by reading this blog, your heart will come closer to Heavenly Father, or at least you will receive a little more happiness in your life.