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Have I done any good in the world today? If not, I have failed indeed! Then wake up and do something more than dream of your mansion above.
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Do What Is Right!

I would like to bring up a topic which I have been pondering lately. On my mission, I have met many people who say living the gospel of Jesus Christ is simply "too hard". They claim the commandments are too hard to keep, not worth living, and restrictive. To anyone who has this concern, I would like to to address this now with the response: "The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most simple thing ever. Period."

How is going to church too hard? To quote one of my past companions, "Last time I checked, they don't make us do jumping jacks or run on a treadmill to keep the lights running. In fact, I'm pretty sure all you have to do is sit down and listen!"

Sometimes people tell me that they really want to go, but things keep coming up which keep them from coming to church. To quote my last companion, Elder Minam Choe: "If you really want to make it to church, you'll make it - no excuses. The only thing keeping you from coming to church is your own choice. Then what's keeping you from coming to church?" To read Elder Choe's blog, CLICK HERE!


How is exercising faith by saying a prayer or reading the Book of Mormon too hard? Most prayers I've said don't last over 2 minutes. Most chapters of the Book of Mormon don't take more than 5 minutes to read. Everyone has time to do these things! It just matters where your priorities are.

Growing up, my mother would always tell me, "The commandments are protective, not restrictive." I never really understood this concept until I went on my mission. How does someone telling me I can't do something make me more free? The answer now is clear: It's not about being free to do whatever I want, it's about being free from Satan's grasp. To read more about my mother's wisdom, CLICK HERE!


I have discovered on my own that keeping the commandments and living the gospel of Jesus Christ is the best and most fulfilling freedom out there. I was listening to my iPod during morning studies when the hymn "Do What Is Right" started playing. I love the message contained in it, so what I've done in taken this hymn line by line and broken it down to what I get out of it. Enjoy the read!


1. Do what is right; the day-dawn is breaking,

The day-dawn.
Hailing a future of freedom and light.
Angels above us are silent notes taking
Of ev’ry action; then do what is right!

"Do what is right; the day-dawn is breaking,

Hailing a future of freedom and light."

The day-dawn is breaking. A rewording of President Ezra Taft Benson's quote on obedience is often said in this mission: "The day obedience becomes a quest rather than an irritation to me is the day I gain power." It is never too late to start going down a new path. Start a new day-- do what is right, starting now!


"Angels above us are silent notes taking

Of ev’ry action; then do what is right!"

What kind of notes would you like the angels watching you to take? If you could read their notes, would you be happy with what is being recorded? You know, it's not a bad idea to perform a spiritual self-evaluation every now and then. If you find that you are doing things which are not in accordance with God's laws, repent and do what is right!


2. Do what is right; the shackles are falling.

Chains of the bondsmen no longer are bright;
Lightened by hope, soon they’ll cease to be galling.
Truth goeth onward; then do what is right!

"Do what is right; the shackles are falling.

Chains of the bondsmen no longer are bright;
Lightened by hope, soon they’ll cease to be galling."

When we sin, we are in spiritual captivity. When we sin, we are in Satan's power. Although the adversary cannot take away our agency or make us sin, he can make it very hard for us to resist. Indeed, many today are wearing the "chains of the bondsman" " or slaves to sin.



Chains of the bondsman.
I love the wording used in these lines. When used as a verb, the word "gall" means "to make sore by rubbing." When used as a noun, the word "gall" means, "a sore on the skin made by chafing." What powerful imagery! When we make the determination to do what is right, we are able to break the chains of sin.

It may take time, but through hope in Christ, we can be made free. Not only will we be free, but those spiritual scars made from Satan's chains will be healed as well.


"Truth goeth onward; then do what is right!"



The Lord's work cannot be stopped.
"The Standard of Truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing." What work? The Lord's work! Moses 1:39 tells us what the Lord's work is: "For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." God's work and glory is to bring us eternal life! Truth goeth onward. If God's most important work is our salvation, then shouldn't it also be ours? Of course-- just do what is right!

3. Do what is right; be faithful and fearless.

Onward, press onward, the goal is in sight.
Eyes that are wet now, ere long will be tearless.
Blessings await you in doing what’s right!

"Do what is right; be faithful and fearless.

Onward, press onward, the goal is in sight."

As my mission president says, "the eye of faith always looks forward, never back." Doing what's right, or keeping the commandments, is a step of repentance. We can never look back on our old sins or habits. We must always look forward.


Lot's wife wasn't turned into a pillar of salt just because she looked back towards Sodom. Elder Holland said, "Apparently, what was wrong with Lot’s wife was that she wasn’t just looking back; in her heart she wanted to go back." He continues, "it isn’t just that she looked back; she looked back longingly." She was looking back on her sin, on her past, and wanted to carry it into her future.


We must never go back! Once we commit to change for the better, we must not only never go back, but we must never look back. We must look forward with an eye of faith!


"Eyes that are wet now, ere long will be tearless."


Wow! What a powerful statement of eternal truth! This line always hits me powerfully when I read or hear it. I don't think this line just applies to the person who is "doing what's right". When we do what's right, our loved ones don't have to cry over what we're doing wrong.

When I hear this line, I think of my mother. I think of the many hours she has spent on her knees pleading to our Heavenly Father on my behalf. I think of the blessings of Heaven invoked on my family due to her constant prayer.


[Chorus]

Do what is right; let the consequence follow.
Battle for freedom in spirit and might;
And with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.
God will protect you; then do what is right!

"Do what is right; let the consequence follow."


Our choices always have consequences. Some consequences may be good, others may be bad. Many times when we stop doing things that are wrong, the consequences to our actions follow us. Know however, that no matter how many bad consequences happen because of our actions, the good consequences that follow will always be better and outweigh the bad ones.



The Armor of God.
"Battle for freedom in spirit and might;
And with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.
God will protect you; then do what is right!"

We are fighting an ongoing war that started long before any of us were born. This war is the war over our spiritual well-being. Satan and his armies are fighting against us in a battle for our own souls. Do not let him win. Do what is right!


God will protect us from Satan's buffetings. Ever heard of the Armor of God? Put this armor on by doing what's right! Read the scriptures, say your prayers, attend your church meeting, keep the commandments. Again, never look back-- only look forward.






4 comments:

  1. Love you my Brother and I am SOOOOO Proud to be your Brother.
    Nuttin but love for ya...

    Dave Anderson

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  2. Elder Hill, You make me so aware all the time of what I should be doing and I appreciate that more than you know. If you thought you could not write, you are so wrong, you write like an angel is sitting on your shoulder telling you all the things we need to hear and be aware of .We sometimes are so loose with what we do and I, for one, am always prompted by your thoughts to try and be better. You are doing a great job with this blog and I love you for it. You grow and grow and your time is well spent sitting at the computer. Thank you for these words of great wisdom and insight. Love you Elder Hill. mamaruth/sista in the gospel!

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  3. Elder Hill, I am not much on Facebook or checking out blogs. However, I came across you a couple of days ago and really enjoyed reading them. I especially enjoyed the one about your mother. That was great. Sister Paylor and I talk alot about the wonderful experience we had while serving on our mission and especially being so close to the area you were serving in . Thanks so much for your work. looking forward to following your experiences.

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  4. Elder Hill this was an inspiration to me your UNCLE KYLE!!! I love reading your blogs they are great I have been in that rut of the gospel being too hard to live here lately, I have had some trials in my life recently that has led me to think differently though with some answered prayers of sheer need and desperation. I have also had the opportunity to go with your Aunt Clarinda and the sister missionaries to visit a couple who are fairly younger but, they have had two discussions a while back; they have committed to taking the discussion again and at least the wife wants to get baptized and go to the temple with her family!!!!! I am excited as is Clarinda we both want to help this family come into the church as a family unit. We are set to have the first discussion tomorrow after noon ( which is a challenge for me as ECU is playing NCSU :/ ) But I know my sacrifice will be nothing compared to the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. I have a new perspective on things and I know that the Lord will help me in helping this family come to him I am excited that I have been included in this with the family. I was basically brought into this due to this woman's husband and I hope that I can help share my experiences with him to help him come into the church, and help them all be baptized into the church and fellowship them.

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