In Amos 8:11-13, it is written:
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord; And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the work of the Lord, and shall not find it.
In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst."
The thought that crossed my mind when I read these recently was, even though they foretold the day of the great apostasy, could they also speak of, or apply to, individual and very personal apostasies? Apostasies that we bring upon ourselves because of our willfulness, our disobedience, laziness, or lack of faith?
Just as those of the great apostasy lost great blessings because of their unwillingness to follow the Savior, so can we fail to reach our full potential if we do not keep Him in our sights at all times, safeguarding ourselves against temptation and distraction.
We have no reason to be spiritually malnourished, yet do we take full advantage of the gifts we have been given?
From the scriptures to church attendance to prayer to the temple.... are we making the most of all we have?
Do we find ourselves in a comfortable place? One where we do as much as need to do to feel good, as much as is convenient, but not more? More that would require additional discipline, determination and stretching and would result in growth and untold blessings?
It's easy to fall into a steady pace on a road until that path becomes deep and then we find ourselves in a rut that requires work to get out of.
In a Conference address a few years ago, President Monson addressed the topic of being our best selves. He offered these questions to guide our thinking:
1. Am I what I want to be?
2. Am I closer to the Savior today than I was yesterday?
3. Will I be closer yet tomorrow?
4. Do I have the courage to change for the better?
That last one ~ do I have the courage to change for the better ~ caught me. Change takes courage. Courage takes strength, determination and focus.
Even if we find ourselves in a spiritual rut today, there is a way up and onto higher ground. President Monson reminds us of the words the Savior taught on the American continent, when answering the question, "What manner of persons ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am."
We need only look to that perfect exemplar, Jesus Christ, to find our way. We are blessed with the privilege and power of prayer to gain direction and understanding in becoming our best selves.
It is my testimony that prayer is a wonderful gift! It is the thing that can keep us away from temptation, help us find greater love and understanding for our family and friends, and keep us focused on our eternal goals. There is nothing not worthy of praying about.
Heavenly Father loves us. He knows who we are and is ready to help us accomplish all that we came here to do.