Not long ago, I finished a project I'd been working on to read the biographies of the 4 men who've served as prophets since the time I joined the church in 1992.
I didn't read them in order (Benson, Hunter, Hinckley, Monson), but instead finished with President Hunter's biography, by Eleanor Knowles. What stood out to me in this final episode of my project was the Prophet's ability to accomplish so much, even while going through serious personal hardships and trials. Life was not continually easy for any of these men, but they were certainly blessed as they went about doing the Lord's work.
I wondered how they made so much use of their time and how they were able to do so much. It was easy to see that it was because they were in the right place, at the right time, choosing to do the right things, as the Lord needed them to do them.
In addition to their "I will go and do" attitude was a pledge to dedicate themselves to the work. What the Lord asked of them was, to them, going to be accomplished, no matter what.
As a mother, I long for accomplishment to each day. But motherhood doesn't necessarily bring with it a neat little checklist of things that are tangible enough to be recorded. While I treasure special moments with my children and am so grateful for the chance to be their mom, the intangibility that can be on-going (and sometimes feels never-ending) becomes a challenge to my love for lists.
Is that a familiar feeling to you, too?
You can read about how my scriptures became the brick to my day here.
What occurred to me after spending a minute admiring President Hunter (and all of the prophets) for his (their) productivity was that being prophet was his calling in exactly the same way being a mom is mine. And as such, I am entitled to the same kind of direction and inspiration that will allow me to make the most of the time I have each day. Just like these prophets demonstrated the ability to magnify time, when I am on the Lord's errand, I will be able to accomplish all I need and want each day.
Will I get everything done on my list every day? No.
But like Sister Weeks said in her book "Confessions of an Unbalanced Woman", our satisfaction of each day will increase and improve simply because we're putting first things first and are dedicating ourselves to our priorities.
I can pledge myself to the work I am called to do in the very same way each prophet has done, and then reap the benefits the inevitable time-magnification brings.
It's so easy these days to be distracted by all the good things available to us. It's also easy to withdraw and neglect those priorities in order to have some extra "me" time or because we feel like if we spend so much time keeping our children occupied, there won't be any time left for other needs, but most especially wants.
What I've learned is, even though it's counter-intuitive, when we dedicate ourselves to the service the Lord needs us to render, our time will be magnified in such a way that all of those other things will be within our ability to accomplish. Maybe not in the amount of time we thought or planned, but they will be doable.
It's surprising though, how much of those must-do's and want-to's fall off our list or out of our memory when we are focused on the things the Lord puts on our list. Satisfaction remains and little is really missed with their loss.
Our challenge then is to see our calling in the same way each prophet has seen his; to pledge ourselves to the Lord's work, continually seeking guidance and direction from Him. And then, to never lose sight of it all.
Is it easy to lose sight of the divinity of our role as woman, wife and mother? Especially with the messages the world sends today?
Most definitely: YES.
So even greater then is our charge to stay focused, to not let those distractions hinder us and to pledge ourselves to the work we're called to do, remembering who it is that has called us to do it.
Heavenly Father loves us and is aware of our unique situation and each of our challenges. He sent us here to succeed.
Something one of my daughters pinned recently comes to mind...
We can find great happiness when we work to align our desires with those the Lord has for us. In fact I think that's where our greatest happiness will be found.
May we be blessed as we seek to know our purpose and then work to live so it can be fulfilled.