Last night we had a wonderful joint activity with our stake president. He invited us to his wonderful backyard and made us delicious (excuse me, I mean the BEST!!!) pizza in his outdoor brick oven. At the end of the evening, after we had eaten our fill and participated in some fun active activities like basketball and a little bit of golf, the bishop gathered us all around the fire pit and informed us that the stake president had been serving us all evening. We gave him a hearty thanks and applause, then he stepped forward and shared a message that I think none of us will forget easily.
He started by giving an analogy from his own life. He's originally from California and loves to surf. There's a point in a wave that is called 'go time'. The wave is just getting started and the surfer starts paddling as hard as he can towards that wave so he can catch it. The stake president said that we are at that point. We're in 'go time' mode. Now is the time when we can make some great choices and choose which way our life is going to go.
He then shared four things we can do to ensure that we make the right choices and have a fruitful, fulfilling, joy-filled life. He taught us this in the form of an acronym: DEAF, as in 'deaf to the things of the world.'
Decision. Make good decisions. There are two ways to do this--the easy way or the hard way. You know what he said? Choose the hard way. If your alarm clock rings and it's time for seminary, you can choose the easy way (hit the snooze and go back to sleep) or you can choose the hard way (get up and go). Of course, you'll be happier you chose the hard way when you've seen the big picture.
Endure to the end. We've all heard this one...over. And over. And over again. It must be important. ☺ He quoted Galatians 6:9: "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." So basically, don't get tired of doing good and you'll get results! Don't worry! It. WILL. Be. Worth. It.
Attitude. Have a good attitude about the gospel and a good outlook on life. He quoted President Hinckley: "Accentuate the positive." He also repeated the old adage "Fake it 'til you make it." Put a smile on your face, even if you don't feel like it, and soon enough, you will feel like it.
Faithfulness. It's simple. The key? The questions in your temple recommend interview. If you live righteously and answer those questions with complete honesty and sincerity, and you are 'valiant in the testimony of Jesus', then you are deemed faithful.
So, don't forget to be DEAF to the things that the world whispers and paddle! It's 'go time'!
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