Being Just Enough

You can't do wrong and feel right
-Ezra Taft Benson 
I love this quote so much I just had to share it! There is only so far that you can go living in darkness until you truly recognize you aren't happy straying away from God's light. 

Hello readers, I don't know if it's the changing of seasons or simply the amount of days before I leave getting smaller that's brought a change in me... but I am loving every bit of it. What used to be fear for my upcoming journey to Germany is now replaced with love and eagerness to get out and begin my life as a sister missionary. 

As I have been gradually increasing the amount of time I read and ponder the scriptures, I have gained happiness. There is a tender spirit of love and peace that comes when you devote time to reading the Book of Mormon daily.  If you haven't read it, I challenge you to do so. I promise that as you read it, you too will feel the love and peace I speak of. 

I have been cleaning out my emails and as a result I have read a ton  of articles I neglected to read before. One of the articles I read struck me profoundly. This article was written by Brad Wilcox, a professor at BYU, and really testifies and teaches of Jesus Christ's grace being sufficient for us. A lot of times we tend to feel that because we have made a mistake(s) we are not worthy enough to be redeemed by Christ, but that is not true. Wilcox elaborates on Christ's atonement and relationship with us below:
Christ’s arrangement with us is similar to a mom providing music lessons for her child. Mom pays the piano teacher. How many know what I am talking about? Because Mom pays the debt in full, she can turn to her child and ask for something. What is it? Practice! Does the child’s practice pay the piano teacher? No. Does the child’s practice repay Mom for paying the piano teacher? No. Practicing is how the child shows appreciation for Mom’s incredible gift. It is how he takes advantage of the amazing opportunity Mom is giving him to live his life at a higher level. Mom’s joy is found not in getting repaid but in seeing her gift used—seeing her child improve. And so she continues to call for practice, practice, practice. The child must practice the piano, but this practice has a different purpose than punishment or payment. Its purpose is change. -Brad Wilcox (His Grace is Sufficient)
As a musician myself, this allusion to Christ's atonement and our purpose here on earth made immediate sense to me. Most often we tend to think that if we do not meet up to the standards God has set for us to live perfectly, we are done. We will never make it to perfection. We have failed. We might as well start wearing "Team Satan" shirts. WRONG. Completely wrong. As a young adult who has grown up in the Mormon culture, this same message is often spread without it really being known. And it's totally a cultural thing among us Mormons because we're human and we are all trying to figure how we apply gospel doctrine into our own lives and frankly... we are prone to have a difference of opinion. Perfection is our goal, but falling short of it does not signify that we are doing everything wrong. As Wilcox says, a mother who has paid for her child's  piano lessons does not expect to be reimbursed. She instead expects for her child to put all that they can give into playing the piano. The child that gives everything to practice playing the piano gradually becomes a pianist. This transformation happens by playing the wrong notes, by struggling to master dynamic changes, by playing challenging pieces, by not giving up when the music doesn't sound right.

In this same manner, we are to diligently live righteous lives. Christ came to this earth to save all of us. He died for us. He and our Father in Heaven ask us to be obedient to their gospel, they want us to be like them-- perfect. Scary thought right? Godly perfection. Almost impossible to attain, but made possible because of Christ. Through Christ's atonement we are all able to be like God... and there's no catch. It's not a scam. We just have to be willing to give all of our effort to follow their gospel and be like them. Even when we feel like we have no more to give, Christ still helps us. It is our faith, obedience, and diligence we are asked to give in return. When we fall short of faith, obedience, diligence, love, service, charity, meekness, etc. we should not toss the bag in and quit. We keep trying. We keep striving to be better than the person we were the day before. Soon enough, by applying daily and making use of Christ's atonement, we will find ourselves to be perfect even as our Father which is in Heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48). You are enough to Him, so don't stop trying to do what's right.

Love,
Alicia

Note: Just this past weekend I went to Assateague Island and Berlin, MD. I took some pretty sweet pictures and thought I'd share some (:
This is actually the picture set as the background for my blog (:
Bumped into these cuties on the trail, such a beauty to see

I also really love ice cream, and I'm proud to say I chose cotton candy 



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