Friday, September 24, 2010

My Duty to God

Life can be so hectic that you can feel like you are swimming in circles accomplishing nothing.

It’s pretty much how I was feeling when my husband came to me and said, “Bryan needs to catch up on his goals if he’s going to earn his Duty to God award. Why don’t we start working on that this Monday night during Family Home Evening?”

I glared at him.

What I heard him say was, “What you are doing in a twenty four hour period of time that you actually need thirty six hours to accomplish isn’t enough and you need to do more.”

Okay, I admit I needed an attitude adjustment and at that precise moment, I was having a few issues.

So I smiled, not very sincerely I admit. I gritted my teeth and said, “Sure, honey, let’s do that,” and I walked away.

Come that Monday night, we all sat together as a family. My husband opened my son’s “Duty to God” hand book. As we reviewed the program, memories came flooding back to me of a couple of months ago when we sat as parents with our son’s at our Church house learning about the new program that has been set forth for the young men of the church to help them fulfill their Duty to God. I was touched by the program then, just as I was this past Monday night while my husband reviewed it for us again.

You may wonder why I would pick this topic to blog about since maybe most of the readers are perhaps women. There is indeed a program set forth for the young women as well, but since I have boys, I just wanted to mention how impressed I am that there is a program that gives the youth of today such high standards and morals to live by and if these boys will do these things, then as they fulfill their responsibilities, they will “greatly bless the lives of those around them” --that would be ALL those around them.

(I do plan to wrap up this blog with how this applies to women as well. So hang in there with me.)

The idea of the Duty to God program is to learn, act, and share. They young men learn about their duties, make plans how to fulfill them by setting goals that can be challenging but fun and of service, and share with others about the growth they have gained from it. Sounds simple? The idea is, the goals are not. These young men are setting goals that will help to shape them for their future. They are setting goals now that will help them develop lifelong habits.

They have interviews with their progress, their goals and duties must reflect them taking the initiative to be responsible and hardworking, being of service to others. They must be spiritually minded, and keep themselves morally and physically clean, young men. They must do their duty with diligence.

A book of standards that helps them set their goals is the book, “For the strength of Youth”

This is a very brief summary about the new program. For more information you can read more at

Back to Monday night—as we sat as a family—we turned to the first section in the handbook. We did the required reading and slowly my issues of the day before started to fade away. A renewed hope began to set in as we talked about goals that Bryan wanted to set for himself. I asked him if I could join him with the goal setting and he thought it would be good for all of us to work on goals at the same time. We all agreed.

I set my goals. The first goal is my relationship with family and friends. To break that down a little, I wrote: I need to be more pleasant and have a better “attitude."

Now, I don’t think we can gain a better attitude just because we say, “I’m going to have a better attitude.” At least for me, it’s not that easy. I had to have a plan in motion to achieve that goal so, I wrote down how I intended to do a few things so that I can work towards achieving a better attitude and so on.

After we worked on a couple of areas in my son’s book, it was time to call an end to that part of our Family Home Evening. It had been a good night for all of us, but especially for me. I needed a change of attitude and I could feel within my heart a desire to make that happen.

Life can be overwhelming. There are some days you reach the end of the day feeling completely exhausted and wonder about all you have not yet finished. You wonder if all you have done is ever enough. Surely we know within our hearts that it is, but I think we tend to be hard on ourselves and there are times we feel like we are bearly treading water.

There is so much I want to do and I feel there is hardly enough hours in a day to accomplish that which I need to do.

Maybe it begins with attitude.

We all have a "Duty to God." The young men of the Church have a formal program set up to give them direction. The young women do as well. We as adults have the Gospel Plan to give us direction. We all have a loving Father in Heaven to turn to. He will help us fulfill all of our duties if we will put forth our best effort and then have faith and trust in him. He’ll help us stay afloat. With that in mind, what’s not to have a good attitude about?

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