How Not to be a Sunday Mormon

Do you ever feel like you are just going through the motions of living the gospel?  Or maybe you realize that this week (or this month, or this year) you’ve skipped scripture reading or prayer more often than you’ve actually done it?  Do you drag yourself to church only because you know that you should?

I have a hard time being consistent in living the gospel.  I go through cycles where I’m better and cycles where I find myself slipping.  It is hard to be consistent and it is hard to follow through on my good intentions to change.  I get inspired at church, or general conference, or make a new goal and have the best of intentions, but then find myself slipping almost immediately.

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Recently, I decided we could have more fun and meaningful family home evenings (FHE).  So, I spent a lot of time putting together an interactive, interesting, age-appropriate (and short!!) lesson and a fun activity.  Not one or two minutes into what I’d hoped to be an incredibly spiritual and meaningful lesson, Little Man was grabbing at the lesson props (out of order), goofing off, not listening, and generally driving me crazy.  Right in the middle of reading a scripture, I snapped!  I got frustrated and totally lost my cool.  My good intentions of having this incredible FHE went up in smoke.

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The next Sunday, I had to teach Relief Society and I taught about kindness.  It was a lesson that really touched my heart and I was inspired by the material.  I left church feeling loving towards everyone and felt ready to tackle the next week.  Leaving church, my spiritual high lasted for maybe 3 blocks.  I got cut off and then the oblivious driver continued on, going at least 10 miles under the speed limit.  My road rage kicked in.  From the back seat, I heard, “Mommy, stupid is a bad word.  You’re not supposed to say that!”  I guess the lesson on kindness didn’t sink in quite as deep as I’d hoped …

Sometimes I feel more like a Laman or a Lemuel instead of a Nephi.  In 1 Nephi 1:17, Nephi said:

I, Nephi, did strive to keep the commandments of the Lord, and I did exhort my brethren to faithfulness and diligence.

One of my favorite, lesser-known people mentioned in the Book of Mormon is Shiblon, one of the sons of Alma.  Alma had gathered his sons together and separately gave them each instruction and fatherly advice.  To Shiblon, he said:

I trust that I shall have great joy in you, because of your steadiness and your faithfulness unto God … I say unto you, my son, that I have already had great joy in thee because of they faithfulness and thy diligence …   —  Alma 38:2-3

I think this is high praise!  I wish I could be described as steady and diligent in living the gospel.  These are qualities that I seek to improve in myself.

In the New Testatment, Peter wrote to the Saints about the Second Coming of the Savior and the last days.  He advised the Saints to watch for the Second Coming and to be prepared.  He said,

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that y may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.   — 2 Peter 3:24

Again, being diligent is key.

Diligent is defined as “having or showing care and conscientiousness in one’s work or duties.”  Synonyms of diligent include:

  • industrious
  • painstaking
  • earnest
  • persistent
  • tenacious
  • zealous
  • dedicated
  • untiring
  • blameless

THIS is how I want to live the gospel!  I want to be like Shiblon — steady and faithful.  I don’t want to be a Sunday Mormon who simply shows up for church each week and then slacks off in my during the week.  I want Christ to be at the center of everything I do.  I want to feel led by the Spirit throughout the week so I can know how to be a better parent, employee, friend, etc.

Coming Soon — 30 Day Challenge to Deepen Faith

To help develop my consistency and diligence, I’ve developed a 30 day challenge.  My next blog post will detail the challenge.  I invite you to participate with me!  Stay tuned …

 

 

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