Living the Dream
Every once in a while, we hear people say, they are “Livin’ the dream.” This is an expression meaning life can’t get much better, that what someone is actually doing is the stuff of which fantastic dreams are made.
For some it might be golfing 7 days a week. Others might enjoy travelling to exotic places around the world. It could be someone restoring a classic automobile or someone writing a book. Or, having the time to be an artist or even going back to school to get a degree someone has always wanted.
These dreams are important and it is a wonderful thing when people can pursue them. How awesome to land a tee shot on the green or how excited someone can be when they complete an intricately-designed , time-consuming, beautiful quilt. We have dreams, set goals, make plans and then, achieve. That is an important part of life.
The most important dream we have as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the very dream that Father Lehi experienced in the Book of Mormon. Living that dream has a very significant meaning and importance to us and is different than what the rest of the world dreams. This of course, is the dream of the “Tree of Life”. The main thrust of Lehi’s dream was to find the strait and narrow path, remain on that path, holding to the iron rod, pressing forward and eventually reaching the fruit that is, “…the most desirable above all things.”
And, like Lehi, when the world in the large and spacious building points the finger of scorn, we can say, “…we heeded them not.”
We get a glimpse of living this dream from 2 Nephi 31:19, 20.
“And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done…? …ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men…feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end.”
In other words, living this dream is keeping commandments and honoring covenants we have made with the Lord all the days of our lives. Someone may find visiting the Great Wall of China the fulfillment of a dream, which is a good thing. However, in addition to such a dream and most importantly, it is paramount that we exercise daily living of Lehi’s dream of staying on the Covenant Path.
Then, the day will come when the Father will say, “Ye shall have eternal life.”
In the tech world, a common term is “OS.” This signifies “Operating System.” For example, Apple has its operating system that controls its computers. Other personal computers have a different OS. Android might be considered an operating system for telephones. Without the OS, computers and cell phones are worthless. It is the platform that allows users to run software programs and other computer operations.
One should consider on what platform do we operate – what controls our thoughts, our words and our actions? To effectively operate within the gospel framework and to enjoy all the blessings of the Lord, we need to 1) be obedient, and 2) be willing to sacrifice our all for the building up of the Kingdom of God here on earth. Hence our “OS” should be obedience and sacrifice.
When we are baptized, we covenant to obey the commandments of the Lord and to be His disciples.
“Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?” (Mosiah 18:10)
Notice in this one verse that we commit to “serve” and “keep (obey)” his commandments. When we operate this way, he will pour out his spirit upon us. What a wonderful “platform” from which to operate our lives! We obey his commandments that he has given us because he loves us. We serve the way he served – he is our great exemplar. Such service is a form of sacrifice and brings us great joy in life.
There is no excuse for not being obedient. You will recall the Old Testament story of Saul, who was made head of all the tribes of Israel, that went to battle against the Amalekites and was instructed by the Lord to utterly destroy everything. Yet, Saul was disobedient in that he brought back the spoils of war. His excuse was that the best sheep and oxen were spared for sacrifice to the Lord.
“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.“ (1 Samuel 15:22)
There is a button on virtually every electronic device to power on and allow us to log in. Perhaps we can think of powering on our spiritual OS each morning as we kneel in prayer and seek the Lord’s guidance and Spirit to be with us. We should seek his divine help in assisting us to be obedient. We should ask for strength to sacrifice anything we have or can offer to help build his kingdom. We can ask for guidance to lead us to those who need our help, those we can serve.
I think of Uncle Gunn and Aunt Jana who serve each week at a Somali refugee center. They also work in the temple as ordinance workers. They sacrifice their time to help in the Kingdom. I think of Grandpa and Grandma McKay who decided long ago that they would tithe the years of their lives in missionary service. I think of Elder Gary Stevenson who could be earning a substantial amount of money in the business world, but instead has heeded the call of the Savior to be one of his chosen servants. I think of each of you that accept callings in the Church and do your best to magnify your callings and bless the lives of others along the way.
Let’s keep the OS clean and virus free through daily repentance. Let’s hit the reset button of scripture study if we get off course. Let’s get regular system updates to our system as we apply the teachings, counsel and direction of living prophets and apostles. Let’s reap the great and glorious blessings of those that keep the Lord’s commandments and sacrifice whatever is required of them to help advance the work of the Lord. (Mosiah 2:41)