This is a long quote, but I had to post it. I was so impressed with my younger brother, James’s convictions and ability to put it down in written word. He is currently serving as an LDS missionary in the Dominican Republic and wrote this as his commitment to himself and to the Lord for the remaining year of his mission. The very last part is my favorite, but I think it’s worth the time to read the whole ‘quote’ in its entirety.
“I commit to live after the example of Christ that I may receive the Spirit and completely fulfill my purpose.
I will fight with a perfect brightness of hope, an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to me. This hope will fasten an anchor for my soul. With this brightness of hope I will strive to help and feed those who have moved away from the hope of the gospel. My hope is that through the Atonement of Christ and the power of the resurrection I will be raised unto eternal life because of my faith in the promise. With the hope for that which I see not I must have patience to wait
I have the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. I will patiently accept God´s will and God´s timing with a calm disposition. Problems will not be fixed instantaneously, but as I exercise patience, Christ will make everything alright. I will be patient in long-suffering and afflictions to show forth a good example, and thus the Lord will make me an instrument in His hands unto the salvation of myself and others. For happy are counted them which endure. As I wait patiently I still must work diligently.
I will diligently work in what the Lord would have me do and avoid the distractions of the world which simply waste His and my time. I will put forth a steady, consistent, earnest, and energetic effort to show my love for the Lord and the work that He has done for me. Inasmuch as I bring to pass much righteousness, and if I might redouble my efforts, I shall in nowise lose my reward. I will be counted worthy because I will not be slothful, rather I will labor diligently in the office appointed unto me. As I exercise my agency to diligently work with faith, the Lord, in His mercy, might grant me to be laden with many sheaves, but even be it so I must abide in humility.
All honor, whatsoever I may receive, will be submitted to the Lord. I understand that I constantly need the divine help of the Lord to accomplish what I have been called to do. I will humbly follow and trust the counsel I receive from Him through my leaders. I will become and remain stripped of pride, for it is the opposite of humility, and the prideful are not ready to meet God. For whosoever is lifted up in his pride shall be knocked down, while he who is found in the depths of humility shall be lifted up and exalted. I will retain in remembrance the greatness of the Lord and my own nothingness. But as I put my nothingness in the Lord´s strength I am able to do all things. As I am humble I must let my will be swallowed by the Father´s, therefore becoming obedient. Following the example of Christ who, “being found in the fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death.”
I will be willingly obedient to what the Lord commands, even when I do not understand why, for obedience is the first law of Heaven. I will hearken unto the word and obey so that I better understand His doctrine, and am built upon His rock, so that I prosper and become free. My disciplined use of agency in obedience will make me clean and armor me from the enemy just like the heavenly armor given to the strippling warriors who did, “obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness.” They did not doubt, nor did they complain. As I obediently keep the commandments I will receive truth and light unto what I must obtain and share, knowledge.
I will continually seek the enlightenment of the Holy Ghost through study and prayer so that He increases my inner peace that comes with spiritual knowledge. I will continually search the scriptures that my understanding may be sound and my teachings clear, with an accent of power and authority. I will serve the Lord in righteousness that I may receive the promise of wisdom that is great and understanding that reaches heaven. I will continually ask, seek, and knock to receive line upon line and precept upon precept, for one progresses only as fast as he gains knowledge unto his advantage in this world and the world to come. Receiving knowledge is not all. I must then apply it by acting in faith in correct principles and in the Savior.
I believe that Christ is the Son of God, my Savior and Redeemer. I believe that my sins can be forgiven through His Atonement. I trust Him and am certain that He loves me. Though I may not see these things, they are true. I will show my conviction through my actions. Thus the Lord will be able to work by power, through me, according to my faith. Thanks to Christ´s living example and testimony of love and perfection I can put forth unreserved confidence in His promises of redemption. I will fight to forsake doubt and fear, that my faith not be deterred, but will flourish. Through this faith I can feel and see that my abhorrence towards sin is greater, my desires are more pure, and my heart is changing. As my heart is changed through faith and repentance I must protect my mind from Satan and let God enrich it with virtue.
Due to my virtue and discipline, what I choose to think and do will be righteousness, whether I am alone or not. I will continue to keep my thought pure with my hymn of choice: “I´m trying to be like Jesus, I´m following in His ways. I´m trying to love as He did, in all that I do and say. At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice, but I try to listen as the still small voice whispers.” As my thoughts are submersed in virtue, my confidence before God and His Holiness will wax strong, the doctrine and priesthood will distill upon my soul and the Holy Ghost will be my constant companion, that I may follow His divine guidance, “Love one another and Jesus loves you, try to show kindness in all that you do. Be gentle and loving in deed and in though, for these are the things Jesus taught.“ Which carries me unto the purest attribute that we all must possess: charity and love, the great commandment.
I will do all I can to cultivate this attribute for I am worthless without it. I am a son of a Loving Heavenly Father. I have the capacity to earn this love as I study it, work for it, pray for it, and then live it with all the energy of my heart. Thus my love for the people will increase and I will have a sincere concern for their eternal welfare and happiness. I will give of myself physically, mentally, and spiritually, and in so doing the Lord will only fill me with more to give. I will sacrifice myself as I have covenanted to do, so that I earn compassion and know how to help and succor the people. I will live and learn that which my mother taught me, “You love that which you serve.” I must love them as He loveth me.
I will strive to live these attributes and walk in the path and example that Christ left for me to follow so that I will be filled with the Holy Ghost, whose protection, comfort, and guidance I need and desire.
He will instruct me through revelation as I ask, seek, and knock. I will be valiant and follow His will as I listen earnestly with spiritual ears to hear and be guided by His voice of perfect mildness. By following the Holy Ghost I will be fulfilling the will of the Father and acting as Christ´s hands here on earth. I will thus earn the trust of the Lord and He will have the assuring confidence that I will do what He needs done and I will diligently nourish and edify whatsoever stewardship that He might entrust to my care.
In the lessons I will testify of the presence of the Spirit, for it is Him who guides us to all truth, who teaches us all things that we should do, and who testifies of and glorifies the Father and the Son.
By living and teaching by the Spirit I will be able to fulfill my purpose as the Lord would have me do it, as He showed us how to do it with His very own life. I will invite others to come unto Christ through true faith in Him, His restored gospel, and His Saving Atonement.
My calling from the living prophet of God gives me authority to do this and my righteous living through the keeping of my covenants will give me power.
I will not bury my talents, I will not be a fruitless servant, I will thrust in my sickle with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, laying up in store a treasure which does not perish, bringing salvation to my soul and those who I find with an open heart.
I will do all of this to show my deep gratitude for one Great Act of pure love, the Infinite Atonement of my Redeemer Jesus Christ. Through my faith and His profound mercy and grace I can become even as He is. Christ is my Strength, He is my Song, He is my Hero, He also has become my Salvation. He gave you and me His all, the least we can do is give Him ours in return. And that is what I will do, for thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey.”