I've never been very good at fasting. Here's what I was doing wrong, how I fixed it, and what my journey to proper fasting might mean for you.
See how many problems you can spot in this personal story:
It’s the first Sunday of the month, and my oh-so-helpful family member reminds me that it’s fast Sunday while I’m pouring my cereal.
Annoyed, I think, Fine. I’ll just skip breakfast and start my fast right now.
I put the cereal away, finish getting ready for Church, and grumble the entire time. The second I get home, I’m starving so I make a beeline for the kitchen. As I eat my sandwich, I applaud myself for having made it through Church.
How many did you find? I can count at least five problems in what was once my “fasting” routine.
So what exactly was wrong and how does one fast properly? I’m glad you asked.
24 Hours, 2 Meals, No Water
The first problem in my story came before it even started—did you catch it? Instead of thinking about fasting Sunday morning, I should have had it on my mind Saturday night.
Summer's in the air, which means it's swimsuit season! If you want to find some adorable and modest swimsuits, look no further!
I remember looking at my old swimsuit in a sad sort of horror because it was so streched out, and all I could think about is where would I find another modest swimsuit to wear? At the time, I didn't know about any modest swimwear websites, but today, that is no longer a problem. Take a look at these beautifully modest swimsuits.
Whimsey Lane Apparel: Tank $53.00
Lime Ricki:Tank $47.50
Ten years as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn’t feel like long, but the lessons I’ve learned in one decade of being a convert are eternally important and will last a lifetime.
I was baptized 10 years ago. During these 10 years, my journey has not been easy. But being baptized has made it easier. The gospel, the Church, and my membership in the Church have truly enriched my life.
What follows is a bit of a memoir, a bit of a confession, and a bit of a celebration of the eight most important things I’ve learned in my 10 years as a Latter-day Saint convert.
1. Don’t base your self-worth on whether or not you live up to the “good-Mormon” image.
I used to be a really, really good Mormon. I felt very confident in my standing with God, but also very confident in how others saw me. I’ve always known that I wasn’t the stereotypical “perfect Mormon,” but I thought that my uniqueness actually contributed to the validity of my testimony.
That feeling began to change after I returned home early from my mission and lost out on a few opportunities to work for the Church. I had to return home and move in with my parents, where I took the better part of a year to figure out what my next steps were going to be. I was friendless, jobless, and unknown in my ward. And I felt robbed of my self-imposed “good Mormon” label. I felt like I was no longer a five-star Mormon. I felt more like a three-star Mormon—not bad, but not good, and certainly not special.
So where are we supposed to get our self-worth from? I know that we have infinite worth simply because we are children of God, but it takes time to develop a testimony of that principle. I also know that basing how we feel about ourselves on the perceptions of others, instead of the perception of God, is the wrong way to understand our own worth.
It might seem like there are too many things we all should be doing to build our relationship to heaven, but there is definitely one formula that will get us there.
One of the things I love about Joseph Smith is how young he was when he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The Father and the Son appearing to a relatively uneducated 14-year-old farm boy isn’t exactly a run-of-the-mill experience. But does the uniqueness of that experience mean that only Joseph Smith could be that close to God?
1. Don't think you're less valuable than Church leaders.
Joseph wanted us to know that “God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what he will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 149).
In other words, our relationship with God isn’t contingent upon the callings we receive. And it doesn’t require us to be anyone with a specific calling or priesthood. It simply requires a humble heart and a desire to always follow the Savior.
“God knows that some of the greatest souls who have ever lived are those who will never appear in the chronicles of history. They are the blessed, humble souls who emulate the Savior’s example and spend the days of their lives doing good.”
It might surprise you to learn that Church distribution is a penny-pincher's dream--check out this list of spiritual stuff that a few coins could get you!
After Jesus fed the 5,000 with the loaves and fishes, He instructed His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” So if you’re one of those people who scrupulously saves every last penny, nickel, and dime, you’re actually following Christ’s example. It’s true that as the dollar value shrinks, spare change increases in insignificance, but reading this list of 10 distribution products that a few coins can buy might just reinflate your motivation to penny-pinch.