Monday, June 8, 2015

Week #42 - Faking it and the French Horn

Dear Family-

Thank you for all your sweet notes and kind reminder of LOVE! I had a very happy birthday.

My letter is best started with a story by Elder Robert D. Wells of the Seventy:

"Prior to joining the Navy at the close of World War II, I attended Brigham Young University. Because I played the trumpet, I was invited to join the symphony orchestra for a special concert under the guest direction of Dr. LeRoy Robertson, the greatest Church composer in that day. Many of the musicians were still in the service, and university enrollment was small. We were determined to have a full orchestra, however, so I was persuaded to perform on the French horn instead of the trumpet.

I soon learned the only similarity between the two instruments is that both are brass. I found the French horn much more difficult to play, especially in reaching for higher notes. With the trumpet I could accurately hit any note up to a high C, but with the French horn I never knew if my attack would be right.I was nervous when we began the first rehearsal under the renowned Dr. Robertson. I had never before even been in the audience to hear a full symphony orchestra, and now I was right in the middle of the most magnificent sounds I had ever heard. It seemed to me that we had at least 50 violins and all kinds of other instruments in numbers to match the violin section.

The 12 bass viols to the left made the floor and my rib cage vibrate in unison. Behind were the other brass instruments and the timpani. I was in the center of a new world of glorious sound. The difficult French horn passage came. Everyone around me knew when I bobbled it, ending a fifth or a third out of register. Dr. Robertson stopped the orchestra. “There is something wrong in the French horns. Let’s start over at the top of the page.”

Embarrassed, I began once more. I didn’t want to be singled out again as the offending musician. It seemed obvious to me that even with the violins singing, the brass trumpeting, the cellos warmly filling, the great bass viols zooming, and the other French horns boldly playing, Dr. Robertson might hear me if I made a mistake, but it would be impossible to know that I wasn’t really playing. I puffed my cheeks out and went through the fingering, but as we entered the hard part of the French horn quartet no air went through my lips. To my absolute horror and embarrassment, Dr. Robertson stopped the orchestra and announced to the world, “The fourth French horn is faking it. Let’s start again at the top of the page.”

It is easy in many of life’s situations to fake our way through and think that our lack of preparation, or lack of effort, will go unnoticed. It may be true that in a large group some of our weakness will be covered up by others, but we know if we are putting forth our best effort. We know if we are faking it. Besides that, the Lord knows, and more times than we want to admit, a great bishop or mission president or other Church leader also knows."

How many of us are faking it? How many of us hide in the crowds of the church and the world hoping that someone else will take care of it and that it isn't your problem? How many of us have said, "I just don't have TIME to.....[insert service, help, love, testimony, etc]"?

Well, let's make something PLAINLY obvious to ourselves. Each one of us needs to ask ourselves, "What is the purpose of this life?  Is [x activity] helping me achieve my purpose in this life?" Alma 34:32 states: "For behold, this life‍ is the time for men to prepare‍ to meet God; yea, behold the day of this‍ life is the day for men to perform their labors." If we start coming up with excuses when the answer is NO, stop them. We cannot afford to justify right now. If you know it's a "Yes!", AWESOME! Keep it up :) I give kudos to you!

The truth is that WE DO NOT HAVE TIME, TO NOT HAVE TIME. We don't have time to deny ourselves service opportunities, scripture study, church, time with the family, missionary work, etc. This time on earth is SO SHORT. Jacob 7:26 states: "... the time passed away with us, and also our lives‍ passed away like as it were unto us a dream..."

I was reading in Jesus the Christ this morning, I came across a chapter explaining "Counting the Cost of Discipleship." James E. Talmage explains that counting the cost of being a disciple of Christ not in terms of what we will lose but what we will GIVE UP. Losing is involuntary whereas giving something up is conscious sacrifice for something better. What are we willing to sacrifice in order to be consecrated Children of God and to focus upon the task at hand? " What does it mean to be a true disciple of Christ? What things must a man avoid and what must he do if he would truly follow the Son of God?  

In my next few personal studies, I plan on mapping out PRAYERFULLY what I need to give up, what I need to improve upon and what I need to sacrifice in order to be the 4th order to be a disciple, a consecrated disciple of Jesus Christ. I want to count the cost and figure out exactly what is ahead of me so that I will be prepared when the hard times come. "...that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm‍ shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of MISERY and endless wo, BECAUSE OF the rock upon which ye are built..." I want to plan out my "way to purification" so that I can be ready for Satan when he tries to pull me down with distress and discouragement. I want to put myself on the path of truth and discipleship. I know I am weak and that I have been living up to only half of my potential as a Daughter of God and as a missionary. But I want those blessing. I want eternal life. I want to be me. I WANT AN ETERNAL FAMILY! This is the only way to work towards it. 

I love each of you. So much! I couldn't just keep this tidbit of life changing doctrine to myself :)  

Hermana Lake

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