Early morning seminary in our stake also utilizes men from the stake as rotating security people. Ideally, the man volunteering as seminary security for that day arrives before everyone else, opens the gate to the church property, unlocks the building and our class and bathroom doors (our doors open to an outdoor atrium), and walks the building to make sure we don’t meet any unexpected surprises when we arrive at seminary. He turns on the lights in our rooms and the walkways to the rooms, and then he watches and walks the premises during seminary. When it’s over and everyone leaves, he turns off the lights, locks the rooms and the building, closes and locks the gate, and goes on his merry way.
For the most part, the ideal is actualized. But sometimes we go through spurts when nobody assigned to security shows up to seminary. That’s not the end of the world, but it adds time and tasks to our morning.
On Friday, I arrived at seminary a little earlier than normal, needing lots of prep time for a game. I happily found the gate already open! I drove in to park and found Luis Mendizabal leaning against his car. Luis is the brother of two of my sisters-in-law. Two of my brothers married two sisters. It’s fantastic. Luis and his wife Katrina moved to Oahu a few weeks ago. They live in the neighboring ward. They are an awesome couple.
So I drove up and saw Luis. Firstly, I realized how quickly he volunteered to help with seminary. I also knew that, like most security volunteers, his day job started soon after seminary ended.
I popped out of the car with hellos and thank yous. His simple response resounds in my mind even now. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “I just followed the directions.”
“I Just Followed the Directions”
I’ve thought about how helpful and meaningful those directions are to me every day of the week. Some folks follow the directions to the letter. Others don’t or can’t or forget to come and maybe don’t even see the importance of their service.
But I feel the impact of that daily service and whether the directions are followed—every day.
I think that statement especially impacted me because while reading the Book of Mormon before I left for seminary, I read Samuel the Lamanite’s words to the Nephites lamenting that they weren’t following the directions—God’s directions.
Ye do not remember the Lord your God in the things with which he hath blessed you, but ye do always remember your riches, not to thank the Lord your God for them; yea, your hearts are not drawn out unto the Lord, but they do swell with great pride, unto boasting, and unto great swelling, envyings, strifes, malice, persecutions, and murders, and all manner of iniquities.
But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head.
During seminary, we learned and reviewed some of God’s directions, including the law of consecration. At the end of seminary, I shared the story of my great-great-grandfather’s challenge to his 10-year-old son. In 1878 as they approached their new settlement in Arizona, Grandpa explained the United Order, which was the settlement’s attempt to live the law of consecration. He said he would be giving his things to the United Order. Grandpa asked Homer if he would give his pony to the United Order. He did give his pony and recorded that he never rode the pony again.
He loved his pony, but he followed the directions. Through that and subsequent decisions to follow God’s directions, Uncle Homer lived a full, purposeful, and charitable life and was beloved by those who knew him.
The first few hours of my morning revolved around “just follow[ing] directions.” So after seminary, I spent some time reviewing my life and habits to see how well I am following directions. That was a meaningful exercise!
My takeaway was that as I follow God’s directions, even the simple, seemingly mundane and meaningless tasks can bless another’s life—and as I do so, I continue to grow in confidence in God’s light.
[H]e that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.