The discussion that we had as a class on Monday was the one that caused myself the most thought and reflection. In preparation for class we watched some clips on individuals from different socioeconomic statuses. The clip that was particularly moving was Tammy's story. This is the one about the single mother who walks 10 miles each way to work at Burger King. The family lives in a trailer in very humble circumstances. As the mother was talking about her dreams of going to college and becoming a teacher I was impressed by her simple yet wonderful hope. I thought about how I enjoyed such a wonderful home and family to grow up in. I felt sympathy for this family and the difficult conditions they live in and had a desire to help. How many people struggle with these kind of living circumstances that have true and pure desires to create a better life for themselves and their families? What have I done to help others in need?
A few months ago I had a wonderful opportunity to drive 7 hours with a friend of mine to southern Utah. Obviously we had a lot of time to talk about various topics. One of the first things we talked about was her experience of going to Ethiopia for 5 months in 2010. Among the questions I asked her was if she felt bothered or annoyed by the way we as students and faculty at BYU-Idaho talk about all of these problems in the world that are in need but go home to our apartments and homes without doing anything to help. She had the opportunity to serve and bless the lives of many people on the other side of the world and then she came home and had to sit through "sincere, heartfelt" discussions about the problems in the world knowing that little is done to help.
This discussion gave me a new perspective on what it means to bless the lives of others. I don't believe that it is necessary that we go around the world to help others, but if we go to church and call ourselves good Christians but throughout the week we are so self absorbed in what our own needs are then we need to do a little self evaluation. As I write this I realize that I myself have been hypocritical in my approach in regards to my "desires" and actions. I know that true joy in living the gospel is directly related to blessing the lives of others through time spent in their service, now I need to live that testimony.