The Two Great Denominators

Underlying everything we do is underlined by two great denominators, time and agency.

Time is interesting. Thanks to the Babylonians and other great mathematicians we time-box our time into 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute. While I say we’ve time-boxed time, in reality it cares very little about the boxes we’ve assigned to it. It runs its own course.

Agency is our second great denominator. It’s the recognition that choice is required for action. Generally I explain this using a military example. No drill sergeant ever made a private do push ups. The drill sergeant may have instructed, ordered, yelled, and profaned, but at no point did he animate the muscles of the person doing pushups. That person’s muscles were animated by themselves.

With agency and time as our two great denominators, the question then becomes, what do we do with them? What direction will you take your time and what will you do with your agency?


Biggest Feeling

We just finished the general conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was wonderful.

My best memories aren’t of a specific talk, but instead a very special feeling.

God knows who I am and loves me.

I wish that my children would enjoy the same feeling today. They stayed up pretty late last night and that always makes it harder to feel the spirit when you’re tired.

building from where you are

When Ether 12:27 gets quoted in church it’s often to remind us of our responsibilities in the process of our development. Be humble, acknowledge our weaknesses, and approach the Lord. But if that were all then this blog post wouldn’t exist.

There’s more to it than that. Let’s start with the scripture:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Ether 12:27

Ether 12:27 isn’t just a formula for self improvement. It’s a contract back by our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ.

How this contract becomes activated is interesting. Lots of times we’ll think that if we admit weakness, we’ll be mocked or required to feel bad that we have a weakness. Making ourselves feel bad isn’t part of the repentance process.

Also, what if we changed this slightly from weakness to opportunity? “If men come unto me I will show unto them their opportunities. I give unto men opportunities that they may be humble..”

As far as the way it feels when we approach him, James 1:5 clearly states that the Lord doesn’t upbraid (belittle/ridicule) us for approaching him.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him

James 1:5

We often focus on our parts of these scriptures, but lets also remember this is an acknowledgement that the Lord is willing to work with us at whatever stage we happen to be.

Your list of the imperfections opportunities you have right now is exactly where he wants to start. Don’t be afraid to try.