I never thought I would serve a full time mission.
I made ALOT of mistakes in my early adulthood, so when any type of desire to really step up and prepare for a mission developed, they were quickly overshadowed with feelings of inadequacy due to my past.
When I was 22 with the help of leaders who wouldn't give up on me and a huge push from heaven, I found myself as out in the mission field doing the Lords work.
The Atonement of God's only begotten became so real to me. I could actually feel it work, and the power that comes from truly using it to overcome past mistakes and challenges. It became the most precious thing to me. So precious that I wanted to actually tell EVERYONE about it. I also felt this tremendous obligation to please the Lord, and bring as many children that I could to the fullness of His gospel.
Looking back I actually feel like I did everything I could to fulfill my expectation as a missionary, but yet and I still faced failure. People that promised to read didn't. People who said we could meet didn't show up. There were even people who looked me in the eyes, and testified by the spirit, that they knew what they were taught was true, that didn't end up getting baptized.
Failure is super hard to deal with. Especially when you've done all you can.
My mission president addressed this in the most perfect way.
He asked us what Heavenly Father's actual goal was.
After a couple half right answers, my Mission President responded. "To bring EVERY SINGLE one of His children back to Him."
He rhetorically asked if we questioned whether or not Heavenly Father was doing all He could to make that happen. He then asked if we would consider Heavenly Father a failure?
Of course not.
When you do all you can to reach a righteous goal you are never a failure.
I had the opportunity last week to meet one of the most humble human beings on the earth. Tanner Mangum. This guy hasn't been back from his mission 6 months and he has had more press on him than the Kardashians these last two weeks. He just turned 22 and to be honest if that happened to me when I was 22, my head would have probably exploded from how big it got. Not Tanner, he was cool calm and collected. He talked to me like a friend, and was interested in who I was.
We all have called him Miracle Mangum for his last minute plays, but if you meet this guy I promise you will think its a miracle hasn't let any of this publicity go to his head.
In the game against UCLA (BYU - 23 UCLA - 24) he made some mistakes, he didn't make a last minute Hail Mary at the end like we all wanted, but nobody can question whether or not he and that BYU team gave it everything they had.
BYU we stand behind you.
When you give it your all for a good cause you are always successful.
I'm gonna be writing each Sunday again. If you want to follow this blog follow me on any social media (twitter, instagram, snapchat) as @jamesthemormon)
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