Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Great High Priest of Good things to Come.

I really like this little Mormon Message for the new year.

2011 is here!!! Twenty Eleven. Oh-Eleven. Two thousand Eleven. Last night at the strike of 12:00, me and my friend Chantel decided to do snow angels in our short sleeved shirts. We listened as the crowd in the apartment above us was chanting 10, 9, 8, 7.... and when we heard everyone scream we dove into the snow backwards and started flapping in the snow! Wonderful frigidity to welcome the new year in! Wish I had a picture of it! In part because my angel was bigger than Chantel's dinky angel, and partly because the snow that stuck to my back when I got up out of the snow was formed into a perfect heart. A good omen for 2011. :)

This year is going to be a great one. I have often looked back on many things in my life. As one year has now come to an end and the next has started, I often look back on some of the amazing experiences that I have had and I wonder: "could it EVER be better than that?" Specifically, I think of the time that I had in my beautiful and surreal Holy Land, the reason I started this blog in the first place. I think of how perfect everything seemed while I was there. I remember waking myself up laughing because I was so incredibly at peace in that place. I remember experiencing ancient Egypt, seeing the mummy of Ramses II (who shook hands with Moses), venturing up the guts of the greatest pyramid in Giza near Cairo, flaunting down the Nile on a fallucca and discovering temple symbolism on the walls of the Temple of Karnac, in Luxor. Then climbing to the top of Mount Sinai to watch the sun come up as we sang and bore testimony. Snorkeling in the Red Sea and floating in the Dead Sea. Then returning to the Golden City of Jerusalem and feeling that it was my home after being away. Hearing the call to prayer every time the sun would drop below the horizon was as magical as watching the sun rise and sparkle off the golden Dome of the Rock. Discovering Jerusalem everyday for 3 months. Living on the Mount of Olives. Making friends with Monks who let me flip through original Gregorian Chant books made 400 years before Jefferson even thought about writing the Declaration of Independence. Singing in ancient churches and sitting to ponder and write in places I only imagined before being there. Places like Gethsemane and the Garden tomb where the most important events of all history took place. Singing and dancing at the Western Wall of the temple mount with machine-gun-clad Jewish boys as if we had known each other our whole lives, singing their songs and feeling the same joy they feel as they welcome in the Sabbath - only wishing that the American Christian or even the Utah Mormon would be able to celebrate the Sabbath in the same way. Finally, living only a rocks-throw away from the shores of the Sea of Galilee and swimming where Jesus walked. Seeing the waves and the sunsets and the fishermen and having sacred alone time early in the mornings sitting with my feet in the sand where Jesus likely sat and pondered. I did many other things, just as amazing and "once in a lifetime".

How could life ever get better than this kind of experience? How could I ever have a greater experience or year? What could EVER top this? I don't know, but I DO believe that 2011 (twenty-eleven) will be the greatest year yet lived by Andrew Scot Proctor. I say this with confidence for two reasons:

1. I have made some amazing goals and planned some amazing events for this year. I have done this based off of Joseph B. Wirthlin's quote: "Determine where you are and what you need to do to be the kind of person you want to be. Create inspiring, noble and righteous goals that fire your imagination and create excitement in your heart. And then keep your eye on them. Work consistently toward achieving them."

2. Jesus Christ is the "Great High Priest of Good things to Come" and I KNOW that if I trust the Savior, He will make my life greater and Better than I have ever imagined. If I turn my life over to Him, He will make a lot more out of my life than I ever could. So I am trying to shape my year with this in mind.

I end with the words of Jeffrey Holland from his talk Remember Lot's Wife:

"So, as a new year starts and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives....Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come.”

I love this. I long for the good things to come and I have faith that they are just around the corner. The Lord Himself has promised us this if we just keep pushing**: "Verily I say unto you, that great things await you." (D&C 45:62).

**This story is such an amazing one. Joseph Smith was in the midst of receiving an amazing revelation about the second coming. Right in the middle the vision stopped and the Lord told Joseph that he had to translate the entire New Testament before anything else could be given. And that he would be prepared for things to come as he did so. This was a huge undertaking! Imagine translating the whole New Testament before being able to receive any more revelation. But because of his obedience to this commandment, he was prepared to receive even greater revelations. Specifically, the "great thing" that awaited Joseph was the revelation of the 3 degrees of glory. The entire section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants. This makes me want to find out what my "translations" are so that I can do them and find my own personal D&C 76.

1 comment: