Spiritual Thoughts

To Be or Not To Be As I Am

I love studying my lessons for my Sunday school class. I have been learning so much and this past week has been no exception. In fact, I feel like I’ve been in ponder mode more than normal.

Last week we talk about Christlike attributes and took a little quiz out of the Preach my gospel. So after the lesson was over, I asked my youth if they wanted to go over specific attributes they wanted to work on, or just go over all Christlike attributes through conference talks. They all agreed that learning more through conference talks would be better. So I started my ‘google search’ on LDS.org and found 5 that I loved. I am not going to go over all 5. I am only going to hit on my favorite one today and the one that I’m going to use to start my lesson. It’s a really thinker. It will for sure have you pondering and possible reprioritizing a few things.

The is What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be? by Lynn G Robbins. I honestly don’t even know where to begin since it’s so good. But let me see…..

“To be, or not to be” is actually a very good question.1 The Savior posed the question in a far more profound way, making it a vital doctrinal question for each of us: “What manner of men [and women] ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27; emphasis added). The first-person present tense of the verb be is I Am. He invites us to take upon us His name and His nature.

To become as He is, we must also do the things He did: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do” (3 Nephi 27:21; emphasis added).

To be and to do are inseparable. As interdependent doctrines they reinforce and promote each other. Faith inspires one to pray, for example, and prayer in turn strengthens one’s faith.

Go back and reread that. Seriously, do it….. Especially the last paragraph.

Be without do really isn’t being—it is self-deception, believing oneself to be good merely because one’s intentions are good.

Do without be—hypocrisy—portrays a false image to others, while be without doportrays a false image to oneself.

Now think about that!!!! Are you a being AND doing?! I would venture to say that most of are either be-ers or do-ers 90% of the time. It’s not very often that we can say we are both. However, that is why we are here on this earth. To strive to accomplish both and become the men and women we ought to be.

Many of us create to do lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s.

After I read that quote I immediately felt like I needed to do better. I am the queen of to-do lists. It seems like my to-do lists are reaching marathon length. I am steadily checking off the things to do and some days as the list dwindles I feel accomplished and other days, … well, it’s like a tripped and fell flat on my face and started rolling backwards only to see the to-dos start piling up again.

I have been thinking, that maybe if we, and by we I mean me mostly, stopped focusing so much on the to-dos and focused more on the to-bes we might be better off.

This week, for example, I was determined to focus on being a better mother. I have felt so overwhelmed with my 2 teaching callings and my music chairman calling that I feel like I have been neglecting my kids. So this week, for the 2-2.5 hrs between Sweet Peas morning nap and afternoon nap, we would all eat lunch together and then spend the rest of time playing and reading books. Guess what? I accomplished that goal every day this past week and it was so nice to leave my phone and everything else in the other room and be in the moment with my kids for 2 hours. They have my undivided attention. We are having both quality and quantity time.

Being a better mom is not something that I can check off my list. It’s something that I have to really focus on right now as I work on balancing out my callings and home life.

So, I was inspired by The Red Headed Hostess and her instagram post a few days ago about her fruits of charity tree that she drew in one of her scriptures journals several years ago. So I decided that for my class, we were going to do a tree of Christlike attributes. 


I am in love with how it turned out. I have blank trees for each person in my class, and while we go through the lesson, they are to write out each attribute that they hear so they all will have a visual representable of their to-be list. I am hoping to frame mine and display it somewhere. Where? I have no idea because we still haven’t hung up any artwork yet.

Make your own tree. Write out your own list of to-be’s. Whether it’s Christlike attributes you want to work on ways to be a better mother… Make a visual reminder and set to work striving to be a better version of you!!!

Happy Sabbath!!

P.S. Now I’m thinking I want to make a tree for ways to be a better mom. Stay tuned, maybe I’ll come up with a PDF you can print… We’ll see 😉

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