Playing some catch up. (What's new?)
I always have had people that I look up to. I have my personal heroes and studs that I try to emulate. This helps me in my quest for personal perfection, because seeing other real people with admirable qualities makes it easier for me to believe that these qualities can be mine with a little perseverance and hard work. I have been blessed to have many people in my Young Women's program to look up to. These girls that grew up before me have been paving the way for me for as long as I can remember.
These girls are solid. I looked toward them when I was smaller and saw no flaws; they could do no wrong. It was obvious that they had a testimony ... obvious that they would get married in the temple to pretty stellar guys. Sometimes, I would wonder how in the heck I would ever be able to measure up to them. I continued to watch their struggles and triumphs and because I carefully watched them and their progress through life, I began to realize that their kind of righteous was obtainable to me.
Many of these girlies have been going on missions or obtaining temple marriages.
I can't even begin to mention how grateful I am for their examples. Sometimes, in my own life, it has been super, super hard to see my life with an eternal perspective. I get wound up about the weirdest things. But, my heroes, my role model Young Women's group, have helped me to see that living the gospel is totally worth it.
For example, I went to Ashley Bogle's (now Nelson's) wedding reception the other day. It was so nice. The decorations were simple but elegant. The selection of music was perfect. The food was divine. But I think the best part about the whole even was Ashley herself. She looked so stunning and just ... ridiculously happy. Once again, I took the role of a spectator for Ashley's life. As she danced with her husband and then with her daddy, I realized that ... holy cow! I am only two years younger than her! I remember going to Achievement Days with her (back when Wednesday night activities were called that). Overwhelming was the feeling that I had. The temple is obtainable! It is just in sight! (But, believe me when I say, I will NOT be married before my mission haha).
In Sunday School last week, we talked about the temple, and I was kind of reading through the chapter we were assigned. It reads:
21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.
22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.
23 But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.
24 This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.
25 Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the deaths; and many there are that go in thereat, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law.
I was really struck by the simplicity of this statement. It is regarding temple marriage ... and it is so true! Few find this happiness in their life because it is SO HARD to find. You have to wait out on dating people that do not have your standards. You have to maintain your own standards so you can be worthy to enter the temple. But, if you can make it, YOU CAN RECEIVE EXALTATION. How stinking cool is that? It is so worth the struggle!
I am grateful for people like Ashley that help me to see potential in myself. She wasn't immune to the struggle of daily life, but she raised the place where she stood. Because she lived her life well, she was able to enter into the temple and be sealed to her husband forever. She is one of my heroes! I hope to receive the same joy I saw in her at her reception in my own life.