Updated: May 29
As members of the church we are told to set goals in our life. There are four specific areas which are spiritual, intelligence, social, and physical. In my experience the spiritual and physical side seem to be the toughest. Arguably one of the hardest things when it comes to the physical side in trying to lose weight or build muscle is the slow progress. You won’t see progress after one day and you won’t see barely any after one week. Maybe after a month you will notice a change however it takes the whole month of being very disciplined. Physical exercise is a slow process that can not be measured day by day but we’re you’ve started and where you are now. I know for me my physical exercise journey has been extremely slow. The main reason is I don’t eat healthy enough but that’s besides the point. It was and still is a slow process that is sometimes hard to keep going. Similarly, spiritual exercise is the same thing. For me when I hear a talk in church or a lesson in seminary asking me to take action and better myself in some area of my life, the idea overwhelms me. Depending on the task I could have a long way to go to reach that and that scares me. My mind instantly jumps to having to do the very best right away. An example of this is from when I was younger. I did not know scripture stories all that well and was always lacking to what it seemed like everyone around me. I wanted to be able to recall these stories like them but the thought of having to read the Book of Mormon and bible at a young age scared me. It was already hard enough to get me to read a picture book but now I’m trying to read a book with old language that I’ve never seen before. Nevertheless I eventually started reading the Book of Mormon. It started off slow with me only reading a verse every now and then. It then turned into me reading a verse everyday. Which then turned into me still reading a verse everyday but some days I would read more than a verse. It then turned into me reading 20 verses a day or 1 chapter based on whichever one was shorter. I eventually finished the Book of Mormon and I felt so proud of myself. I looked back at where I was to where I was now and saw so much growth. However I think the only part I remember was 1 Nephi and that was mainly because we talked about it in that week's Sunday school. Instantly I felt defeated feeling like I made no progress. I stopped reading the scriptures as often because I thought I was so far away from my end goal there was no point. I failed to look back and see how I even got to the point where I was that day. It started small and still remained small but increased over time. When trying to be more spiritual or physical there is one thing they both have in common. That is exercise. You want to get in better shape start small by doing only a little exercise everyday. Similarly, you want to grow spiritually, start by reading 1 verse a day like me. Many people will tell you to look at the big picture of things which I agree with. However I believe the big picture is the picture you stare at on a puzzle box as you try to fit the puzzles into place. The puzzle pieces to growing spiritually and physically is daily exercise. A while after I stopped reading the scriptures I decided to start again. Again I would only read one verse but I did it everyday. And then I stopped reading again. It was not until a little later I saw that my older brother would just read 10 verses a day. This reminded me of the puzzle pieces in which to create the big picture. I began reading 10 verses everyday and not missing a day very often. As for where I am now, when the new year started I made a New Year's resolution for the first time in my life to read a chapter of the Book of Mormon everyday. From the start of the year to now I believe I have only missed 3 days. Technically speaking I failed the New Years resolution however that does not matter as long as I am willing to keep going. Doing this has blessed me in ways I can not totally explain but it has improved all areas of my life greatly. There is a small story on the church website about physical and spiritual exercise by Sven wouter in which he said something that stood out to me. He said “happiness doesn’t come from our circumstances but from our focus”. I bear my testimony that If you keep your focus on the big picture and use it to fit the puzzle pieces into your life by exercising yourself spiritually and physically everyday, you will experience happiness you haven’t felt before, and you will see yourself grow tremendously. I challenge you to daily exercise in some areas of your life even if you have to start small. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.