Have you ever taken a shower so hot that it sets off the smoke detector? I have, several times! And it happened again this morning. Hot showers are one of my everyday essentials because it relaxes me in an instant.
BOOM. Problems, be gone.
I’m talking about problems like the thousands of dirt particles that lodge their sneaky little selves under my skin and embed there throughout the day that result in many terrible, terrible things: acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. Luckily, the steam from my shower water gives all the gunk that I collected throughout the day the chance to wash away. Although life’s “real” problems still await me after my hot shower, I enjoy taking 10 minutes out of my busy schedule to stand under a nice, soothing stream of tepid water. Sound good? Of course it does. And not just because of my use of positive adjectives either!
A hot shower is an idyllic beginning to a wonderful day; a day where we “devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness” and give all we can to God. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gives a beautiful talk about mortality. He teaches eternal perspective (the perspective which allows us to truly value the commandments, the ordinances of the gospel, our covenants, our trials, tribulations, joys, and triumphs) and why it is incredibly important to gain in this life before we depart and “our spirits are taken home to that God who gave [us] life.” President Uchtdorf’s words pierced through my heart so powerfully and I believe it’s because I’ve fallen victim to one of Satan’s finest tricks: the evils of comparison. We hear warnings about the dangers of comparison more often in Sunday school and we’ve even heard them from the pulpit in our local church meetings and general conferences throughout the world because our leaders know that Satan has learned how to get into our heads and fill it with comparison and guilt. They, our leaders, are no strangers to our issues, our concerns, and our challenges and they have witnessed how damaging comparison is to our spirits and our eternal potential. On social media, I’ve seen high school friends start wonderfully successful businesses, purchase first homes, welcome first (and even second) babies, drive cute “mom cars”, sport perfectly shaped eyebrows, luscious eyelashes, and flawless locks, etcetera, etcetera, and I feel as though I’m 1,000 steps behind them. However, Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, encourages me during my pity-parties of comparison: “Please be content and enjoy the blessings you’ve already received.”
BOOM. Problems, be gone.
I finally have my eternal perspective. A perspective that allows me to value the blessings of marrying in the temple, graduating college, paying off my college and car loans, being a primary teacher, starting a writing career, running marathons, traveling to different cities and states (here we come Puerto Rico and New York!), and doing so all while giving all I can to God. As I give all I can to God and beware of the evils of comparison, I can devote myself to the spirit of holiness and happiness. As we magnify who we are, not what we do or what we have, we will become more like Christ than we ever believed we could during this mortal existence.
And just as my hot showers wash away my physical impurities, repentance and the blessing of eternal perspective washes away all the gunk that comes from comparison. May we all commit to giving all we can to God in this darkening world. He will make it known unto us our eternal potential and our ability to be like Him if we listen for His call to come unto Him. I know He lives. Please, love Him because He loves you.
Now it’s time for my hot morning shower. All my love,