God is Calling: Lesson 1

Have you had time to savor the first portion of Elder Holland’s talk yet?

If you are a bit confused about what I am talking about, may I direct you to my previous post where I introduced the talk, “Israel, Israel, God is Calling” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.  This talk packs a powerful punch of inspiration and I am grateful for the whisperings of the Spirit that have helped me ponder it and now write about it.

It’s time to savor another morsel.  Get your spiritual taste buds ready…

Creating Zion where we are

When we last left Elder Holland’s talk, he was about to share with us 3 Life Lessons that will help us create Zion where we are.  Elder Holland introduces each lesson with a story.  Today I will be focusing on story and lesson #1.

Story #1:  The Basketball Player


After hearing Elder Holland describe the treatment that this young basketball player and his family received, my heart hurt something fierce.  I am always sad when I hear of people being treated badly, but this story made me particularly sad because of the impression that the visiting coach received.  He was dumbfounded that people could treat one of “their own” in such a manner.

There are many lessons we could learn from this portion of the story, but let’s allow Elder Holland to share with us what happened next that led him to our Life Lesson #1.

Lesson #1:  Never “Check Your Religion at the Door”


Did you get the message Elder Holland was trying to get across?  I don’t think he could have said it any more clear than he did.



And why?  Why should we never “check our religion at the door?”  What is the harm in letting loose once in a while?  It’s not like we can’t just repent tomorrow, right?

Sadly, this is how many people feel and unfortunately they cannot see the harm that “letting loose” and “checking their religion” does–not only to their own spiritual well-being, but to the spiritual well-being of everyone around them.  Like it or not, people are always watching.  It’s the world in which we live.

“But,” you say, “I don’t care what people think of me.  It shouldn’t matter what others think of me.”  And you would be right–to an extent.  As humans we are terribly judgmental and often times those judgements are harsh and false.  However, we have to remember what kind of message we want to put out into the world and know that our words and our actions contribute greatly to that message.

One more thing I would like to interject here before moving on to some final words from Elder Holland–It always matters what God thinks of our words and our actions.  While it is true that He will always love us, no matter what we do, He simply cannot condone sinful behavior.  Furthermore, we cannot live with Him in our sins.  This is why we need our Savior’s atonement.  This is why we should always be mindful of our words and our actions. As we pay attention to the little details of our words and actions, we will be able to utilize Christ’s atonement when we make choices that are not in harmony with the Lord’s teachings and commandments.

Be a True Disciple


And with that, we have the perfect set up for Lesson #2.  I hope that you can take some time to ponder how you may be “checking your religion at the door” and not even realizing it.  I know that I have had the spirit gently direct me to situations in my own life in which I need to improve.  As we strive to be true disciples of Jesus Christ, let us always remember that it does, in fact, matter what our Savior and our Father in Heaven think of our words and actions.  Let us also always remember that they don’t expect perfection, but they do expect progression.


I grew up the oldest of 5 children in the blazing heat of Southern Utah. After high school and some college experience I met and married Mark Ogden and we are the parents of four children. I have owned and operated my own home-based preschool for more than a dozen years, and I consider myself an accidental author as well. When I am not in my minivan transporting children from one activity to the next, I enjoy playing the piano, blogging, speaking about my life’s experiences, and feeding my insatiable crafting disease.


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