I was blessed to serve a full-time mission in Munich, Germany. One of the best things about my mission was my mission president and his wife, Wayne and Sharon Boam. I am surely a better person because of what I learned from them.
At one of our missionary conferences, President Boam addressed us on the topic of “Sacrifice”. Apparently several missionaries were going to some extreme measures in an effort to sacrifice for the Lord. They were doing things like excessive fasting or sleeping on the floor. President Boam informed us that these practices could harm us and they are not the type of sacrifice the Lord requires of us. Instead, he asked us to take stock of our lives and to figure out what things we could sacrifice to grow closer to the Lord. We should sacrifice things like our fear, pride, time, jealousness, slothfullness, disobedience etc. This has always stuck with me, and has helped me grow closer to the Lord as I’ve tried to rid my life of these negative things.
I love the story in Matthew 19: 16-30. A young man asks the Savior what he needs to do to have eternal life. In reply, the Savior lists the commandments and the man replies that he has always kept the commandments. Then Jesus Christ tells him to sell everything he has and give it to the poor and then follow Him. Unable to do this, the man sadly walks away. Jesus replies, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God”.
When I was younger, I thought that this only applied to people of a higher tax bracket and therefore felt exempt. Lately, I have realized that a man’s “camel” doesn’t have to only be monetary possesions. It is whatever thing that prevents us from becoming more like the Savior. I will discuss with the girls what their “camels” are and how we can overcome them. Maybe there's a tv show that's entertaining, but trashy or an outfit that's cute but not quite modest. Maybe there's someone we really can't stand and its fun to sit around and gossip about her. Getting rid of camels will surely be a lifelong job, and we shouldn’t get discouraged.
One of my very favorite scriptures is also found in Matthew 19: 26. The disciples are concerned that no one will be able to be saved, when the Savior replies, “With God all things are possible”. Giving up camels can be hard, but not impossible with God’s help and the rewards are pretty amazing. By getting rid of camels we will, "Receive an hundredfuld and shall inherit everlasting life (Matt 19:30).To make the handout, I just printed out the quote on cream cardstock. I ripped the edges, b/c I liked the look. I mounted it on a middle eastern looking piece of cardstock. I also add a camel that cut out w/ my Cricut Paper Doll Dress up. There's also one on the Animal Kingdom cartridge, but I didn't think it was as cute. I'm sure you could also find a camel on clip art.
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