My study of the scriptures has had a profound effect on my life. As I have studied, I have grown closer to God and found answers to real challenges in my life. This blog is a scripture journal that records insights I have discovered in the past and continue to gain as I search, ponder, and pray.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

It's a Long, Long Haul; Be Diligent: Doctrine and Covenants 10:4

Will I ever get it done? I think I want to give up.

I don't know if you've ever had those thoughts in the middle of a huge goal or project, but I certainly have. In February 2020 I set a goal. Write a book--my first one ever--and pitch it to an agent. End date: May 15, 2020. 

Having never written a first draft let alone a polished book, I had a na├»ve belief I could do it all in a little over three months. 

May 15 came and went. June came and went. In July I evaluated my purpose and changed my approach. I started over. August, September, October all came and went. In November I completed the first draft. Wahoo. Look out world, here comes the next best seller.

Then I started the edits. November passed. I took December off for Christmas and forged full steam ahead for the next two months. In the first week of March, I sent a second draft off for beta readers. Over 13 months, I started, stopped, revised, battled discouragement, and floated on spiritual highs. 

In January and February I wanted to quit. It felt like the project would never, ever, ever end. Fortunately for me, Joseph Smith had a similar struggles publishing "his" book.

Book of Mormon Manuscript

Joseph received the Golden Plates from Moroni in September 1827. Two and a half years went by. Joseph faced persecution. He caved to peer pressure and lost the ability to translate. He had to work the land to provide for a family. He started and stopped. He learned. He grew. He accomplished. In March 1830, the Book of Mormon was published. 

During Joseph's long journey, he received several revelations related to translating and publishing the Book of Mormon. Many of them contained the words diligent. "Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end" (D&C 10:4 italics added). 

I received courage to continue on my journey by reading the scriptures that encouraged Joseph Smith. Diligence opens the way for Heavenly Father to bless us. President Russell M. Nelson said, "the Lord loves effort, because effort brings rewards that can’t come without it." Keep working, keep trying, keep enduring. Victory and lory come from "diligence, faithfulness, and prayer of faith" (D&C 103:36).

Now, one year later, my goal is nearing completion. The hard road I traversed to finish it, gives me courage for another long, hard goal in a completely different area. I did it once, and I can do it again. Bit by bit, goal after goal, we will grow to be more like our Heavenly Father. 

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