Staying Holy in Such an Unholy World

My life is a vast contrast from others my age. I’m in my second year of college, and I’m not partying on the weekends, testing my liver’s strength, or messing around with guys who don’t know my last name. Instead I’m trying to earn good grades and working part-time to avoid student debt. I am married to a man I saved myself for. I make a home with meals and constant effort into a clean house, despite always being a day behind. And I am trying so, so hard to feel holiness in such an unholy world. Many don’t agree with the life I live, but I chose it for a reason.

Today is Sunday, and they hold a special place in my heart. Sundays around here go a little like this. We get up at 8, get ready for church, I may or may not attempt to make breakfast, and we go to church at 9. We’re at a time in our lives where we take the jobs and the income we can get, and unfortunately we have to leave church a little early to get the hubby to his job by noon. We’re strong believers in the Sabbath Day and making it a family day, and this schedule has been so hard, but we’re grateful for the opportunity. I come home with the whole day to myself. This is a trial for me, because again, I grew up in a home that every family member was home on Sunday. We dedicated each Sunday to keep the Sabbath holy and to enriching our family relationships. I cherish those Sundays. I love my family and I love the Lord, Sundays have always been a happy day. Our schedules and situation currently “test” my happy day theory, since I spend Sundays alone and not with family. After Mr. Rooks leaves to work, I eat lunch and scroll through social media. By about 2, I’m feeling guilty and lazy and try to get something productive done – whether it be organizing a closet that bugged me all week or getting ahead on homework. Then since I can’t spend time with family, I try to spend time with the Lord. I will either read scriptures or play hymns, piano songs, or other uplifting music on Pandora (Usually the latter, I’m still working on perfecting my scripture study habit). I love that despite being physically alone, my mood is lifted so much feeling the spirit abide with me. It really puts the “holy” in my “holy sabbath day.” While worshipping through song, I will start thinking about what to make for dinner and start prepping. Pause.

That’s where I’m at today, but today is a little different. Earlier this afternoon, social media dragged my spirit down. Tomorrow is Halloween, so all of the Halloween parties were over the last 2 days. It hurt my heart to see much wayward behavior and to imagine how God feels seeing his children choose paths not of Him. For some reason so many take the idea of “dressing up” oppositely and “dress down” to hardly anything. Abundant alcohol and substance consumption baffles me as to why one would want to get so wasted and not have any recollection of the events. What kind of memories are those? I also came across a high school acquaintance today, pregnant out-of-wedlock, whose baby won’t have her daddy in her life, and several who are hurt and struggling but don’t know where to turn.

It breaks my heart to see so many stuck in tribulation crying out for someone to understand, someone who has gone through what they’re going through, and somebody with some real advice. Little do they know, there is One who went through it all, the exact situations and feelings, long before we were faced with them. He suffered through those trials so that we could get through them. When we feel like we can’t survive our pains, our guilt, our sorrow, why do we magically make it out of them – oftentimes coming out even stronger than before? Because the Savior of the world shed every tear and every ounce of blood from his human body so that we could. When your heart is troubled and you’re drowning in the unknown and hopelessness, remember that the One who understands, the One who has gone through it already, and the One with real advice…is standing on your front porch. You just have to open the door and let Him in. He’s there.

I wish more knew that, or if they do, that they didn’t take for granted that amazing blessing. Unfortunately, the devil has such a strong grip on many and gets to even more through temptation and the media. But today, after feeling down trodden from the filth I saw on social media myself, I decided I wasn’t going to let the devil get a grip on me. I was going to try to feel holy despite living in such an unholy world. I thought of the talk given by Thomas S Monson about being in the world, but not of the world. It’s so important that we don’t fall into the traps of temporary happiness. A majority of the activities of the world promises us pleasure, fun, or a “high.” But the Maker of the world promises us so much more. We have an eternity ahead of us, so may we always remember what really matters. May we prioritize the things of our lives on the things that matter outside of this temporary, mortal life. May we contemplate the things our Father has prepared for us, and may we prepare ourselves for them. And may we ever so focus on the things that have no end.

An excerpt from one of my favorite hymns, If You Could Hie to Kolob:

The works of God continue, and worlds and lives abound;

Improvement and progression have one eternal round.

There is no end to matter,

there is no end to space,

there is no end to spirit,

there is no end to race.

There is no end to virtue,

there is no end to might,

there is no end to wisdom,

there is no end to light.

There is no end to union,

there is no end to youth,

there is no end to priesthood,

there is no end to truth.

There is no end to glory,

there is no end to love,

there is no end to being,

there is no death above.

 

There is no end to glory,

there is no end to love,

there is no end to being,

there is no death above.”

 

 

At first I titled this post “How to Stay Holy in Such an Unholy World,” but truth is, I don’t have all the answers. I can’t tell you the perfect solution to getting out of a spiritual funk, feeling surround by the evils of the world. But I can promise you you’re not alone. There is good in the world, and we’ll endure this world, embracing the trials of humanity, together.

maker-of-the-universe

4 Comments

  1. Lori Kirkham

    I can’t believe I read this right after you wrote it, and came to it by way of Facebook, which as you know I almost never get on. Looked through all your posts. Luv them. But am most touched by this one. I knew your had a gift to express yourself in writing. But even that doesn’t come close to the gift this message is. I love how you expressed hope for all (I’m in that all category needing hope) through the Savior. And since I know you and that you have had your own trials in your young life, (and that you will continue to, as all God’s children do) I know how God has blessed you as you’ve taken those trials to him. I have some of your thoughts so many times also. How much is Heavenly Father in pain for witnessing his children’s choices to hurt each other? How hard for him when we don’t turn to him. And how much pain and sorrow we bring upon ourselves by those bad choices. How about trials that we don’t even ask for, hardships that aren’t even a consequence of our bad choices? Immediately this brings to mind the trial the Jon Schmidt family must endure now. Every sin gives pain and sorrow to both the sinner, and those he has sinned against. Then comes God’s answers: Ether 12:27 “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” and another in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” These scriptures and so many more give hope. Another is John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Being human we learn the hard way. I truly believe and have faith that God didn’t give his son in vain. If he had then the Heavens and the earth couldn’t contain all the tears that would come down from Heaven, from God himself. Because of the sacrifice of his Son, all the sorrow that is wrought upon the earth, which I imagine throughout the ages of time…is endless. (Sorry but another scripture came to my mind D&C 19:10 “For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore—
    11 Eternal punishment is God’s punishment. 12 Endless punishment is God’s punishment.) Actually I could add almost that whole section for it contains the whole gospel, commandments, sin to repent of, and of God’s punishment, Christ’s atonement for that sin, his payment, and his requirement of us to come unto him, for us to repent, and how we suffer as he did until we do repent, at the very least in that we are without his spirit as we sin. I have Faith in Christ, that in him all will be made right. I think all of this is probably a repeat of all you said in your blog. I love that you know this so young. I love how you followed his spirit that led you to be the Rookie’s Wife. I love you and the Rookie himself. Love, Mom

  2. Lizbeth Navarro Flores

    Wow thank you so much for sharing. I’m not one to be going out and drinking and smoking like most people my age and sometimes I’m looked down upon. Yes, I’ve made mistakes throughout my teenage years but who’s perfect? Now that I’m a senior I have opened my eyes to realize what really matters, but more importantly I’ve opened my heart to the Lord. I’ve distant myself from him so much and reading this made me realize that. I used to go to church services every Thursday and Sunday and now I barely even make time to pray. Thank you so much for this. I will definitely make it a habit again to make my relationship with God strong and everlasting. I’ve been with the same guy since my freshman year, and reading this made me think of our future and it’s an amazing feeling.

    • hanskk.306@gmail.com

      That’s so amazing to hear Lizbeth! I firmly believe in standing up for your beliefs even if it means standing alone. You sound like you are doing great with your priorities at such a young age, and I’m sure the Lord is so proud. 🙂 Thank you for reading!

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