We have the potential for greatness.

The breeze washing over me, from where does it come?
The passing bumblebee, how does it hum?
The chasing birds, how do they fly?
And why is it blue—the heavenly sky?

There are trees and grass, but what makes them grow?
And what makes it rain and what makes it snow?
What makes a river and why does it run?
And how does it rise—the golden sun?

And why am I here, and why am I me?
Who am I really, and who should I be?
What is my purpose; what is my plan?
And how will I do all that I can?

And why does it matter, and why should I care?
And why should I even strive to prepare?
And why should I try and then try again?
To vanquish my weakness and overcome sin?

And though I admit I don’t always know why,
Something inside me persuades me to try.
And perhaps long after my mortal race
I’ll look back with clarity to this questioning place.

For then I will know about breezes and bees;
I’ll know about skies as blue as the seas.
I’ll know about rivers and grasses and snow,
And all things forever and ever I’ll know.

Then with supreme wisdom and knowledge I’ll nod,
For all things forever are known by a god.
‘Til then I will trust and try to be true
Until I see fully the eternal view.

It is early morning.  The sun has not yet made it over the mountain peak.  This is the last day of youth conference.  I am sitting alone in a camping chair by a cold camp fire.  All the youth are still asleep.  I am surrounded by nature—trees, grass, wildflowers, morning birds chasing and calling to each other, the gurgle of a nearby stream, the brightening blue sky.  I am having a spiritual experience. 

But it did not start there.  It started months ago when we were planning this youth conference.  We were in a committee meeting trying to decide on a theme.  We wanted to incorporate the theme of the year which was “ask” but we wanted to make it personal.  We were trying to think of what ask could be an acronym for.  We tossed around several ideas that just didn’t seem to fit.  Then someone said, “What about A.S.K. = Act, Seek, Know?”  There was no more discussion; it was perfect. 

So, back to me and my morning revelation.  As I am sitting there, I first notice the soft breeze blowing.  Where does it come from and what makes it blow?  I began looking around, and a thousand other questions come to mind.  Then it turned spiritual.  What is the purpose of life?  Why am I here right now, at this point in time?  Why am I with the youth, this morning?  Why do we do youth conference at all?  Why do we do anything in the church?  What is the point?  What is the goal?  All at once it dawned on me.  That is our theme!  A.S.K.  I was asking the questions.  And it is okay to have questions.  The important thing is what we do after the question.  And what do we do?  We act and seek so we can know.

Sometimes acting means we go somewhere and do something.  Sometimes acting means we set our question on a shelf, content for now to say, “I don’t know yet,” having faith to continue on in spite of the question.  Seeking means learning by study and also by faith.  Learning what science and the world has to say is important but not complete.  Seeking means we also turn to the Lord and realize there is also an equally important spiritual answer.  And as we ask, act, and seek it leads to knowledge.  Knowledge of things as they were, as they are, and as they will become.

So what knowledge did I come to know in my morning experience?  Why do we do what we do in the church?  Is it just to build better friendships?  No, although we hope friendships are built.  Is it just to foster testimonies?  No, although we hope testimonies grow.  Is it just to get people on missions or get to the temple?  No, although we hope missions and temple ordinances are completed.  Is it just so we can return to God and enjoy the Celestial kingdom?  No, although we hope we do.  What then, is left?  What is the end goal?  It is to become Kings and Queens, Priests and Priestesses, Gods and Goddesses for all eternity.  It is to fulfill God’s mission of our immortality AND eternal life.  As grand and glorious as it will be, it is not enough to simply return and be WITH God, the goal is to be LIKE God. 

And for one very brief moment, at a youth conference, sitting alone by a cold campfire in the early morning dawn, a tiny corner of the veil is pulled back and I catch, again, a glimpse of the eternal view.

Written: July 15, 2017

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