A Lesson on Priorities

I put God first, so I go to church. In church I learn that God wants me to love my neighbor and provide for my family, so I spend the rest of the week working hard to earn a living, helping my neighbors and friends, and spending what free time I have left with my family.

Do I enjoy all this hard work? Not really, it's hard after all, but I know it's what God wants and because the first and greatest commandment is to "love the Lord they God", I do it as he wants me to show him my love threw my actions.

Then I learn that my neighbor lost his job months ago, and now does nothing but live off a free ticket from the government. I think of all the help I've given him over the recent months, and wonder why he doesn't do more to help himself, or even to help me with all the stuff I can't get done because I'm too busy helping everyone else.

All the hard work I do to provide for my family, and yet I could do nothing and let my neighbors and their taxes pay for it instead. They are supposed to help me anyway aren't they? So I start to slack off and stop doing as much for everyone else. I only do what little I have to at work to get my job done, and get annoyed when asked to do more.

As this goes on, I end up getting fired and now find myself at home doing nothing but living off the government. Suddenly I realize, with nothing to do my existence is worthless. I'm no longer happy, and I no longer have the respect of my family or neighbors. I wondered, "What can I do to gain back the respect and happiness I once had in my life?". Then I read Mosiah 27:4, "That they should let no pride nor haughtiness disturb their peace; that every man should esteem his neighbor as himself, laboring with their own hands for their support." and realized the error of my ways.

While this story is fictional, the truth is that a productive life is hard work, and anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you snake oil. Not only do I believe that life is hard work, but one of the most helpful and motivational believes I have is that life is supposed to be hard work. Without it we burden our neighbors, and never learn or grow to become better and closer to our ultimate goal. If you think your job is hard, just think about how hard God's job must be trying to bless all of his children, but only being able to after they have put in the hard work and effort on their end. If God gave us all what we wanted, we wouldn't be able to find true happiness and fulfillment in our lives, but would be as spoiled children.

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