Keep the Change
Becky Craven said, “Imagine someone going to a market to purchase an item. If she pays the cashier more than the item is worth, the cashier will give her change.”
Craven likened this to Christ giving us so much, “the heavens, the earth . . . all the beauty we enjoy . . . His loving Atonement,” and “[redemption] from sin and death.” So, what can we give in return? Change—our change.
This change can be “a change of thought, a change in habit, or a change in the direction we are headed.” He asks us for a change of heart for our benefit, not His. He invites us to keep the change.
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:26 KJV
Change Leads to Action—Not Perfection
This call to change doesn’t immediately lead to perfection, but it can immediately lead to action. We have the power to change things in our lives immediately. We can decide to run our businesses differently or treat our associates better right away. These actions lead us to be better, but it is something that we need to continually work at in our lives. When we combine our efforts with the Savior’s ability to change us, we can become new creatures.
“Change does not necessarily assure progress, but progress implacably requires change.” – Henry Steele Commager, American historian
Enduring to the End Means Changing to the End
Craven continued, saying, “When I was younger, I visualized myself walking along an upward, vertical path toward my goal of eternal life. Each time I did or said something wrong, I felt myself sliding down the path, only to start my journey all over again. It was like landing on that one square in the children’s game Chutes and Ladders that slides you down from the top of the board back to the beginning of the game! It was discouraging!”
As she started to understand change, she found she could apply it daily in her life, giving her hope. If we continually apply this principle of change, we can endure to the end. Enduring to the end means changing to the end. Craven now understands that she isn’t starting over with each failed attempt, but with each try, she is continuing her process of change.
We must intentionally seek change. “Our daily choices will either help or hinder our progress. Small but steady, deliberate changes will help us improve. Do not become discouraged. Change is a lifelong process,” Craven said.
Help from Others
Craven said, “trusted family members, leaders, and friends can be helpful in our efforts to change. When I was eight years old, my older brother, Lee, and I would spend time with our friends playing in the branches of a neighborhood tree. We loved being together in the fellowship of our friends in the shade of that tree. One day, Lee fell out of the tree and broke his arm. Having a broken arm made it hard for him to climb the tree by himself. But life in the tree just wasn’t the same without him there. So some of us steadied him from behind while others pulled on his good arm, and without too much effort, Lee was back in the tree. His arm was still broken, but he was with us again enjoying our friendship as he healed.”
We may know those who have fallen out of the tree, but we can be the ones to help them back up and urge them to be where they are supposed to. “Can we gently tug a little here and hoist up a little there to help them heal while they enjoy our friendship?” In addition, we may be the ones who’ve fallen out of the tree. If this is the case, we shouldn’t be afraid to accept or ask for help. We have people in our lives who are ready and willing to help us.
“The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” – Gordon B. Hinckley
“You haven’t changed at all!”
Craven also said, “I occasionally run into friends whom I haven’t seen for many years. Sometimes they say, ‘You haven’t changed at all!’ Each time I hear that, I cringe a little, because I hope I have changed over the years. I hope I have changed since yesterday! I hope I am a little kinder, less judgmental, and more compassionate. I hope I am quicker to respond to the needs of others, and I hope I am just a little bit more patient.”
Similarly, we should hope that our businesses change over the years. We should strive to continually learn how to improve them, learning how to better help our customers and treat our employees.
Don’t Wait to Change
Craven loves hiking in the mountains near her home. She says, “Often, I get a little rock in my shoe as I walk along the trail. Eventually, I stop and shake out my shoe. But it astounds me how long I allow myself to hike in pain before I stop and rid myself of the irritant.”
As we make our way through life we might pick up little rocks in the forms of bad habits, mistakes, or bad attitudes. “The quicker we shake them from our lives, the more joyful our mortal journey will be.”
Maintaining change takes effort. Craven cannot imagine stopping along the trail to put the annoying and painful rock she’d just removed back in her shoe. She says, “I would not want to do that any more than a beautiful butterfly would choose to return to her cocoon.”
“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” – Henri Bergson
Here are a few of my key takeaways from this episode:
1. We have so much that we are blessed with; how can we give back? With our change.
2. Change requires action.
3. Changing and becoming a better person is a lifelong process.
4. Not only should we help others when they fall off track, but we also shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when we need it.
5. Let us hope over the years we grow a little kinder, less judgmental, more compassionate, quicker to respond to the needs of others, and more patient.
6. Our bad habits, mistakes, and bad attitudes can be like rocks in our shoe. If we remove them, we can more easily continue on our journey.
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