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Running Header LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED Let Us Be Anxiously Engaged Madison Olsen BYU Idaho LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED Abstract QKHUSDSHUHWVHQLRXVOQJDJHGDGLVRQOVHQHSORUHVZKDWLWPHDQVWR be anxious

She also provides ways to be anxiously engaged by incorporating Susan 57361573477DQQHU57526V5734757523HDUQLQJ57347E57347HDUW5735957524573477KRPDV5734757361573473OXPPHU57526V5734757523LDJQRVLQJ57347DQG573477UHDWLQJ57347WKH573472SKHOLD 6QGURPH57359575

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Running Header LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED Let Us Be Anxiously Engaged Madison Olsen BYU Idaho LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED Abstract QKHUSDSHUHWVHQLRXVOQJDJHGDGLVRQOVHQHSORUHVZKDWLWPHDQVWR be anxious






Presentation on theme: "Running Header LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED Let Us Be Anxiously Engaged Madison Olsen BYU Idaho LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED Abstract QKHUSDSHUHWVHQLRXVOQJDJHGDGLVRQOVHQHSORUHVZKDWLWPHDQVWR be anxious"— Presentation transcript:

Running Header: LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED 1 Let Us Be Anxiously Engaged Madison Olsen BYU - Idaho LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED 2 Abstract In her paper, “Let Us Be Anxiously Engaged,” Madison Olsen explores what it means to be anxiously engaged. She also provides ways to be anxiously engaged by incorporating Susan W. Tanner’s “Learning by Heart,” Thomas G. Plummer’s “Diagnosing and Treating the Ophelia Syndrome,” Hugh Nibley’s “Zeal without Knowledge , ” and Elder M. Russell Ballard’s “Bein g Anxiously Engaged.” She also provides instruction from the Lord derived from the scriptures to help support her claim for the need of being anxiously engaged. First, Olsen provides a personal example of being anxiously engaged, but asserts one must care fully maintain a balance so as not to become overwhelmed or to neglect family life. She then defines what it means to be anxiously engaged and what one can do to become active in aiding others. Next, she describes that one can become a true disciple of Chr ist by having an active heart, mind, and soul. Olsen then concludes that by being anxiously engaged rather than simply being busy, one has become a disciple of Christ. LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED 3 Let Us be Anxiously Engaged Over the years I have dealt with extreme anxiety. Be cause of this, I have found it overwhelming and difficult to go out of my way and help others — whether they are family, friends, or strangers. It wasn’t until I received my Patriarchal Blessing that I was instructed to turn that anxiety into something produ ctive: I am to become anxiously engaged. According to Merriam - Webster’s Dictionary, “anxious” can either be “characterized by extreme uneasiness of mind,” or “ardently wishing to learn.” It is vital that we be zealous to learn as well as earnest to teach. By this we are actively and eagerly engaged in our lives. But what does it mean to be anxiously engaged? And how can one keep a balance without becoming overwhelmed? Both sides of the spectrum can cause a sense of exhaustion and angst — whether it be working strenuously to help others or not working at all. I have found there is a fine line between being anxious and being anxiously engaged. Many people participate in church callings, but they see it as an obligation or a duty rather than a blessing or an act of love. And then there are others who throw their entire selves into their calling in the Church, and those at home are somewhat left behind and neglected. It is crucially important to keep balance in our lives, and yet it is one of the most difficult th ings to do. We are told that a sacrifice is giving up something good for something better. Nevertheless , we must be careful that we do not sacrifice our own families. I have seen some of this in my own family. My father is a great man, but every so often — well, very often — he spreads himself too thin: between his calling in the Stake Presidency and his jobs as Administrator at Juvenile Justice and a psychology professor at ISU , the exhaustion and stress frequently become s too much. He then comes home to my younger LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED 4 siblings who always want to play with him. He is aware that his patience and his time are thin, and yet he still continues to make a conscientious effort to engage and play with my siblings. Because of this, he has managed to create a balance in hi s life between work, c hurch, and family, though it has not always gone smoothly. It is easy to become overwhelmed when doing good works. It is difficult to know where to draw the line between too much, even overzealous, and the bare minimum, or not enough . We can do the work of the Lord and keep an active eye out for opportunities that He presents us with, but we must also remember we cannot always fix, help, or change everything in the world. The work of one man is not enough. This is why it is crucial we lead as examples. Thus, through committees and organized leadership, the work of one turns into the work of many. We are His hands. We spread His work, even in our simple daily activities if we keep His countenance about us. We are counseled in D&C 58:27 to “be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many thing s of [our] own free will, and to bring to pass much rig hteousness.” This does not mean only in the Church, but also in our lives outside of church. Again, we, as Latter - Day Saints, must lead by exa mple. It is essential to be avid in showing our goodness of heart, performing acts of His love and passing that love forward to His other children — especially those who do not yet have the gospel in their lives. It is challenging to discern what exactly bei ng anxiously engaged entails. It is challenging to know whether or not we are doing enough — to know exactly what to do to help others in certain circumstances . However, the Lord tells His children in D octrine and Covenants sections six and nine what to do in these situations: “…if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me with your heart , that you might know concerning the truth of these things. Did I not speak peace to your mind con cerning this matter?” (Section 6: 22, 23; LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED 5 italics added). And, “But, behold, I say unto you that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within in you; therefore, y ou shall feel that this is right” ( S ection 9:8). If we seek His guidance, we will have a calmness of mind and peace of heart. He will direct us in the direction of others so we can carry out His plan and continue His discipleship. Yet, somet imes we must go out on our own and trust ourselves that we know what is right, that we know what to do to lighten another’s load. These scriptures lead directly to Susan Tanner’s point of learning by heart. Tanner counsels we study out in our minds what we must learn in our hearts. Once we have committed what we have learned to our hearts, to our very souls, we have become more in tune with the Spirit, the Comforter. We can then be led by his gentle hand to assist and support others who are in need. Tan ner asserts that it is essential to learn by heart and apply that knowledge in life, using it to further the Lord’s plan. To fully follow the path of Christ, it is required that we study out our actions in our minds and in our hearts. This provides for gre ater insights which allows a truer interpretation of the guidance of the Lord and how we can integrate our blessings into our lives — specifically Patriarchal Blessings. As Tanner says, “I like the phrase ‘learning by heart.’ In contrast to ‘learning by rote ,’ to learn by heart is to commit things to memory so deeply and richly that they sink deep into the soul… This type of learning by heart prepares our minds and hearts for revelation and witnessing from the Holy Ghost. Joseph Fielding Smith said, ‘Through the Holy Ghost the truth is woven into the very fibre and sinews of the body so that it cannot be forgotten’ ” ( qtd. In Tanner’s “Learning by Heart , 2008/2012, pp. 496 - 497). Striving for true discipleship replaces the pressure and demand of duty to God, to something that is more in tune with the Spirit, to wanting to serve others, for helping our fellow men out of love. With the Holy Ghost woven into our souls and our very bodies, it is easier to follow and keep along the path of LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED 6 service. However, our chall enge or journey is still to find the balance of our life and our roles in life, creating a state of simply being versus a state of being anxious — by turning that anxiety into anxiousness to do the will of the Lord, learning by mind and heart and putting tha t knowledge into action. When we assist others because we want to, rather than because we feel we have to, we find that it is easier to care for them. We find we have more time to nourish and lift those in need. Just as Thomas G. Plummer provided six tre atments to avoiding the Ophelia Syndrome , we can apply those same six treatments in deciding how to be anxiously engaged. They are not necessarily instructions so much as they are guidelines, or even warnings of what we must do in order to be a disciple of the Lord. Plummer advises his readers t o “seek out and learn from great teachers; dare to know and trust yourself; learn to live with uncertainty; practice dialectical thinking; foster idle thinking; plan to step out of bounds” (2008/2012, pp. 440 - 445). While the fifth treatment suggestion may not necessarily apply, the others are still valid in becoming anxiously engaged. It is extremely beneficial to learn from great teachers and to share our knowledge we have gleaned with others. By practicing dialectical thinking, we think in alternatives, or opposites (Plummer, p. 444). Try to see what is like to be in the other person’s place. Things may start out uncomfortable when helping others, thus the stepping out of bounds and living with uncertainty. Also, one must learn trust him - or herself. The Lord counsels us with this same advice. He has presented and blessed this world with the gift of agency. It is critical that our agency is utilized effectively rather than simply leaning on the Lord for every solution and answer. We must study the answer o ut in our own mind and seek for the Lord’s guidance and approval. While Plummer’s “Diagnosing and Treating the Ophelia Syndrome” refers to more of an academic sense, his notions can still be applied spiritually. Plummer suggests that as we LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED 7 come to know our selves, we gain confidence in ourselves and in our skills (p. 443). He also says, “…you must also learn to play your hunches, to follow your intuition through” (p.443). Because we are the only ones who know exactly what is going on in our minds and in our hearts, then we are the ones we must rely on to follow through with what we think and feel (Plummer, p.443). If we seek the answers for ourselves and then ask the Lord if he approves, then we have achieved correctly using agency. Then we have activated our minds as well as our hearts. Hugh Nibley states “our search for knowledge should be ceaseless, which means that it is open - ended, never resting on laurels, degrees, or past achievements” (2008/2012, p. 377). If we continue to learn, our minds are engaged; if we integrate what our mind knows with our heart, even folding it deep into our soul, then our hearts are engaged; if we then take what our mind, our heart, our very soul knows and apply that to our actions and use it to edify or aid others, then we hav e become anxiously engaged. Similar to Colossians 3:23 - 24 which councils, “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ,” Elder M. Russell Ballard teaches These simple, daily acts of service may not seem like much in and of themselves, but when considered collectively they become just like the one - twelfth teaspoon of honey contributed by a single bee to the hive. There is power in ou r love for God and for His children, and when that love is tangibly manifest in millions of acts of Christian kindness, it will sweeten and nourish the world with the life - sustaining nectar of faith, hope, and charity. (2012) Elder Ballard informs us that being anxiously engaged is not necessarily as complicated as so many people like to think . It is actually quite simple, though the actions may be more LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED 8 difficult to perform. It can be difficult to help others; it is difficult to know how se rvices will be re ceived. I t is also frustrating to know whether or not anyone notices your good actions, and sometimes you are left wondering why even bother, wondering if you even make a difference. Just as the bee’s one - twelfth teaspoon of honey to the hive may seem insi gnificant, each contribution “is vital to the life of the hive. The bees depend on each other. Work that would be overwhelming for a few bees to do becomes lighter because all of the bees faithfully do their part” (Ballard). God notices our own seemingly insignificant contributions, and others notice too, though we may not see their acknowledgment of our actions . By being His disciples, performing acts of His love, sharing His glorious gospel, and interacting with our families, we have become anxiously eng aged and progressed on our journey to salvation. Elder Ballard eloquently and simply says, We are to love God and to love and care for our neighbors as ourselves. Imagine what good we can do in the world if we all join together, united as followers of Chr ist, anxiously and busily responding to the needs of others and serving those around us — our families, our friends, our neighbors, our fellow citizens. (2012) None theless, it is important to keep in mind that being “busy” does not necessarily mean we are be ing spiritual. Do not let life become a “quick successions of busy nothings” (Austen, 1814). Rather, become anxiously engaged in good works, and balance your time wisely between school, work, church, and family. While this is easier said than done, it is i ndispensable that we strive to become engaged with balance and peace in order to become active in searching for opportunities to share the pure love of Christ. Though it is not necessarily second - nature to actively help others, it is essential in being a d isciple of Christ. It is important to diligently search for those opportunities to aid others and spread Christ’s truth, but also take time to focus on LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED 9 yourself, your purpose , and your family. Enjoy life and see every day as a gift. Contribute to that gift . Just as the honey bee contributes to the hive, every contribution you make adds to the greater whole of the life God has so graciously given us. Once we have replaced the “ must serve” to the “ want to serve,” we can leave behind the angst, the exhaustion and find we have more peace and balance in our lives. Even by simply not being ashamed to show our discipleship of Christ, we have led by example, and in turn have contributed to His plan. Though at times it may be overwhelming to attempt to see the bigger picture, things may appear daunting, pray to the Lord in your heart and He will soothe your mind. LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED 10 References anxious. In Merriam - Webster.com. Retrieved March 2, 2013, from http://www.merriam webster.com/dictionary/anxious. Austen, Jane. (1814). Mansfield park . (Vol. I, p. 88). Michigan: Edwards Brothers, Inc. Ballard, M. R. (2012, October). Be anxiously engaged . Retrieved from http://www.lds.org/gener al - conference/2012/10/be - anxiously - engaged?lang=eng Lee, R.E. (2013 January 6). Patriarchal Blessing given to Madison Olsen. Pocatello, ID: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter - Day Saints. Nibley, Hugh. (1978 /2012). Zeal without knowledge. In R. Seamons (Ed). The way of wisdom. (pp. 373 - 384). Rexburg, ID: BYU - Idaho. Retrieved from http://ilearn.byui.edu . Plummer, Thomas G. (2008/2012). Diagnosing and treating the Ophelia syndrome. In R. Seamons (Ed). The way of wisdom. (pp. 438 - 447). Rexburg, ID: BYU - Idaho. Retrieved from http://ilearn.byui.edu . Tanner, Susan. (2004 /2012). Learning by heart. In R. Seamons (Ed). The way of wisdom. (pp. 496 - 500). Rexburg, ID: BYU - Idaho. Retrieved from http://ilearn.byui.edu . LET US BE ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED 11