Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Manly Man Training #3: Rise Up

A few years ago we had a man in our ward that was very musically inclined.  His wife was a beautiful singer and played the organ and he was a great singer as well.  They had both sang for one of the BYU choirs when they were students there.  He and the Bishop worked out that he would train the Priesthood to sing a hymn that we would sing in Sacrament meeting one Sunday.  So in Priesthood he started teaching us this hymn.  It was one I personally hadn't heard before, but as I learned it I really liked it.  It was a song that encouraged us as men to be better than we were.  Now you know the ladies were going to love this song when we sang it in Sacrament meeting.  The legacy of that song is that we have sang it many times now in various meetings including stake meetings and because of that friend who taught it to us we know it and can sing it with strength.  But more importantly it has helped to teach us to work on being better men and hopefully we have. 

Here is the song performed by The BYUI men's choir.

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and soul and mind and strength
To serve the King of Kings.

That first verse immediately grabs us and tells us what is needed.  Get rid of the lesser stuff and move on to the more important things of serving the King of Kings.  In our world as a whole, but particularly in our American society, Satan has had great success in directing us elsewhere and having us put our interest and time, "our heart and soul and mind and strength" in things that are not lasting.  

Elder Oaks started a classic talk (Good, Better, Best) in October 7, 2007 conference with these words of reminder.  "We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives."

So sometimes we have to put aside even good things to have time or rather in the process of prioritizing the things that are better than good.  Sometimes as men we tell ourselves that things are 'good' and so worth doing.  But in reality good things can equally be a distraction as bad or crude things.  That is not to raise bad things to a higher level but is rather to warn that anything can distract us from the critical or best things. 

Rise up, O men of God!
In one united throng
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

The song points out something that we like to forget or ignore as men, and of course when we ignore a truth it is always to our detriment.  Men often joke about women.  How they need other women as friends to feel good about things and to support each other.  Part of the meaning of these kind of comments is that as men can stand alone and we do not need help or support.  In truth men need that help and support in order to do the right things.  Oh we can stay in the "night of wrong" on our own without any help.  But to "rise up" we are greatly benefited by the help and example of other brethren that we love and trust in addition to the love and support of a great wife. 

Over the years I have noticed that there are few men that maintain strength in the gospel when they are not supported by their wife.  In particular I have noticed two.  Both men had wives who wrestled with major medical and psychological problems such that the women were not only not present at church with their husband but found it difficult to support his participation even in the home.  These men greatly benefited from the support of their quorums.  We as men need support as well as the ladies.

Rise up, O men of God!
Tread where his feet have trod
As brothers of the Son of Man
Rise up, O men of God!

Let us remember our relationship to the Savior and allow that relationship to motivate us to follow his example as we raise ourselves closer to his level of commitment as shown through our actions, thoughts and choices. 

1 comment:

  1. good stuff :) it'd be nice to capture the power of that hymn, or any other strong/motivating one, and carry it with you every day so that it wouldn't dwindle away or begin to dim through life's daily activities. i guess that's why we have to be refilling our spiritual cup so often :)

    p.s. i know mike read this last night as i was falling asleep and when i asked him this morning he said he enjoyed it :)


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