Friday, May 31, 2013

BRAGGING RIGHTS

I am going to take just a moment and brag about this adorable boy 
who I am honored to call my little brother. 



In less than a month this cutest  boy will be heading to the MTC in preparation to serve his LDS mission in Tampico Mexico.  I will probably cry my eyes out every day that he is gone because I will miss him so much but I couldn't be more proud of him. 

A few nights ago at the East High Senior Awards Ceremony my brother was awarded the "Outstanding and Compassionate Service to Others Award"  along with $2,500 from an anonymous donor. As the principle was describing the "young man" who would win the award, before we knew it was my brother, he even got quite choked up talking about him. Anyone who knows Joseph wouldn't be surprised that he won this award. He is by far one of the kindest, most considerate people I have ever known. 

Luckily for me, I get to be his big sister. 


During this awards ceremony there were many impressive accomplishments acknowledged. Kids who were incredible athletes while still maintaining a 4.0. Other students were awarded for outstanding academic performance that even made my jaw drop. As I sat there listening to the awards and also being overly proud of my brother a thought occurred to me... 

In the next life, what if there was an awards ceremony? I know that might sound a little crazy but bear with me.  At this awards ceremony there were many different types of awards. There were awards that were very showy and even predictable.  Many of the awards went to outstanding athletes who deserved the awards, no questions asked. Everyone knew they were the star of the team. Other awards, like the one presented to my brother, are more quietly deserved.  

What is interesting to me, is that during all my brother's high school career (and even before that) he went about being kind to others with no reward in sight or any large recognition. He was never in the paper for being an "outstanding friend".  However, in my mind, his accomplishments far outreach those of worldly praise. Sure, he was a great athlete and got good grades, but his character is far more impressive.  In the long run it won't matter if my brother was the star of the basketball team or if he got a 4.0. What will matter is how he treated others, and in my mind, he has done an exceptional job of that. 


In 3 Nephi chapter 13 it talks about "serving in secret". Those who do good for the praise of men already have their reward. They are getting their recognition in this life. Those who serve in secret without the intent of recognition or the praise of man will be rewarded openly. 

 vs. That thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly.


If after this life we are awarded for our performance here, what awards would you want to receive? 
What are you doing today, that will lead you to receiving that "award" later?  Are you more concerned about the praise of man than you are the praise of God? Truly contemplate these questions and asses your priorities. Often the blessings of doing what is right aren't very obvious or showy. They might not even come in this life. It is more important for us to do what is right simply because it is right than to do it in hopes of being recognized for it. We only have one life and it is 
vital that we spend our days preparing for what is most important.