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Self-image, Serendipity, Stewardship and Premortal Life – Richard Eyre

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Page 1Page 2Self-image, Serendipity, Stewardshipand Premortal Life– Richard EyreBlessings of BelievingIf we can truly and deeply believe in our own premortal life with God, twenty powerful and important blessings are ours:1. We can live within a longer-term framework, with broader goals and perspectives.2. We can make better decisions, basing them on the longest-term (lifetime) goal of returning to our eternalhome.3. We can accept illnesses, accidents, and crises as temporary challenges and opportunities for learning.4. We can have deeper faith that God, in His eternal perspective, is loving, wise, and fair rather thanarbitrary or capricious.5. We can see marriage (and our marriage partner) in a completely new, respectful, and eternal perspective.6. We can respect and understand our children much better and grasp why they are so different from us (andfrom their brothers or sisters). 7. We can prioritize and balance our lives more effectively, with more emphasis on what lasts longest – therelationships and self-worth that predate and postdate this world.8. We can have a paradigm of stewardship, which breeds appreciation and awareness, rather than a paradigmof ownership, which breeds either envy and jealousy or pride and conceit.9. We can hope more for spiritual guidance in the events of our lives and less for physical control over all ofthem.10. We can accept our dependence on God and interdependence with people rather than seekingindependence from both.11. We can have better, deeper reasons for day-to-day goodness and day-to-day joy.12. We can develop and feel a new and more real kind of gratitude, which enhances happiness regardless ofour circumstances.13. We can develop a unique combination of humility and confidence, with both stemming from our eternalrelationship to a loving and perfect Heavenly Father.14. We can learn to see our talents, gifts, and favorable circumstances not as privileges but as responsibilities– as opportunities and obligations to help others and serve the God who gave them all to us.15. We can love our spiritual brothers and sisters (everyone) more and eliminate prejudice, intolerance,nationalism, and other related poisons from our lives.16. We can find deeper appreciation for nature and for the beauty of the earth as literal gifts from God.17. We can learn our true relationship with God and thus pray more insightfully and appreciate theAtonement more knowledgeably.18. We can deal with questions of creation, realizing that understanding God’s motives is more important andmore possible than understanding His methods.19. We can view ourselves with greater respect and higher regard, knowing that our physical weaknesses andappetites can ultimately be overcome by our spiritual potential.20. We can look at the hereafter not as a vague or mythical place of eternal rest but as a continuing phase ofeternal progress.Principles of StewardshipStewardship, for me personally, and for my family, has become an “eternal perspective” way of looking ateverything – a way that has increased peace and enhanced joy. The word or the concept is like a lens. It turns things intoa new focus and causes me to see them in a completely different context, to see them as they really are, and sometimeseven to glimpse them as I feel God would wish them to be.The Apostle John admonished us to “know the truth” and promised that “the truth shall make you free” (John8:32). There is great freedom in the truth of stewardship. Once we mentally release ourselves from the burden, theinaccuracy, and the “prematurity” of ownership, we lighten and enlighten ourselves.For me, life is a question, and stewardship is a new answer, or at least a new way to grasp and pull together anduse the oldest eternal answers. Stewardship and ownership are not just two ways of dealing with material possessions. They are two alternateways of thinking about everything in life, from our talents to our opportunities to our children. Stewardship is a mind set(or heart set) that can free us of the cares of ownership and help us see our lives as I believe God would have us see them.Each person’s stewardship is unique. Each of us has separate and distinct foreordinations. Therefore, there is nostandard formula, no pat answer. But the very thought of stewardship can work within us, prompting prayer andinspiration, and giving us access to real answers from the real source.We come to this earth that our Father has made for us and receive gifts which are ours as stewardships but stillbelong to Him. He wants all good things to become ours eternally, and in this sense stewardship is not an opponent ofownership but a precursor to it and a preparation for it. But ownership in the worldly context of “I earned it, I deserve it,it’s mine” is the vehicle of pride and the enemy of stewardship. The concept of ownership forgets both the source and thenature of our gifts. The term stewardship is the accurate acknowledgment of where all came from and whose all is.Principles of SerendipityAs we begin the twenty-first century, we have all kinds of new pressures, new complexities, new challenges. Weplay the faster game of life by new and sometimes blurred rules. Options, opportunities, and obstacles exist in incrediblevariety! The old tools of time management and the old approaches of positive mental attitude may not work as well asthey used to. Trying to control, or manipulate, or plan everything just sets us up for frustration. There’s too much goingon. We miss too much if all we see is our list. We kid ourselves if we think we know enough to plan everything. Weforget our pre-mortal origins. To enjoy and succeed in this new world we need perspective, and we need right-brainreceptiveness as well as left-brain logic. For what’s here now, and for what’s coming, we need new attitudes, newapproaches, and new answers.Sometimes the answers for the future lie in the discoveries of the past. Two centuries ago, an English author,Horace Walpole, read a Persian fable written fourteen centuries earlier. The fable was called The Three Princes ofSerendip and told the story of three brothers whose alertness and sagacity allowed them to consistently discover thingsthat were far better than what they had been seeking. Walpole coined the word “serendipity”


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