Come, Let Us Anew (Hymn 217)

Come, let us anew, our journey pursue,
Roll round with the year and never stand still till the Master appear.
His adorable will let us gladly fulfill,
and our talents improve by the patience of hope and the labor of love.

Our life as a dream, our time as a stream
glide swiftly away, and the fugitive moment refuses to stay;
For the arrow is flown and the moments are gone.
The millennial year presses on to our view, and eternity ?s here.

Oh, that each in the day of His coming may say,
I have fought my way thru; I have finished the work thou didst give me to do. ?
Oh, that each from his Lord may receive the glad word:
Well and faithfully done; Enter into my joy and sit down on my throne. ?

(Text by Charles Wesley)

This is a hymn that is often sung at this time of year, and it ?s one of my favorites. One morning years ago, I woke up with the tune in my head. I knew it was a hymn but I could not think of which one it was, and I sat at the piano and played through all of the hymns I wasn ?t familiar with until I found it. At the time, I wondered why that tune was in my head when it ?s a not a hymn that is often sung, and as I read the words, I felt like the answer for me was because these words hold a message that I need to give heed to.

Since that time, at least at the beginning of every new year I ?ve tried to contemplate what in my life needs to change. How can I better spend my time? How can I improve relationships with those I love? How do I be a better mom ? a better wife ? a better person? What can I do to grow closer to Heavenly Father this year?

To be honest, this has been kind of a painful process for me this year. Most years, my goals are lose weight ? or read my scriptures ? or pray daily ?. But this year, the spirit has been telling me that there are things that need changing in my life which are deeper than that. I feel that for me this is a critical year, where I either take the opportunities before me and improve myself ? or let them pass me by and stay the same old person stuck in a rut. While I think sometimes we as LDS women expect too much of ourselves, I also believe that where much is given, much is required. I realize that I have been given a lot, and that I need to do something more with it.

Last school year, I attended my daughter ?s Suzuki violin lessons with her at her elementary school. Her lesson was at 1:00 p.m., ending at 1:30, and as I would come out of the lesson I would see cars lined up to pick up children at the end of the day. Now, this would not be so surprising had it been that school was dismissed at 1:45 or even 2:00, but our dismissal is at 3:30! Same people every week, lined up two hours before school ends. I was honestly flabbergasted, especially after substituting at the school one day and being assigned duty at the pick up ramp ? and finding that the whole process to get every child in their parent ?s car only takes about 15 minutes! Some were waiting 2 hours or more to be first in line, while those who came right at 3:30 were out of the parking lot only a few minutes later than those who had waited so long.

This was a lesson to me. Each week I would walk by and try to see what people were doing while they waited. One lady who was always the first one in line was always either reading or sleeping. Another one was often doing knitting. I couldn ?t help but wonder what good they might do if they would just park their car and go in and help in their child ?s class during that time instead. Or even just stay at home and pursue something worthwhile? Not that reading, sleeping, or knitting aren ?t worthwhile endeavors, but sometimes I reflect on Elder Oak ?s recent conference talk and wonder is this the best thing to do with the time? Is there a better way? While you are not doing anything bad while sitting in your car, are you doing anything good? Good, better, best. It made me think about how I use my time.

Don ?t get me wrong, I definitely have plenty of wasted time every day, mostly on the internet. This is why re-prioritizing at the beginning of this year has been eye-opening and difficult for me. I ?ve realized all of the hours I ?ve let pass without really contributing anything, or improving myself, or serving another person. It ?s not that I ?ve been doing bad, I just haven ?t necessarily been doing good ? or at least not as much good as I ?m capable of. I ?m resolving to do better.

Today we had a wonderful stake conference broadcast from Salt Lake City to the Gulf Coast stakes. Elder Holland ?s talk especially touched me, as I was contemplating writing this article this afternoon and being kind of hard on myself as I realized all of the many ways I am falling short. He spoke of forgiveness. More than anything, he spoke of forgiving ourselves ? for things we ?ve done, or things we haven ?t done, or things we know we could be better at. Resolve to do better and forgive yourself and move on. Forgive others their shortcomings as well. Take this opportunity at the beginning of the year to resolve the things in your life that aren ?t right, forgive yourself and others, and try just a little bit harder this year. That is the message I took from his talk today, and it is one I needed to hear as I consider, Come, let us anew. ?