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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Parable of the Pencil

My colleague recently visited the Officers Training School for the Marines in Quantico. When he was there, he watched marines being trained in martial arts. At the end of their training, the head instructor, a retired lieutenant colonel and third degree black belt, shared this parable as his final words of inspiration to his marines. 

He told them that there are 5 things you need to know before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget them, and you will do great things.

First, you will be able to do great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held by someone higher than you. 

Second, it is okay to experience painful sharpening from time to time.

Third, the most important part of you will always be what's on the inside. Be men and women of honor, relying on your inner core values and morals. 

Fourth, you will make mistakes. Everyone does. That is why pencils have an eraser.

Fifth, make your mark. Make a difference wherever you go. 

While some of you have heard this parable before, I thought it was an excellent analogy of the Plan of Salvation. 

First, in the Plan of Salvation we know that our Father in Heaven has the omicience to know what is best for us. 

Second, like the first, we may not see the importance of the trials of our faith now, but when looking back in retrospect, we often smile at the ways we've grown. 

Third, as children of a divine creator, we know that we have worth and meaning and that our character is more important than the way we may appear. 

Fourth, because of our fallen state, we sin and make mistakes, but the Atonement enables us to erase the past and seek perfection. 

Fifth, wherever we go we represent ourselves, our families, our faith, our university, and many other people, places, and organizations. We better the world around us and try to represent the best of ourselves. 

I thought this was a neat inspirational message today, and wanted to share. Here's to being held, sharpened, erasing, and leaving our marks.


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