So something that my companion and I have been talking about a lot especially as we get closer to this Christmas season is that the easiest way to get closer to Christ is to do the trifecta of all commitments: Pray, Study the Scriptures, and attend church. I thought about Golf, how in golf there are three things that if mastered will make you a so much better golfer: the long game, the short game, and putting. So I decided for Hole 8 I would relate the two sets. So we will start by looking at the long game, prayer.
In golf, the long game is where the most strokes are used normally because you have 400+ yards to the green. So this is where practicing your drive will help you more than anything. The drive is a very different swing and so it is the toughest. Sometimes it is also the toughest to pray. Prayer seems like such a simple act, but when applied it can be very difficult. The Bible Dictionary says this about prayer, "As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are his children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship." So it is not as hard as we think!!! God wants us to pray to Him. He loves us and will answer us!
The short game is the strokes that happen within about 100 yards of the hole. If perfected, it can give any golfer's game a big boost. The Sabbath day is that boost in our lives. The Lord commanded that we honor His day and keep it holy. By going to church on Sunday and remembering the Lord on His day, you are doing that, and because of it you can expect to have your spiritual life recharged to help you "more fully keep yourself unspotted from the world" in the upcoming week(D&C 59:9).
Then you have putting. A good putter is a good golfer. But it takes repetition to master this element of the game. Just like that, the scriptures are sometimes tough to understand because the lingo is a little different or you don't quite get the background of what's being said. But, just like learning how to aim and adjust to hills on the putting green, so also you must learn by repetition the background and context of the scriptures. The best way to do this is to do it everyday. Consistency and prayer, inviting the Spirit into your study, will build more bridges in your understanding of the gospel than anything else.
Using this trifecta to a happy life, you will find yourself closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ than you ever have before. You can truly say as was said of the Nephites of Old, "there could not be a ehappier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God" (4 Nephi 1:16).
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!! MAY YOU BE HAPPIER THIS HOLIDAY SEASON AS YOU APPLY THESE THINGS!!!