Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Letter to Yoda

Dearest Yoda,

I may not be the only one who doesn't
think of you like this...
How are you doing? It has been a long time since I have seen you last. In fact, the last time I watched Star Wars, I think it was about when Revenge of the Sith came out. So, it's been a while. And while the last impression I had of you was of a Government-Building-Destroying, Sith-Fighting, Wisdom-Giving green alien, it is not the longest lasting one I've had.

No, what sticks with me is two things: a rumor that you were based off Spencer W. Kimball (which I can totally see), and the thing you told Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. "Do, or do not. There is no try." As a young child, I didn't like this. What about all those people who try their hardest and fail? It's not like they chose not to do this particular task; they just couldn't. You can't expect everyone to succeed in life. So, like many people who balk at the wisdom of church leaders, I considered you a nice guy, but ultimately wrong.

I apologize.

The longer I've been on my mission and experience life, the more I have come to realize that you were absolutely right, just like every single prophet has been on the face of the earth. There is no try because 'try' is a fancy word for 'do not' or 'I do not believe that I can.'

Wise beyond your 900 years...
The Force is a beautiful, poorly hidden metaphor for Faith. The enemy of both of these is Doubt and Fear. For you see, when God gives us a commandment, he does not say, "Just try your hardest to come to church. That's good enough for me." No, He says, "Keep my commandments," repeatedly. This is why Nephi succeeded when he said, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7) Nephi had it in his mind that he could get the Brass Plates from Laban because he had no doubt that if God commanded him to do it, God would provide a way.

I imagine the Force is very similar. If you don't trust in the Force enough that you can move an X-Wing, you won't even be able to move a small rock. But the Force doesn't exist on this side of the universe, so we have to settle with being able to move mountains, command the weather, and heal the sick. Useful things that require a lot of faith in Christ.

Not once have I met a person that has actually succeeded when they've tried. I don't even succeed when I try. I wanted to knit a sweater, and instead of just giving knitting a shot, I made one. It took a lot of work and some funny failures, but I had no doubt in my mind that I could knit a whole sweater. But if I go at my mission just trying to be a good missionary, I will be a mediocre one. If I believe that I can do what I know you want me to do and put all thoughts of failure out of my life, I will be a successful missionary.

So, thank you Yoda. Not sure how this letter is going to make it to you, as you are a ghost and all that. But I do wish you a good afterlife, and I hope you've gotten to meet Captain Moroni.


Sister Johnson

1 comment:

  1. Great letter young Jedi! Even if Yoda doesn't receive your letter, I'm sure Heavenly Father will. Great insight and good lesson learned!