Today’s article originally appeared in the May 2020 issue of The Gospel News in the General Ladies Uplift Circle column.
I love puzzles of every kind. This picture shows a giant sudoku, a little more challenging than just a single-block Sudoku. You might think that the number you write in the square all the way up in the left top corner couldn’t affect the furthest square down to the right. But it does. Each square matters. Each number has an impact on the entire grid.
So, what does all this matter to us? We are each an individual number, but we are able to affect not only those we touch daily but also the squares way up in the corner and the ones on the other side.
Of course, it may be easier to have an impact on the squares next to us, on those we encounter daily or weekly. That would include our coworkers, our brothers and sisters in Church, our family and friends. But can we impact those who live across the country, strangers, or those
missionaries in the field? Yes, we absolutely can!
When you hear a prayer request at Church, pray for that individual. Maybe send a card, reach out and text or call them. Let them know you’re thinking about them. The missionaries can always use our prayers. We can donate money to their cause. Again, reach out with a card or text or phone call. Maybe the sister who is sick across the country doesn’t really even know you. That doesn’t matter. She is still your sister. Reach out, and let her know you’re thinking about her. That missionary will love knowing he’s in your thoughts and prayers as he does God’s work.
Daily acts of kindness are another way to impact others. Hold a door open for someone, smile at people, bring a sick friend or neighbor some chicken soup. Visit widows. Phone calls, texts, prayers, cards, the list is endless.
Sometimes when I’m doing my sudoku, I make a mistake. One little mistake can’t matter too much, can it? Well, I may end up with two threes in one block, a couple of nines in a row. Then I realize I can’t go on from there. The whole entire puzzle will be wrong. I must go back to the beginning and start over. Unfortunately, I’m a bit obsessive. If I try to erase, I end up with traces of pencil marks and a messy grid. So, I usually draw my own brand-new grid and start over completely.
When we make a mistake in our lives, it’s hard to move on without correcting that mistake. How can we get a clean slate? First and foremost, repentance and baptism. “But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.” (Moroni 6:8)
As we take communion, testify, pray, we have opportunities to start with a clean slate, no traces of pencil marks. Only then can we move on and try to be perfect as God asks. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
Life is like a Sudoku: you just must allow God to direct you to the right place at the right time and things will fall into place.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.