Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014's Word of the Year

I love the clean-slate-feeling of a new calendar year. I love the new year as a time for resoluting (as my brother-in-law phrased it)--a time of self-evaluation and goal setting for personal growth. The problem is that I kind of have a tendency to set unrealistic expectations for myself. My "New Year's Resolutions" list has been known to get pretty lengthy in the past and then by the second week in January, I'd be clinging to the last vestiges of unbroken resolutions and feeling like a capital "L", Loser because of all the ways I had failed and fallen short. No more.

Last year I decided to follow a trend I had been seeing to choose a "word of the year" rather than make a lengthy list of resolutions. Last year's word was "persevere" which ended up being pretty apropos. I went through some really hard things; there were a few times when I was absolutely pushed to the brink mentally and emotionally and all I could really do was just hang on and pray to get through. That one little word gave me focus and helped me in those dark times.

About a week ago I started thinking of possible words for 2014. My list included:
Rejoice, Adventure, Create, Magic, Grateful, Steadfast, Brave, Grow, Active and Serve. I like all of these words. They are good words, but there was one word that seemed to speak to me more powerfully than the others:


adjective \ˈfr-wərd, also ˈfō- or ˈf-, Southern also ˈfär-\
: near or belonging to the front part of something
: moving or directed ahead or toward the front
: moving toward the future or toward a more advanced state or condition
(Merriam Webster,

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." (2 Nephi 31:20, emphasis added)

"Forward" is kind of similar to "persevere", but more than "persevere" it implies movement. 

To me, "forward" means forging ahead. It means "tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it". It means personal progress. It means "the future is as bright as your faith". It means endurance. It means "trusting in good things to come". It means "the past is to be learned from but not lived in." It means doing something--anything--because moving is better than standing still.

"Forward" means looking to the future with faith while conscientiously progressing in the present.

"Forward" can change the world.
Where would Middle-earth be if Sam had stopped moving forward?
Of course, I'll inevitably make mistakes and fall short in the coming year. That's okay. Through repentance and the Atonement of Jesus Christ I am free so that I can continue my forward momentum instead of dwelling on the insufficiencies of the past.

The present is a blessing and the future is full of wonders. Forward, ho!

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