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For this new year, I’m posting an open challenge to family and friends. It will likely take you out of your comfort zone but I’m going to throw it out there anyway. My feelings will not be hurt, I will not be forever scarred, nor will our friendship suffer in any way if you disregard the challenge.

I’m sure that most of you know I’m a Latter-day Saint, commonly known as a “Mormon” in the general media. Yes, I only have one wife and no, I don’t drink alcohol, coffee or tea. You all should already know me so you should also be aware that I generally speak my mind and rarely go along with the crowd on just about anything. That said, my faith is, in fact, very important to me and I would like to offer you an opportunity to learn more about it.

In 2016, I ask you to reach out to the Latter-day Saint missionaries and invite them over to your house. There’s a series of lessons, in total no more than 6-8 hours or so, spread out as long as you would like be it days, weeks or months. The lessons are presented by young men and young women who spend 18-24 months away from home spreading the Gospel message on their own dime. Really listen to the lessons and take time to consider the messages. There’s no obligation to attend church and no obligation to have them back once the lessons are done. At the end, if you never want to see them again then tell them so and they will not come back.

For those family and friends who are already Latter-day Saints, at a minimum, hold regular Family Home Evenings and have regular family prayer throughout 2016. During your Family Home Evenings, mix in some spiritual lessons covering the material taught in the New Member Lessons. Take time to remember those truths taught in Primary that will lead us as eternal families back to our Father in Heaven and focus less on the distractions that we allow to be thrown in our path.

We are sent here to Earth to be happy, not only in the life to come but also today. The media would certainly try and convince you otherwise. Face it; drama, disaster, violence, and despair draw people in so that’s what you’ll see on the news. Regardless of all the rotten things that happen in the world each and every day, unmeasurable goodness happens as well. We are eternal beings and this life is a but a very small, though very significant, part of our existence.

It may sound funny to some but I know why I’m here on Earth. I know what’s expected of me and I know where I should be going. I also know that I’m far from perfect and require regular repentance and forgiveness in order to get where I need to go. I would hope that accepting this challenge will help you and your family to know the same things.

To invite the missionaries to your home and learn more, visit https://www.mormon.org

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