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What is the first thing you think of when you wake up - Work, Money, or Christ

How different life would be if the first thing we thought about when we wake up was the sacrifice of the Savior, the love of our Heavenly Father, and looking for opportunities to bless others.

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

      - Proverbs 3: 3–4

Devin Miller  (Mountain Green, Utah)

Father and Husband

Loves BYU

Outdoor enthusiast

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go with my son to a father-son campout. We had some hot chocolate, roasted smores, and sat around the campfire until it was time for bed. My favorite way to camp for father-son campouts when it is nice weather is to set up sleeping bags in the back of an old pick-up truck. It is the way my dad did it growing up and it just feels like tradition.

The other reason I like to sleep in the back of a pick-up truck is that you get to wake up to the rising sun. When you are camping, waking up is like the sun rising. At first, it's mostly dark, as glimmers of consciousness begin to light the shadows. Emerging into full wakefulness, the fog lifts from your mind and things start to become clear. There is a closeness to our Heavenly Father when you wake up in nature.

As I woke up to the rising sun I realized that my first thoughts were not “hit the snooze button” or “guess I better get up and go to work”. My thoughts were turned to the beauty of God’s creation and what a joy it was to just be with my son. It is then that I began to think about what I normally think when I first wake up. It usually is not about Christ, my Heavenly Father, or my family. My first thoughts are usually about work and money. I think about all the things I need to get done today to keep my boss happy and the bills paid.

How different life would be if the first thing we thought about when we wake up was the sacrifice of the Savior, the love of our Heavenly Father, and looking for opportunities to bless others. So how do we change what we think about when we first wake up? Physiological studies have shown that during these first few minutes while you are waking up, your mind is very receptive to influence. If, hypothetically, a loud alarm suddenly began clanging your mind starts out the day startled. On the other hand, if someone you love suddenly began telling you how much he or she cared about you, you'd probably feel good for hours.

Here are a few ways to start the day thinking about Christ and blessing others:

If you use your phone as your alarm clock, don’t just use the annoy default alarm to wake up to. Set your alarm to wake you up to spiritual and uplifting music. 

On my mission I had a companion that said his parents put a picture of Christ in every room in the house so that Christ was the center of their home. Try putting a picture of the Savior on your nightstand so that He is at the center of your mind when you wake up.

If you are married, write something nice on a slip of paper about your spouse and place it on your nightstand before you go to bed. When you wake up, give that paper to your spouse. This will help both you and your spouse start the day serving others.

Before you get out of bed, read a single verse from the scriptures and then get down on your knees to pray.

The scriptures teach:

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

- Proverbs 3: 3–4

As we strive to write the Savior upon our hearts and minds each morning, we will find favour in the sight of the Lord.

A man does not come to the almshouse or the jail by the tyranny of fate or circumstance, but by the pathway of grovelling thoughts and base desires. Nor does a pure-minded man fall suddenly into crime by stress of mere external force; the criminal thought had long been secretly fostered in the heart, and the hour of opportunity revealed its gathered power. Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself.

- Miracle of Forgiveness

Let each of us create an environment from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed where we are thinking about our Savior and others.

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