Sunday, February 12, 2012

R2-D2 & Fulfilling Our Callings

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Greeting, Service Boot Campers!  I know I've been a little busy this month talking about other things, but rest assured, my little brigade and I have been doing our small part to serve others in our little corner of the galaxy.  And from what I hear, you have too...


Today, I am pleased to introduce you to my new friend Steve Dalton of Mormon Wookiee, who has dropped by to share a bit with us about service in the church.  


I love the Star Wars-laced testimonies that Steve shares over at his site.  Thanks to Steve, I can make a lot more cool Star Wars references while teaching my son about the gospel...I can also now spell the word Wookiee.  I am totally not doing him justice in this intro, but trust me, this Mormon Wookiee is a Force for good in his own right!

Please give an intergalactic welcome to the Mormon Wookiee:

First, I want to thank Jocelyn for the opportunity to guest post on her blog. 


I discovered Jocelyn's blog early last month while researching about the new "Friend" magazine website on lds.org.  Since then I have become a huge fan. 


I started my blog Mormon Wookiee after listening to Elder Ian S. Ardern's talk at General Conference back in October. In his talk, Elder Ardern encouraged us to stop spending so much time playing video games, surfing the internet, and checking Facebook, and instead use our time to serve others and spread the gospel. 


His talk really impacted me, and I felt that one of the best ways I could spread the gospel was by starting a blog. I realized that if my blog were going to truly reflect my personality, it would need focus on two of my favorite things: the gospel of Jesus Christ and, well, Star Wars. 


Weird combination, you say? I agree. BUT it works for me, and hopefully it has introduced some people to the gospel who otherwise wouldn't be interested.


I know Vader's a bad dude, but he sure makes for some great object lessons.
Currently, my Church calling in my ward is to teach the 11-year old Primary class. I absolutely love my calling because it gives me a chance to share my love of the scriptures in addition to having fun with the kids.  However, sometimes I think Primary callings get a bad wrap. This may just be my own perception, but it seems to me that sometimes, we, as members of the Church, consider Primary to be a "lower calling" when compared to more visible ones like Bishop, Relief Society President, or even Ward Chorister. But I think that no matter what our individual callings may be, we should always strive to fulfill them to the best of our abilities. Every calling in the Church is significant, and you never know what kind of impact you might have by simply doing your best. As I pondered this thought, I realized it is ironic that one of the greatest heroes in all of Star Wars was someone who you could also argue had a much "lower calling" in life. He was not a Jedi nor a Sith, not a pilot nor a soldier, not even a Jawa nor an Ewok. Nope, he was just a simple little droid who always went above and beyond his calling: R2-D2 (Artoo-Detoo), the lowly astromech. I'd like to give you a few examples of Artoo going above and beyond and how we can apply his example to our own lives (despite the fact that none of us are droids in a galaxy far, far away).
Just another droid? Not a chance! (Images found at Wookiepedia, the Star Wars Wiki)
#1: Repairing the shield generator of Queen Amidala's starship: The first time we meet Artoo (accordingn to Star Wars movie chronology anyway) is during Queen Amidala's brave escape from the blockade of Naboo in Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. As her ship comes under fire, Artoo willingly risks his life (droids have lives too!) by crawling on top of the ship and repairing the shield generator. Artoo could have chosen to stay inside the ship and let the other droids take care of it. But, of course, he didn't. And, as a result, he saved the day. How can we apply this to our lives? Just like Artoo could have hid in the corner or pretended to have a malfunction, we all have the chance to make excuses and give a half-hearted effort in our callings. For example, we could ask ourselves, "Is it really going to matter if I skip my hometeaching this month?" In the grand scheme of things, probably not. BUT if you don't go, you may miss an opportunity to make a difference in someone else's life. There have been many times as a hometeacher that I have been asked to give a blessing or deliver a needed spiritual message to someone who was struggling. If I had decided to stay home, I would have missed out on these opportunities to serve.
Shield generators never work right when you need them to!
#2: Fighting the battle droids: A great scene from Episode III: Revenge of the Sith occurs when Artoo runs into some high-powered battle droids on General Grievous's ship. Being just a lowly astromech, the battle droids should have easily been able to destroy Artoo. But against all odds, Artoo believed in himself. Instead of running away, he courageously confronted the battle droids, sprayed them with oil, and lit them on fire with his booster jets! In our own lives we sometimes face challenges that can seem overwhelming to us. Perhaps you were just asked to give a 15-minute talk in Stake Conference but you have a terrifying fear of crowds. You could tell the Stake President that you refuse to speak, OR you could pray for help to get through it. You can conquer the "battle droids" in your own life if you believe in yourself, have courage, and go forward with faith.
We may not have booster jets, but we can still believe in ourselves!
#3: Shutting down the trash compactor.
My personal favorite R2-D2 moment occurred in Episode 4: A New Hope after the Millennium Falcon was captured aboard the original Death Star. After rescuing Princess Leia, our heroes Luke, Han Solo, and Chewbacca become trapped in a trash compactor (#3263827, in case you were wondering), which suddenly begins to compact. In desperation, Luke frantically calls for the help of Artoo and C-3PO (Artoo's best friend, who is a blog topic for another day). Artoo quickly responds, manages to splice into the Death Star's computer systems, and shuts down the compactor moments before the heroes of the rebellion are killed. Without Artoo's quick actions to respond to his friends in need, the good guys would have been killed, the empire would have won, and....well, the movie would have been very short. Artoo sets a great example by recognizing that his friends were in peril and responding to their aid without a moment's delay. In our own lives and callings, we too should respond without hesitation to those in need.
Uh-oh.
#4: Deactivating the shield generator door on Endor.
In the final moments of the rebellion's battle with the Empire in Episode 6: Return of the Jedi, the rebel heroes must shut down the shield generator on the moon of Endor to enable the rebel fleet to be able to attack the second Death Star (if at first you don't succeed....). Artoo is the only one capable of unlocking the generator's doors by splicing, once again, into the computer panel. As he successfully unlocks the door, Artoo is shot by an Imperial Stormtrooper, completely damaging his circuits. Fortunately, Artoo is later repaired and is able to celebrate with his friends. Artoo's example shows that sometimes we will have to make deep personal sacrifices to be successful. Often our callings require us to sacrifice our time, energy, and resources in order to accomplish what needs to be done.
Hang in there, little buddy.
Throughout Star Wars, there are many other examples of Artoo's heroism in the face of overwhelming odds. And just like many people (Jabba the Hutt, anyone?) underestimated Artoo as simply another lowly astromech droid, sometimes we may not feel like we are very special or important. We may think we can't make a difference or that our contribution really doesn't matter. But the truth is that we ALL matter. And just like Artoo, we all have the opportunity to make choices: Will I give my best effort or will I sit on the sidelines? Will I respond to a friend in need or will I let someone else take care of it? Will I face challenges with faith and courage or will I give in to doubt and fear? And just like Artoo, the results of our choices can quite literally "save the day" in someone else's life. Until next time, may the force be with you!

14 comments:

  1. Cute analogy! I think I followed it well enough even though I've not seen the movies. (Gasp!) Glad you were featured here today.

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  2. Thanks again for allowing me to post on your blog, Jocelyn! This is the biggest day in the history of my blog. You really made my day.

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  3. Ha ha, you need to get out more! ;)  Thanks for guest posting!

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  4. So loving this post! I'm a new fan of yours! And does it seriously speak to the level of geek I am that when you said it was R2-D2 you were talking about I got a little choked up? Wow. I'm a nerd LOL

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  5. Amy Jo BugenhagenSunday, February 12, 2012

    Wow...how cool is this!

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  6. Awesome post, Steve.

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  7. Awesome post, Steve.

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  8. how cool, love the comparisons between Star Wars and the gospel...today I was called as a Branch Missionary, so guess I've grown a foot or  two...lol!

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  9. OOh I guess you have!  Congrats!  You'll be a great one!

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  10. Nice analogy!

    =)

    PS. I have to admit that Primary is not my favorite calling...not because it's "lower," but because the seats often are.

    ;)

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  11. I love it. My son came over and asked me "Why are you looking at Star Wars pictures?" He was excited to hear that we need to be brave and work hard and serve others like R2-D2.

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  12. Awesome...my son's reaction too whenever I read Mormon Wookiee!

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  13. This was WONDERFUL, even if I didn't understand all the analogies, by boys will and I can't wait to read this to them. Great post!

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  14. We have been following Mormonwookiee for awhile now and enjoy is enthusiasm. Primary is  a very important part of our own spiritual eduacation. Where would we be without Popcorn popping, and Little Purple Pansies, but also the basic  teachings of the gospel in very simple terms. If only people realized just how important their Primary callings really are. Hugs to  Mormonwookiee.

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