Forget that. I'd say the phrase should be more like Mosquito, Tics, and Bugs, Oh My!
Can you guess where I've been? If you said camping, you are correct and should probably win an awesome prize or something. Here is a virtual confetti popper and disco party. You're welcome. [Can I come disco with you?]
I was blessed to spend a week at Badger Creek in Tetonia, Idaho (near BYUI) and participate in the Adventure for Youth program. It is very similar to EFY, but you get to do lots of awesome stuff like white water raft, canoe, horseback ride, and jump off 40-foot telephone poles (more on that later), along with amazing spiritual things. To say it was a big testimony builder would be an enormous understatement.
I love that word. Shall we dive into the definition a bit? I know it's summer, but how about we dig back into the archives of our brains and look at some prefixes and root meanings? [Please, don't hurt me.]
The root of the word is finite. What in the world does that mean? I have no clue, but thankfully Google does. #hurrayforspellcheckanddictionaries
No limits. No bounds. Endless. Eternal.
When we say we have infinite worth and potential, it isn't just a pretty catch phrase. It is real. You, I, Billy Bob, and your next-door-neighbor's-second-cousin's-fiance's-niece's-step-nephew have all received that beautiful gift of an endless capacity to learn and grow and become who we were meant to be.
As children of Heavenly Father, each of us carry the potential to become like Him-- Gods and Goddesses. Our Father in Heaven cares about bringing that to pass so greatly that it is the driving force behind all that he does. "For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39)
Says President Uchtdorf:
Our Heavenly Father created the universe that we might reach our potential as His sons and daughters....This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God. While against the backdrop of infinite creation we may appear to be nothing, we have a spark of eternal fire burning within our breast. We have the incomprehensible promise of exaltation—worlds without end—within our grasp. And it is God’s great desire to help us reach it.Think about that. You have the power within you to do amazing things. You have already done remarkable things both here on earth and in the premortal existence. You will continue to do marvelous things here and in the eternities to come.
Right about here in the discussion is when my palms get sweaty and my heart starts palpitating like a butterfly hiked up on Diet Pepsi. Though wonderful, the concept of infinite potential can be super overwhelming. If I'm going to be a Goddess someday, that means I have to be super perfect now, right?
Take 10 deep breaths and calm down, sista.
I think the key here is the word potential. A seed has the potential to become a great tree and a cake mix has the potential to become a decadent dessert, but that doesn't happen all at once. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes work. And you know what? We don't have to do that alone. That's why we have a Savior. Through His grace, we can rise up and become who we were meant to be, one minute, hour, and day at a time.
An analogy they used a lot at AFY is a toddler learning to walk. When a baby is stumbling along taking their first few steps, you don't yell at them when they fall and tell them they are a bad child and will never amount to anything. You don't scold them for tripping or ground them for being so clumsy. You encourage them to get back up. You cheer for them with each step. You help them toddle across the floor. And then, one day they are walking and running 'til the cows come home.
Repentance is not a sin. We need never feel bad about using the atonement in our lives. That's why it's there. That's why it has been a part of the plan of salvation from the beginning. Armed with its power, we can reach our full potentials.
Your potential is infinite. Your worth is infinite. God's love for you is infinite. Boundless. Limitless. Without End. Always remember that.