By Kari Diane Pike
For the past couple of months, I have been taking a course in adult developmental psychology. I am fascinated by the way the brain develops and the workings of the mind. One chapter looks at the reasons we choose different occupations and the way those occupations affect our lives. Several pages in the text are devoted to explaining the difference between “job” and “work.”
A job is described as “an activity one performs because one has to do it, and it provides no intrinsic reward in itself but only some extrinsic payoff.” In other words, you do the job so you can get the paycheck. There is little to no inner satisfaction as a result. Work, on the other hand is defined as, “an activity one performs because one has to do it, but it also provides a high degree of intrinsic motivation because the activity itself is personally satisfying to the individual.” The text further explains that most of our activities lie somewhere in between the two extremes. Depending on our frame of mind, we can find some kind of satisfaction in doing our best work, and many times we even get some type of external reward…like a paycheck!
As I studied these concepts, the words in Moses 1:39 kept coming to mind: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Since I am in a home-study program, I rely on the wit and wisdom of my spouse to help me think things through. Doug related a talk he heard during his mission from Hartman Rector, Jr. Elder Rector explained that the Savior’s “work” was to bring to pass our immortality. He did this when he overcame death and rose on the third day and assured that we, too, will rise again – spirit and body together – in an immortal state. The “glory” of the Lord is to bring about our eternal life. He made it possible for us to be forgiven of all our sins and to enter back into the presence of our Eternal Father in Heaven and experience life as He knows it; a quality of life far beyond our mortal understanding.
How does this apply to my life right now? The French word used for “work” is “travailler.” It is used to describe not only one’s occupation, but can also be used for the English word “masterpiece.” If I look at my “job” or my “work” and recognize the intrinsic rewards – in other words, change my perspective – I will discover great treasures of joy and peace and understanding. My mind will be enlightened; my burdens will become stewardships. As a writer, I want to see each piece I write become a masterpiece. As a mother, each child is a masterpiece. As a wife, my relationship with my husband is a masterpiece, as is my work as a daughter, sister, and friend. Because of the Atonement, and the Savior’s sacrifice, someday, you and I can become a masterpiece. We are “his work and his glory.”