And now that my soul might have joy in you, and that my heart might leave this world with gladness because of you, that I might not be brought down with grief and sorrow to the grave, arise from the dust, my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity;
(2 Nephi 1:21)
As Father Lehi prepares for his death (literally to lie down in the dust), he urges his sons to arise from the dust and to be men. He also pleads with them to awaken from a deep sleep. What does he mean by that? I think he is telling them that they are on autopilot–letting their circumstances and their impulses determine their actions instead of taking initiative and acting as responsible adults. In particular, if they were willing to look objectively at their situation, they would recognize the importance of disciplining themselves to obey the commandments of the Lord and would therefore be able to achieve unity with one another.
It takes effort to live intentionally and meaningfully, but the happy life is the life in which we choose to act for ourselves, not merely allow ourselves to be acted upon. (2 Nephi 2:26-29)
Today, I will wake up, arise from the dust, and live my life with “real intent.”