When I was about 17 years old I decided I wanted to learn how to dive off a diving board. I had no more experience than the ability to swim as well as having gone through the typical lightweight cannon ball escapades. I told my parents, and they signed me up for some diving lessons. I was embarrassingly caught on the first day, in a class of six with five 13-14 year old girls. But I decided I would endure and continue on. My desire to learn how to dive drove me forward.
First the teacher walked us through the basics, and then we did some diving off the ground by the side of the pool, then slowly we moved up, to diving without jumping from the lowest diving board. Then eventually we were ready to attempt a full on jumping swan dive. I was very excited for this, a few of my friends had self taught themselves how to do it and now I would be able to show off the next time we went swimming!
When my turn came, a few of the girls had gone before me, and 2-3 had been successful in pulling off the maneuver. I got up there and did the carefully measured out steps and footwork the teacher had taught me. But as I cam to the edge of the board, I chickened out, and I buckled my knees instead of jumping off the edge. After teetering for a moment on the edge of the board, I awkwardly slipped off the board and dropped the 3 or 4 feet down into the water. As I came out of the water I heard the subsiding laughs of the girls in my class. My pride wounded, I waited for my next attempt.
When my turn came I went for it again, but this time I jumped off the board with a bit too much enthusiasm. As I turned to go headfirst into the water, again I was not 100% committed to the maneuver, I didn't fully trust the proven technique to stay committed to the dive and tried to pull out. The result was devastating as I slammed belly down on the water which subsequently knocked the breath right out of me. After coming to terms with the pain, I slowly got out of the pool again.
Commitment is a huge part of our faith. What we get out of the gospel comes from how committed we are to it. Now I'm not saying necessarily that if you are a little less to the gospel, that the result will be as painful as a belly flop. But the difference to holding back on just a few things in the gospel makes a huge difference. Also in order to commit ourselves we must know what we are committed to. Just like me learning to dive, where I had to understand the theory and the technique of it all, we also need to learn all we can from the scriptures, revelation, and church leaders in order to know how we can be firmly committed to the church.
For myself the blessings I have seen most readily when being as committed as I can have been that I feel the spirit so much stronger and more readily, I understand the gospel much better, and I see God's promised blessings fulfilled all the more periodically.