To Choose or Not to Choose… they are both choices

The late President Marion G. Romney said, “Free agency means the freedom and power to choose and act. Next to life itself, it is man’s most precious inheritance.” (General Conference, April 1976.)

I have always had a hard time making choices. Even when the choices were which candy bar to buy or what clothes to wear. So when major decisions came up it was almost impossible. What should I become and whom should I marry were difficult. I just didn’t want to make the wrong choice. I just wanted a voice to tell me what to do and I would obey. But that isn’t the way we really learn and grow.

James e Faust  stated “Making perfect choices all of the time is not possible. It just doesn’t happen. But it is possible to make good choices we can live with and grow from. When God’s children live worthy of divine guidance they can become “free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon.”

Elder Faust continues”Some choices present good opportunities no matter which road we take—for example, when deciding which career path to follow or which school to attend. I know one bright and able young man who wanted to become a doctor, but the opportunity did not open up for him; so he chose to follow the law. He has become a very successful lawyer, but I am satisfied he would have been equally successful as a doctor.”

I wish I understood this better when I was younger. I had always been involved in sports and grades were really important to me. When it came to decide what I wanted to do with my life I really had no idea. I had scholarships from a lot of different colleges and Universities. I finally decided on the University of Alberta, they had given me an entrance scholarship and I thought it would be adventurous to move away. After my first year I had really loved and enjoyed my occupational therapy classes. I really wanted to be in rehabilitation medicine. Except I missed the deadline and rather than wait a whole nother year I decided to go into the teaching program at the University of Lethbridge. I never did apply to occupational therapy program. I would have made a good OT but I am a good teacher too.

 Elder Faust also taught, “Some of our important choices have a time line. If we delay a decision, the opportunity is gone forever. Sometimes our doubts keep us from making a choice that involves change. Thus an opportunity may be missed. As someone once said, “When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.”

I used to be so scared of making the wrong choice that I wouldn’t make any choice. That way if I was unhappy with the result i could blame the person I let choose. But I like what Elder Faust says… “when you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.” Why would I give others the ability to make my choices I had fought so hard premortally to have? And yet I did lots of the time.

I asked my girlfriend Pam about what she thought about Personal Revelation and she let me record her answer :

engagement

My friend Pam

When Sean and I got engaged, I told him yes immediately. Then I realized that I needed to pray about it. To see if that was a good decision. So I did, I prayed about it and I felt no answer at all. We got married and we continued our life.  

Years later I said “Lord, we’re tight now, how come you didn’t answer me about Sean? You never told me to marry him.”

I felt that he told me, “Well you were saying, ‘Do I have to marry him?’ and my answer is you don’t have to do anything. I am not going to make you marry someone. You could marry him. I’ve arranged for you guys to meet, I’ve arranged for you guys to have feelings for each other. But if you choose not to marry him that is okay.  Then you can move on with your life and marry someone else that maybe won’t have the same kind of life but you will have a life and you will learn the lessons you need to. I’m not going to take away your free will.”

I felt like in personal revelation there is ALWAYS room for your choices and he doesn’t want to see you make bad choices but he does want to see you make choices. He doesn’t want to tell you what to do. It’s not who He is.

I wish I met Pam earlier in my life. Infact, I would not hear her lesson until the Lord had taught it to me myself. But I write this post to pass my information on to others. Learn the lesson that the Lord wants us to choose. If I feel like there are only two answers to my questions I pray to the Lord to have my eyes opened to a million more solutions. God never works in ultimatums. but blesses us with so many choices.

Last but not least I will end this post with this thought from Elder Scott :

“When He answers yes, it is to give us confidence.

When He answers no, it is to prevent error.

When He withholds an answer, it is to have us grow through faith in Him, obedience to His commandments, and a willingness to act on truth. We are expected to assume accountability by acting on a decision that is consistent with His teachings without prior confirmation. We are not to sit passively waiting or to murmur because the Lord has not spoken. We are to act.”

May you act and not be acted upon… may you choose and not just let things happen.

 

 

 

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To Choose or Not to Choose… they are both choices

A Summer with Great Aunt Rose

pioneer-girl-skipping_1572947_inl

I was really excited to be going to the general womens’ conference. My spiritual batteries were looking forward to the recharge that accompanies such events. I was looking forward to the spiritual feast that is to be found when we have any general conferences.

I was super happy when I heard Elder Uchtdorf would be speaking to us. He is always eloquent and kind in his addresses to the sisters. I am constantly reminded of the love my Saviour has for the women of his church.

When Elder Uchtdorf began to speak I thought, “Oh nice a parable. Great!” Then I kept waiting for him to finish the story so that he could give an explanation of what it meant. But he ended his talk with “I hope and pray that  something in this story has touched your heart and inspired your soul.” What? The End?  

That night I felt a little cheated. I went to the conference expecting a spiritual steak dinner and the Lord gave me a cow. Now I do realize that juicy steak comes from a cow but I didn’t want to take all the effort to slaughter that cow. That night when I prayed I told God exactly how I felt. One of the beautiful things about kneeling down to our Heavenly Father is that He wants to hear from us all the time and he wants our complete truth. So I prayed and said I was disappointed in His servants talk. I wanted the five points of the forget me not and I got a story that I really didn’t understand. Well, of course I didn’t end my prayer there. I did say, “I know Thou knowest what your daughters need to hear and I am sure Thy servants are in tune … so help me get there too. I’m feeling like a need a little more than what was given but I can trust Thee and I will get to my steak dinner just be patient with me please. ”

So before I went to bed I relistened to the talk. (I think more than once) That night I was awoken at 3am. I was wide awake and I heard a voice. (although I more felt a voice say) “Are you ready to learn about the story?”

“Really? 3AM? Well I did ask. And I did want my steak… and I wasn’t going back to bed and so I pulled out a paper and pen and began to write. Some of what I share are thoughts and ideas from the night, some are from studying and reading this parable more and reflecting and studying more… and some I wont share because they were just my private lessons.

***Sometimes I struggle with what to share on this blog. These stories are important to me and the represent my truth. I don’t want to share stories that are too spiritual but the Lord has given me some powerful stories to share and lift others. In no way do I think that this is a comprehensible list of all the lessons to be learned in this parable. That is the beauty of parables… all layers … all spirit and personal revelation teaching you the lessons that you need to touch your own heart and inspire your soul.

  • Eva : Is a derivative of Eve, ( we must consider ourselves like Eve)
    • 11 years old She is a child. She is still in primary. DC 50:40 Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
    • “absolutely, positively did not want to go …Not at all. No way…thousand reasons why this was a bad idea” (no one every really likes change or hard situations but after they are done we are grateful for the growth and lessons learned )
    • “she hated enduring” (its one of the hardest parts of the test. Remembering when we were enlightened and not give up when things get tough)
    • “Maybe it’s not so simple for people who don’t have everything perfect in their lives.” It’s childish to think someone else has things perfect… This is such a natural thought that someone else has the children I wanted, or the marriage, or the house, or the family, but really we are exactly where the Lord intended us to be. (it doesn’t mean we have to stay there… but for this moment we can be grateful and NOT envious)
    • “So many people today are waiting for their own golden ticket—the ticket that they believe holds the key to the happiness they have always dreamed about. For some, the golden ticket may be a perfect marriage; for others, a magazine-cover home or perhaps freedom from stress or worry. There is nothing wrong with righteous yearnings—we hope and seek after things that are “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.”4 The problem comes when we put our happiness on hold as we wait for some future event—our golden ticket—to appear. Elder Uchtdorf,  Forget Me Not, 2011

 

  • Embarrassingly Big Bright Hatsbut people didn’t laugh… they crowded around her…they thanked her… often laughed…sometimes cried.”
    • they can be physical things like callous feet, freckles, they can be more emotional  abuse, pornography in marriage, parents divorce, addiction
    • has a little to do with Elder Uchtdorf take about being grateful “in” in things and not for things. “Have we not reason to be filled with gratitude, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves?”( Uchtdorf, April 2014)
    • Being involved in the churches addiction recovery program for 6.5 years now has taught me that when I wear my “embarrassing big bright hats” it does the opposite to what I think it will do… instead of people laughing and pointing they flock, thank, cry and find hope
    • My will, keep hat in hat box and put it in the closet. His will pull it out and wear it. (He gave it to me) When my will changes to wear the hat… people crowd
    • What are you hats? Do you keep them on and wear them or are they hiding in a closet?
  • Grey Creepy Stalker Cats “find the highest point in the every room perch there, staring down like a hungry tiger at everything below.
    • these represent any of our doubts and fears
    • truth will make you free
    • Elder Bednar taught us that a correct knowledge of the Saviour attributes will hush our fears (April, 2015)
    • 1 Peter 5:8 (As quoted in President Monsons oct 2015 address. “Be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion (or hungry tiger) walketh about, seeing whom he may devour.”
    • Elder Uchtdorf talk on Golden tickets… found in “Forget Me Not” oct 2011
    • Video Wrong Roads : Jeffery R Holland
      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNQC-_srxH8
      • I have absolute certain knowledge … perfect knowledge that God loves us.. He expects us to pray and trust and to be believing, not give up, not panic, not retreat, not jump ship when something doesn’t seems to be going just right… We stay in, keep working, keep believing, keep trusting, following that same path and we will live to fall in His arms and feel His embrace and hear him say I told you it will be alright. “
    • serenity prayer.
      • God grant me the serenity
        To accept the things I cannot change;
        Courage to change the things I can;
        And wisdom to know the difference.
        Living one day at a time;
        Enjoying one moment at a time;
        Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
        Taking, as He did, this sinful world
        As it is, not as I would have it;
        Trusting that He will make all things right
        If I surrender to His Will;
        So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
        And supremely happy with Him
        Forever and ever in the next.
        Amen.
  • Going to Great Aunt Roses house
    • Hugh B Brown, The Current Bush January 1973
    • Elder Christofferson “willingly seek and accept correction
    • Mosiah Chapters 23 and 24
    • When I first went through the temple I had a lot of questions. Do you know what to do when you have questions about the temple? You meet with someone from the temple presidency and you ask them. Sometimes they know the answer sometimes they do not. When I first went through I would ask them all sorts of things. The learning was awesome. But then I started to think, Ahh I don’t want to bug them, they have lots to do… I’ll ask next time. But recently I got the courage to start asking again. Ask and you shall receive is a beautiful blessing. The temple president told me that the endowment was received by revelation and we will receive and understand it by personal revelation too.
  • Picture Pioneer Girl Skipping
    • “As you walk along your own bright path of discipleship, I pray that faith will fortify every footstep along your way; that hope will open your eyes to the glories Heavenly Father has in store for you; and that love for God and all His children will fill your hearts.
    • “Faith in the Savior taught me that no matter what happened in the past, my story could have a happy ending.” That is the joy of the atonement. The pure true love and happiness of the gospels message.
    • When aunt Rose prays she is thankful for the details of life. “bluejays, spruce trees and being alive” Everyone has access to these things that she expresses gratitude for. She even teaches Eva to know the difference between sparrows and finches and how to make marmalade from oranges.  She really is grateful for the small things of life.
      • Alma 30:44 “all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.”
  • How to be happy NOW
    • notice the bright blue path, the vibrant green … keep hope
    • be authentic, its okay to express doubt, sadness and heartache, but take them to the one who can heal, restore, lift and burdens, and open up our eyes to the true blessings and beauty all around us.
    • the pioneers girls path is the same whether she drags her feet or skips… if you don’t feel like skipping ask Heavenly Father what lack I yet? “Faith and hope will open your eyes to the happiness that is placed before you.”
    • I exercised faith in God’s promises by filling my life with meaningful things. I went to school. I got an education. That led me to a career that I loved” She took control over the things that she has control over and left the rest to God. She took comfort in the promise that all things will be made right but didn’t dwell on not having her golden ticket. She decided to enjoy the delicious chocolate too.
    • “It is love—the pure love of Christ,” Rose said. “You see, everything else in the gospel—all the shoulds and the musts and the thou shalts —lead to love. When we love God, we want to serve Him. We want to be like Him. When we love our neighbors, we stop thinking so much about our own problems and help others to solve theirs.” Helping other people always puts our own griefs into perspective and sometimes helping others because of similar experiences gives meaning to our trials and heartaches.
    • Elder Orson F. Whitney ”

      “To whom do we look, in days of grief and disaster, for help and consolation? … They are men and women who have suffered, and out of their experience in suffering they bring forth the riches of their sympathy and condolences as a blessing to those now in need. Could they do this had they not suffered themselves? … Is not this God’s purpose in causing his children to suffer? He wants them to become more like himself. God has suffered far more than man ever did or ever will, and is therefore the great source of sympathy and consolation.” 10  This gives so much meaning to our sufferings when we can lift and support our fellow brothers and sisters

    • “The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy.” Elder Uchtdorf Forget Me Not
  • Roserose with thorns
    •  “Often the prickly thorn produces tender roses” (Ovid, Epistulae ex ponto, book 2, epistle 2, line 34; “Saepe creat molles aspera spina rosas”).  This little gem is found in the footnotes of the talk.
    • “There seems to be a full measure of anguish, sorrow, and often heartbreak for everyone, including those who earnestly seek to do right and be faithful. The Apostle Paul referred to his own challenge: “And lest I should be exalted above measure … , there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me.” 2 Refined in our trials Elder Faust February 2006
    • The thorns that prick, that stick in the flesh, that hurt, often change lives which seem robbed of significance and hope. This change comes about through a refining process which often seems cruel and hard. In this way the soul can become like soft clay in the hands of the Master in building lives of faith, usefulness, beauty, and strength. For some, the refiner’s fire causes a loss of belief and faith in God, but those with eternal perspective understand that such refining is part of the perfection process. Refined in our trials Elder Faust February 2006
    • The lesson here is that if we spend our days waiting for fabulous roses, we could miss the beauty and wonder of the tiny forget-me-nots that are all around us. Elder Uchtdorf Forget Me Not
    • “The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.’” 1
    • “Sisters, I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, “Was that all that was required?” I believe that if we could daily remember and recognize the depth of that love our Heavenly Father and our Savior have for us, we would be willing to do anything to be back in Their presence again, surrounded by Their love eternally. What will it matter, dear sisters, what we suffered here if, in the end, those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and exaltation in the kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?” Linda S Reeves Oct 2015

The most ironic part of this whole study is that I told the Lord I wanted steak not a cow. But the spiritual feast he has given me because of humbling myself to His way and His leaders has been amazing. Ironically I wanted the “Forget Me Not” talk and now that I have studied them both I realize that they are the same talk… But I have been able to feast and be filled with a exquisite meal from a loving Heavenly Father. I do have to mention that my 9 year old daughter loved this talk and remembers it so well. (Sometimes it’s not all about me) I also hope that in my insight you can find something that “has touched your heart and inspired your soul.”

A Summer with Great Aunt Rose

Manna… free meal… or what?

gathering-of-manna

I used to be confused how the children of Israel complained about manna. Free dinner for 40 years! sounded awesome to me. But my world flip flopped when I realized that D Todd Christofferson said his manna was a “personal economic challenge” that wouldn’t leave. What? That was not the free meal I had thought it was. 

Manna was given to remind the children of Israel to remember their reliance on Jehovah every day. I realized that I was all too familiar with the children of Israel’s reaction. When I could properly identify the “mana like” situations in my life, I realized I murmured too. So divorce, death, a bad marriage, abuse, addiction or an ongoing financial burden are manna.

Well Yes! if we allow them to bring us unto Christ. If we take our daily bread, manna, and say what do you want me to learn or become today or if we come unto Christ the kingdom of heaven is ours. It kinda goes with Elder Uchtdorf’s talk about not being grateful for things but in things. Or Elder Bednars about loads bringing us enough spiritual traction to get where we need to go.

I have been part of the church’s addiction recovery program for six years now. Every week I hear stories of people’s manna and how the Savior is helping them overcome. It’s like witnessing the atonement every week. I literally hear and see the enabling power of the atonement. I witness that their daily bread is getting them to where the Lord needs them to be.

On this post I am going to let Elder Christofferson have the last word… I like his summary and fully agree.

“Though I suffered then, as I look back now, I am grateful that there was not a quick solution to my problem. The fact that I was forced to turn to God for help almost daily over an extended period of years taught me truly how to pray and get answers to prayer and taught me in a very practical way to have faith in God. I came to know my Savior and my Heavenly Father in a way and to a degree that might not have happened otherwise or that might have taken me much longer to achieve. I learned that daily bread is a precious commodity. I learned that manna today can be as real as the physical manna of biblical history. I learned to trust in the Lord with all my heart. I learned to walk with Him day by day.”

Thoughts from an address

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

“Give us This Day our Daily Bread” D Todd Christofferson BYU Speeches

 

Manna… free meal… or what?

What lack I yet?

I’m going to start this thought with one of my favorite quotes.

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Elder Neil A Maxwell has said. “In striving for ultimate submission, our wills constitute all we really have to give God… The usual gifts and their derivatives we give to Him could be stamped justifiably “Return to Sender,” with a capital S. Even when God receives this one gift in return, the fully faithful will receive “all that [He] hath” (D&C 84:38). What an exchange rate!”

I guess what I really hope is that as I learn to let God be in control of my life, that doesn’t mean that I sit back and let Him be the puppeteer. It means we are consciously choosing to become better. We are gratefully accepting His will. We are seeking the answers to the questions “what lack I yet?” and listening to the gently answers that follow.

The evening when I heard Elder Lawrence talk about what lack I yet that I was driving in a vehicle. When I silently asked the question to myself,  a  flood of inadequacies went pouring through  my mind and I felt so depressed and deflated. A little quiet voice began to teach me.

“Do you really think that I, who loves you so much, would flood you with an overwhelming list of things to do?”

“But you sound so similar,” I said.

“Why in that talk when others asked the question would I say, “Clean your room. drive slower, ponder before you pray. You know that I am no respecter of persons right?”

“Yes”

“Then why would my answers to you be any different than to them? If my servant challenged you to do this why would I make it impossible and deflating?”

Just in case this teaching moment in my girlfriend’s SUV didn’t sink in I discovered this in rereading  Elder Lawrence’s talk  “The Holy Ghost doesn’t tell us to improve everything at once. If He did, we would become discouraged and give up. The Spirit works with us at our own speed, one step at a time, or as the Lord has taught, “line upon line, precept upon precept..”. It’s a very incremental easy baby steps to the next step.

So if you,  sometimes like me, ask this question and an answer that seems impossible to live up to arrives–consider the source. If it isn’t an easy change that seems possible try asking again.  Then first ask that the loud overbearing voice be taken away so the spirit can quietly, lovingly, and gently guide you to the right answer.

What lack I yet?

My Personal Liahona

liahona

I have always thought the Liahona was cool. Wouldn’t it be great if I could get my hands on one of those directors that would show me straight course through my wilderness? But Alma clearly explains to his son (Alma 37 :44) it is as easy to give heed to those words of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to head to this compass, which would point to our Fathers a straight course to the promised land. “

The Lord doesn’t actually love me any less than he did Nephi’s family, he gives me the same Liahona, the same opportunity to be directed. Except instead of a curious ball he gives me the “words of Christ” that if read and headed will do the same thing that the Liahona did. And really people think we are peculiar enough I am glad I’m not carrying around a big ball of curious workmanship. I have everything I need fitting fashionably in my phone.

I would like to share one way I know the words of Christ become our personal Liahona. Being married provided me with enough manna. I was not grateful for it and I murmured. So one day I spoke to God and said “Okay if these are my Liahona then where is addiction in my marriage. I don’t remember if the answers unfolded before me but I think I kind of more gradually read into the answer. But either way when I read it i knew it was my answer.

There is a beautiful gospel lesson found in Mosiah 23 and 24. It has become a cherished story to me. It’s about Alma and his people. They had just fled king Noah and settled the land of Helam. They are righteous and doing everything right. Infact, the Lord prefaces the story by saying “the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea he trieth their patience and their faith” but he goes on to to say “Nevertheless whosoever putteth his trust in him shall be lifted up at the last day” He also prefaces the story by saying “none could deliver them but the Lord their God, yea…he did deliver them…and great were their rejoicings.”(Mosiah 23:24)

Alma and his people are working in their fields when the see the Lamanites approaching. The Lamanites ask them for directions and promise them protection if they show them the way back to their lands. The Nephites show them the way and the Laminates say we were joking you are now in bondage and you are all our slaves. Amulon, who like Alma was also a wicked priest of King Noah would have known Alma intimately. When you know someone personally you know all the ways to hurt and push their buttons. Then the people had heavy burdens laid on their back and were forbidden  to pray. But they continued to do what was in their power to do. They chose to  “pour out their hearts to him” The Lord rewards them with his own voice offering comfort and support. God allowed this whole situation to happen that they would all “stand as witness” that “God [does] visit [his] people in their afflictions.”(Mosiah 24:13-4)  Only after the Lord’s voice comes to them and their burdens are lightened do the people “submit cheerfully and patiently”. Finally, after the trial of their faith the Lord causes a profound sleep on their captors and they miraculously walk out of bondage.

So how did this story fit with me and my life? The beautiful thing about the spirit it that he talks to our heart. Right away I knew that these people had a horrific experience and had done nothing wrong. They were really righteous, but the Lord will chasten and prove us. He needs us to be more than simply righteous. He needs us to become like Him. He needs children that know and feel of his sustaining and delivering power. This story testified to me that the Lord does visit me in my afflictions. He is no respecter of persons and will show me the same love and kindness as I draw to him in prayer. I now testify to you and stand as a witness that I was visited in my affliction and felt my burdens lightened and was delivered too. As I submitted to the things I needed to learn in this situation the Lord taught me great lessons of love and compassion for his children. The same blessings can be yours as you turn to him in your afflictions and feel of His love and deliverance.

My Personal Liahona

Come O Thou King of Kings

 

There was a time in my life when the idea of the Lord second coming terrified me; but I wasn’t prepared. After I learned about repentance and that it washes away sins I was significantly less scared. Then there have been moments when I felt like He can’t come soon enough. If he could only come now this test would be over and I could return home.

But now I am trying something new. It’s not trying to command him in coming or not coming but in being “content with what is allotted unto me.” Alma wanted to be an angel to proclaim repentance and the plan of salvation that sorrow would be gone. I mean what greater righteous desire could he have than to remove sorrow?

But Alma being satisfied with his allotment and then meekly “hoping to be an instrument to help save some soul.” is what Elder Maxwell describes as “ a significant spiritual journey is thus reflected in nine soliloquy like verses. (April, 2000)

So how do we become content? Maybe the better question is how do we feel enough? How do we obey all the commandments in order to return home?

The simple truth of the matter is we don’t. God commands us to be perfect but in the same breath instructs us that if men come unto me I show unto them their weakness… I give unto men weakness. He gives us weakness. We absolutely need our Savior. When I was scared that Jesus would come again it was because I didn’t understand that He gave me these weaknesses, which often lead to sin, to make me humble and to realize how much I needed Him. And so that once I felt His redemptive power I could extend God’s love and mercy to others.

I learned this year that the beatitudes are progressive and interrelated. (Look in the Bible Dictionary under beattitudes) So our Lord was teaching “how to progress beyond the behavioral law of Moses when he gave them.

beatitudes3

If I have a hard time being merciful usually the answer lies in a previous beatitude .. which might be feast after righteousness, or maybe even come unto Christ and feel His atoning power, forgive and wash my sins that I can then extend that mercy to others. Or if I am having a hard time seeing God I simply ask myself, have I mourned? Am I meek? etc

Sometimes I get blocked because I get discouraged when I am persecuted or reviled. Sometimes that persecution comes from a church member or an intimate relationship. I used to think it was unjust or unfair but like the primary songs promises “ God gave us families to help us become who he wants us to be… this is how He shares his love” … What? Is God’s love manifest in persecution? According to the beatitudes you are right on track if you are. Perhaps this is why the apostles after being beaten could “depart …rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. (Acts 5:41)

So recently I have been hearing more and more people say. I just wish the second coming would be here. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this. But I think a smarter thing to say would be. Wow, what a marvelous time to be alive. If you aren’t planning on coming right away, how can I prepare my family? What do I need to be doing to be a light to those around me? Can I feel the enabling power of the atonement to lead myself and my family through these day. Will you allow me to remember you and gain a correct idea of your character attributes and perfections that my fears may be hushed and I can walk with confidence that path that you want me to. How can I be patient to your will and hope for his second coming and yet rejoice that I have more time to learn and grow in mortality.

 

Come O Thou King of Kings

In the Quiet Heart is Hidden

plato

I have never had anyone in my family with a great physical challenge. Mine have always been of a more spiritual nature. To look at me physically I look quite whole, put together and even beautiful. (Don’t get me wrong I wrestled with what word to describe myself but I am trying to be as kind to myself as I am to others and I wouldn’t have even hesitated to use that adjective to describe someone else). I remember watching the movie “Soul Surfer” and in it this girl gets her arm bitten off by a shark. I remember feeling a tad jealous. Everyone can see her struggle and can help. It’s so easy to see. But if people could see my soul they would see the limbs that were missing. “in the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eyes can’t see. “

No one brought over a casserole or sent cards of love and flowers but I still mourned a great loss of my broken family. If it had been a physical death I know so many who would have reached out in love. I am not bitter that no one reached out. Before I had experienced divorce in my family I don’t think I would have done much either. But I have learned  an important lesson about sharing spiritual wounds. If I don’t share people can’t mind read and guess that I still need their love and support. As I got brave and asked for help spiritual casseroles and spiritual flowers bloomed all around me.

Is there burdens that aren’t physical that others could help lift if they just knew they were there? Pray and ask God who you can share it with.  Is there a little prompting you’ve felt about helping someone but just felt so awkward you didn’t know where to begin? Just do something, anything, they will appreciate that you were thinking of them. i know that as I reached out in love, they always felt of my loving intentions.

 

In the Quiet Heart is Hidden