Effectual Struggle

There is a primary song that says, “God gave us families, to help us become who He wants us to be.” The song could have stated, “to live in peace and harmony. ” But it reaffirms that they help us become who He wants us to be. I think the ward family that God gives to us is for a similar reason. Sometimes family life is hard, in both families. But accepting that the Lord is molding your into the sculpture He wants to create takes meekness and humility.

The proclamation states, “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” God has complete patience, love, and understanding. He was more concerned about being kind than being right.  He focused on peoples strengths and not their weakness.

Our ward and stake boundaries were rearranged this year. I was having a hard time finding my place. It seemed everything was different and I felt on the outside of the group. (I know I was feeding the wrong wolf but that is another blog post) I was asked to oversee the ward Christmas party. Usually organizing large events are my forte. I love the excitement, energy, and planning creative ways to include everyone and celebrate. But this year the task seemed overwhelming and I truly had no creative ideas. When I reflected why the Lord would offer me this opportunity only to have me reject it I had a distinct impression, I did it so you would not complain when you attended the party. It was the first time I told my ward no to on opportunity to serve. But this year I attended the ward Christmas party and it was beautiful to me. I didn’t murmur about anything. It was a fantastic evening.  I think it was a turning point in viewing my ward family.

In October 2015 Conference, Elder Christianson poses a profound question.  If “the Church is the creation of …Jesus Christ, it is worth pausing to consider why He chooses to use a church, … to carry out His and His Father’s work.” Perhaps we could add and what he expects of each one of us. The proclamation states, “Successful … families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” If I practiced those qualities on my ward family what an experience I would have each Sunday. If i alter my attitude towards the boundary change and focus on the blessings that I and others receive from the love and service of my ward family. I am happier and feel more gratitude.

A few Sundays ago a beautiful sister shared her story so honestly that her message pierced my heart. In her comment, she blessed my life and changed the way I viewed this scripture. The scripture is found in Mosiah 7:18… (but the idea is many places throughout scripture) The people of Limhi, son of wicked King Noah, were in bondage to the Lamanites… King Mosiah, allowed Ammon to lead “sixteen strong men”  left  Zarahemla to inquire about Limhi’s people. They got lost but happened to stumble into the people.

18 And it came to pass that when they had gathered themselves together that he aspake unto them in this wise, saying: O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there bremaineth an effectual struggle to be made.

She brought out this idea of “effectual struggle.” What did it even mean… and when she looked in the dictionary, this is what she found:

Effectual struggle

producing or able to produce a desired effect

producing or capable of producing an intended effect; adequate.

valid or binding, as an agreement or document.

The Lord is in charge. He is in the details of our lives. If I know that He is leading me… He is guiding me … then there are moments in my life where I must face my own “effectual struggles”. Times when the persecution I receive… is able to “produce a desired effect”. I must remember… the ideal man I try to emulate… was despised and rejected of man, a man of sorrows… But He was not sorrowful… He was full of joy. Perhaps because He could see the desired effect of all His suffering.

One of my favorite scriptures about Jesus is found in alma 7:11-12

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and aafflictionsand btemptations of every kind; … he will ctake upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people….he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccor his people according to their infirmities.

He always knew His Father was in charge and anything that happened to him would be “concecrated for his good”
I hope to have faith like my Saviour. He kept the beginning and the end in view. I know that the Lord is acting in my life… I am learning to embrace my effectual struggles with more gratitude and faith… it is hard work… but fulfililng; it is terrifying but healing. I hope that you may be able to see your effectual struggles. To see that they are able to produce the desired effect.
“God gave us families to help us become who He wants us to be”… I am learning the importance of my ward family. They bless my life… trust me… it’s like any family and there are moments where they drive you crazy… but I know I drive them crazy too. If I can learn to see them as My Father does. If I can love them in their knowledge and imperfections…. I will learn from my effectual struggles. And together as we all try to return back home together.




Effectual Struggle

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