Thursday, October 1, 2009

I had a fun vacation in San Francisco and New Mexico. I hope you had a nice month as well. I got to spend some time with a cousin, who I have not known very well. Because of some talks I have given in church lately, I asked her why she doesn’t go to church any more. She was really sweet about it and told me that after she finished her mission she wondered why a God who was supposed to love us would let bad things happen to us. If He were all-powerful why would he let his children, whom he loved be hurt? I wanted to ask her if, as a parent, wouldn’t she let her child try to walk, even knowing he would fall, rather than carrying him everywhere for his whole life? Many times as parents we have to cringe and let our children try out things for themselves instead of doing it for them. This makes sense to me. But my cousin doesn’t have children

The Sunday I was in New Mexico the Sunday school lesson was about Joseph Smith and his murder at Liberty jail. He knew it was going to happen and went anyway. He said, “I go like a lamb to the slaughter” (D&C 135:4) The teacher, then asked us “Would we die for Christ?” Then as we have been asked before “Would we live for Christ?” But her most important question for me in the lesson was “Are you willing to grieve?” Are you willing to accept the hard learning experience in life in order to gain all that God has waiting for us? She asked a sister who lost everything she owned in a fire in 2000 if she had gained more than she had lost in this experience. Yes, she was assured. “Are you sure? Yes! She asked other class members by name, who had lost family members to illness, who had medical conditions of their own. “Are you willing to grieve? Can you see your blessings? Are you sure?

The next, Sunday, after I had returned to Arlington, I went to a Relief Society lesson that continued my odyssey. Andrea Watkins gave a lesson on two conference talks by Richard C. Scott. He said, “He (God) therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain.

When you face adversity, you can be led to ask many questions. Some serve a useful purpose; others do not. To ask, Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this, now? What have I done to cause this? will lead you into blind alleys. It really does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God. Rather ask, What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Who am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial? Willing sacrifice of deeply held personal desires in favor of the will of God is very hard to do. Yet, when you pray with real conviction, 'Please let me know Thy will' and 'May Thy will be done,' you are in the strongest position to receive the maximum help from your loving Father.

You are here on earth for a divine purpose. It is not to be endlessly entertained or to be constantly in full pursuit of pleasure. You are here to be tried, to prove yourself so that you can receive the additional blessings God has for you. The tempering effect of patience is required. Some blessings will be delivered here in this life; others will come beyond the veil. The Lord is intent on your personal growth and development. That progress is accelerated when you willingly allow Him to lead you through every growth experience you encounter, whether initially it be to your individual liking or not. When you trust in the Lord, when you are willing to let your heart and your mind be centered in His will, when you ask to be led by the Spirit to do His will, you are assured of the greatest happiness along the way and the most fulfilling attainment from this mortal experience. If you question everything you are asked to do, or dig in your heels at every unpleasant challenge, you make it harder for the Lord to bless you."April 1996 General Conference talk

As a quilter I know that darks and lights in my quilt make it more interesting. So it is with life.

Yesterday I went to see a new dentist to see about having a tooth pulled. While discussing my health and personal history, he asked me what anti depressant I was on. I said none. He said,” How can you live with all the things that have happened in your life?” I smiled, and said “I write poetry.”

I am grateful that the Lord trusts me enough to help me stretch and grow closer to him
Have a good month.

1 comment:

lap said...

interesting comments. I like to read your messages