Tuesday, December 9, 2008
A few months back, many opportunities to serve started coming in. Well, more like “pouring in.” In all reality, it felt like an all out deluge. And I am still moving about with wet sneakers. There has been a growing need within me to feel like I contribute to the greater good in this life. Being a good wife and mom is the most worthy effort anyone can perform and I am ever working on that. In addition to this, I have wanted to volunteer at the school, help others in the community and serve more faithfully in my church callings and responsibilities. Seeing as how I have only two children at home for most of the day, it has allowed me the freedom to feel I can volunteer for school things. So, at the beginning of the year, I signed up to help with various activities and needs as they came about. Much little did I know, the opportunities would come in droves all at about the same time. God was getting me ready to learn a life lesson (an eternal life lesson). For me, this has been a challenging time. The fact that I couldn’t get it all organized in my head or on paper (with six children one has to become quite spontaneous, at times) was only taunted by the memory of younger days, fewer distractions, and a greater ability to “conquer” all tasks (one handed, no mind you). All of the things I had been asked to do, were worthy causes. And weighing out each request: I felt in my heart that all needed my commitment to perform such services (I did say “no” to some opportunities, by the way). This said, the pressure kept building. And although I have been on my knees daily, praying for Heavenly Father’s help to accomplish all He has asked of me…I realized, my faith had not been sufficient. My burdens were too heavy for me to bear. So, I was asking for strength to bear them. One day, as I knelt crying out of desperation to know what to do, I felt a sweet calm come over me as remembered the verse, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). I understood a little better the miracle of the atonement. Christ bore our burdens for us, this includes sin, death, sickness, physical, emotional and spiritual trials. In order for his atonement to be efficacious in our own lives, we need to have faith that he took upon him these things. I knew in my heart how to get everything done, done well, and on time. My prayer became less panicky: ‘Heavenly Father, I cannot do this. I am unable to figure it out. I need Thee to figure it out for me. So here is my life. Please, give me back each task as I need to do them. And I will not worry. I will have faith….’ The days following that moment of clarity, have be nothing less than remarkable. Each day, I would go about doing various tasks. Whatever task presented itself, I would perform until I felt I needed to move on to something else. All the while, I was not afraid to take time for reading and playing with my kids, reading the scriptures, and taking little bits of time to refill my own “bucket.” I chose not to lack faith. Even still, I wondered in quiet moments, when a task was completed sufficiently and on time, how it was done. --Little by little, line upon line… When overwhelmed by so many responsibilities, I didn’t know how to get it all done. But He did. He does. And He will. I am so thankful to know that He applies His infinite wisdom to our lives collectively and individually. I came across an article today by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (one of our living prophets today). He wrote, "Many carry heavy burdens...In one way or another, many are heavy laden... "...The Savior teaches that we will have tribulation in the world, but we should “be of good cheer” because He has “overcome the world” (John 16:33). His Atonement reaches and is powerful enough not only to pay the price for sin but also to heal every mortal affliction. "He knows of our anguish, and He is there for us." Dallin H. Oaks, “He Heals the Heavy Laden,” Liahona, Nov 2006, 6–9 http://www.blogger.com/www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=f318118dd536c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=f92888f17feae010VgnVCM100000176f620a____&hideNav=1 So I continue forward. I have some ideas of what today might include. But I have learned to more willingly put my life into the hands of my Heavenly Father through faith in the atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ. At times, I have said, “I’m fine if God drives, but I want to at least work the turn signal.” I know now, there is no need to cling to that paranoia. With an eternal perspective, all that is required of me, will be accomplished in faith and in His way. "Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend." Mosiah 4:9, The Book of Mormon
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
"I know why there must be opposition in all things. Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it.
"As we look for humor, seek for the eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation, and draw near to our Heavenly Father, we can endure hardship and trial. We can say, as did my mother, “Come what may, and love it.” Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen." Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (talk given during October 2008 General Conference, www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-947-9,00.html)
This talk really touched my heart when he delivered it at conference. He gave it with such loving humility. As I read about King Benjamin (Mosiah 2, Book of Mormon) this morning and how his body "trembled" exceedingly in his old age and perphaps under some medical limitations, I wondered at the joy he must have felt as he "layed down him mortal frame" and his spirit rose to heaven. He must have rejoiced and wept knowing that he had endured to the end, served with all his heart, overcome many obstacles, and trusted in the Lord.
Now as I hear about Elder Wirthlin, my heart is sad to be apart from him, but I also feel a portion of that joy he must feel to return to his wife and other loved ones, to be with those with whom he so faithfully served, and have a clear conscience before Jesus Christ our Savior and before Heavenly Father.
"SALT LAKE CITY 2 December 2008 Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, the oldest living apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died last night, age 91.
"Elder Wirthlin had gone to bed at his Salt Lake City home, and died peacefully at about 11:30 pm of causes incident to age. His oldest daughter, Jane Wirthlin Parker, was present. A member of the family had been staying and caring for Elder Wirthlin, whose wife, Elisa Young Rogers Wirthlin, died in 2006.
"He had continued to work at his office right up until the Thanksgiving holiday." (lds.org)
I am thankful for Elder Wirthlin.
Friday, October 3, 2008
It is easy to sit here staring at an empty "compose" box in the posting section of our new family blog site. All of the thoughts swirling in my head seem to collide rather than develop and produce a literary masterpiece. Today, I read something that moved me in "Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in a Cynical Time" by Paul Rogat Loeb (1999). ---It is cause alone to commemorate: the very fact alone that I got to read something other than the scriptures or a children's book is amazing!--- The book is about being willing to take a stand for that in which you believe. (Reminded me of a great book written by Gordon B. Hinckley, entitled "Standing for Something.") Mr. Loeb writes, "We need to understand our cultural diseases of callousness, shortsightedness, and denial, and learn what it will take to heal our society and heal our souls. How did so many of us become convince that we can do nothing to affect our common future? And how have some other[s]...managed to remove the cataracts from their vision and work powerfully for change?" Then, he relates the story of a man named Pete and a couple of friends who overcame great odds by taking a stand. Pete said, "It takes energy to act. But it's more draining to bury your anger, convince yourself you're powerless, and swallow whatever's hand to you. The times I've compromised my integrity and accepted something I shouldn't, the ghosts of my choices have haunted me. When you get involved in something meaningful, you make your life count. What you do makes a difference." Isn't that awesome?!!! I love how he realized that and shared it with us. President Gordon B. Hinckley once said, "It is not enough to be good, you have to be good for something." Otherwise, we are good for nothing. I have only just begun this book, so I am unqualified to recommend it as yet. But it is good so far. I do recommend the book "Standing for Something." We must stand up and be a worker that in which we believe. Integrity applied!