Here is a link to look more up yourself if you feel so inclined.
Here is a link to look more up yourself if you feel so inclined.
Last week I was helping out with a volunteer group. I was in charge of a large activity. I felt to take some time that morning that I could know how to focus my time and efforts to make the most of my work there. I didn’t even really know what I was praying for specifically, so my prayer sort of rambled and sounded like, “whatever it is I am supposed to be praying for help with I hope you know already better than I do cuz I have no idea what I’m praying for.” A few hours later I was delivering permission slips to the parents and felt to step in and visit with one of the families I had not talked to for a while. The conversation was kind of skirting around some potentially stressful family situations, but I felt directly impressed to share a personal struggle that our family had gone through a few years earlier. It turns out that was the exact thing that they were dealing with, and by sharing my story I was able to offer some hope and insight about how to deal with everything. It had nothing to do with the activity, except that was where the contact came in. I’m glad that Heavenly Father knew what I was praying for help for even if I didn’t.
One of my adult daughter’s favorite conference talks was a talk on tithing. I can understand why because she lives it so beautifully. Elder Bednar talked about the small, subtle blessings that come from paying our tithing. I know we have had more countless little blessings than we can count. I think both my adult daughter and myself understand what was meant by the blessings of gratitude that often accompany the payment of tithing. I have seen that gratitude and those blessings work together to deliver to us enjoyment of many of the better things of life. Despite the pitiful numbers reported on our IRS forms at the end of the year, and our larger than average family size, one example that comes to mind is how we have found ways to send our children to college without any student debt.
My daughter especially has seen this blessing as she has attended school away from home. Doors are opened. She is well aware that most of her fellow students, and even roommates simply could not get by on what she has to get by on. She does have to be more frugal, but she has sufficient. I’d like to share two examples of how her faithfulness has inspired me.
Just wanted to share a few examples of the principles in action that were so beautifully covered by Elder Bednar.
I’m going through some audio tapes from 1984, when we spent Easter in the Holy Land. I was going to upload a clip of the audio, but it won’t let me. Here is a rough transcription. It is a recording from Daniel Rona, recorded with permission for personal use.
“Gethsemane (on Mt. Of Olives)= vineyard, or orchard where wine is pressed. Geth = garden Sheme = oil, or stuff you squeeze out. How do you recognize a wine press person – feet and clothing stained red.
Read from scriptures. (matthew – 8 verses) Most significant thing that has ever happened. The public part, happened at the rock quarry. The crucifixion was a public atonement – for everyone. Gethsemane not for everyone, only for those who take advantage of it through repentance.
Here the Savior suffered for our sins (and we say it much to easily.) We are basically good people trying to do the best we can, and we can’t even stand in for our own children, and we can’t take away their hurts, or our own. He even atoned for those trying to be wicked. We don’t have comprehension what he went through that night. Story – Elder Faust. He stood under these trees and said, “I’ve been here before.” He felt so unworthy when he was called to the quorm of the 12, that he was in actual pain, and felt he couldn’t do it. He hurt like he never hurt before. Pres. Kimball replied that they understood, because they had all gone through it. He was trying to explain that this was like the cup being pressed to his lips. He did not have to drink it. He felt he had been to Gethsemane before. It takes a long time for us to come close to comprehending what the Savior went through, just because of who we are. I’m grateful for it, I want it. He said “Repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, .and your sufferings be sore, how hard to bear, etc.” Find scripture
He hurt so much that night that he bled from every pore of his body. What did he look like? D&C 46? Who is this, who cometh down. 133: “He shall say, I am he . . . red in his apparel. The sun shall hide his face in shame. Etc
With this horrendous experience, he came down and found the disciples asleep. As he arrived he told them to sleep, then told them to wake and said He is at hand who will betray me, and the multitude, of Jewish policemen, came. Judas kissed him. Scripture. Can you imagine the man whose ear was put back on, explaining how he arrested Christ? Scripture reprieving Peter. Scripture reprieving them for abducting him at night. It is illegal, according to Jewish law to arrest someone at night, unless you catch him in the very act. And they came with swords and staves to take him. It was a full moon, significant night, the night before most people would celebrate the deliverance of the People of Israel out of Israel, and look forward to a deliverer, to live again, that he paid for our mistakes. It was so much that he bled from every pore. That night he paid for our mistakes so that we wouldn’t have to. We have to pay for our mistakes in another way. We have to only by stopping them, replacing them with blessings for others”
Yesterday I was privileged to attend a sacred experience for one of my daughters. In our religion we have what is called a patriarchal blessing. It is an opportunity to receive blessings, guidance and comfort designed specifically for you. It is basically a special prayer that is recorded and preserved, designed to be used your entire life.
As expected, we had a wonderful experience. Our daughter was very comforted by how well her Father in Heaven knew her.
I was thinking how sacred some of our experiences are, and how they are not always meant to be shared. Because of the nature of sacred things, I think sometimes the world in general will too easily dismiss them as not of value, but in reality, it is the thing that is most sacred, and most personal, and most private that is often of most worth.
3. My husband trumps all of us. His evening job involves conferencing with people all over the world on multiple continents and teaching them English. I’d say he “travels” further for work, but really he just hangs out at home. He definitely meets a wider variety of individuals than the rest of us combined!
My mind has recently been resting on a scripture in Handel‘s Messiah, – I mean from Isaiah. It is the part where it talks about how “all flesh shall see him together.” When I was a child that phrase was relegated to the – we don’t understand it, but God probably knows what he is doing – realm. Today it is absolutely conceivable that all the ends of the earth will be able to see and hear him come in real time, with no mystic divine intervention needed at all. Miracles anyone?
I’ve had 2 rather shocking stories going through my mind. I feel to share both today.
Story 1 — A woman struggled for years with the fact that her father had killed himself. She struggled with not only the pain of losing him, but with trying to reconcile herself to the fact that this wonderful person, who had done so many wonderful things in his life, had chosen so poorly to end it himself. He had been sick, but that didn’t justify suicide.
Many years later she herself became seriously ill. During her illness she couldn’t ever sleep and couldn’t function. Her mind became stressed with lack of sleep and constant pain. Only with the help of the doctors and modern hospital equipment was she able to eventually make a full recovery. As she researched her disease, she found out that it was hereditary, and only in the few years before her episode had doctors really been able to identify and treat it. Before that, it is suspected many ended up relegated to mental institutions, or dead. She learned and understood that God was aware of every factor that lead to her father’s decision, and that God would judge in all His wisdom, complete knowledge, and mercy. The condemnation had never been hers to make.
Story 2 — Second is a murder story. It was about a man who had arranged to have his entire family killed. He arranged for the “hit man” to graze him to divert suspicion from his own involvement. The plan was carried out and was successful, except his father who eventually recovered. The story focused on the man who was eventually caught, admitted his involvement, but never showed any remorse or regret. He had come from a loving family and had no reason to wish any of them dead. He was given the death sentence.
The true story there should have been the father. At first the father wanted revenge on whoever hurt and killed his family. However, after some prayer, he experienced a complete change of heart. He told his son, the only family he had left, that he had chosen to forgive whoever did this to their family. The son remained silent, positive in his own belief that the sentiment would not apply if the truth ever came out. Eventually the police were able to piece together the source of the apparently random shooting, and reveal the son’s guilt, but the father remained true to his forgiveness. He never once sought revenge on his son. He never stopped loving him. He visited him regularly in prison and headed up the appeals. He had already unconditionally forgiven the person who had taken his family from him.
This humble father did what we have all been asked to do, despite his trying circumstances, and turned judgment completely over to God.
Next time I want to judge, I hope to remember that I may not really have the entire picture. Next time I think it is too hard to forgive someone, and still show love, I’ll remember what unconditional love can really look like. We are told that God is merciful, and I believe that mercy is one of the powers that creates miracles.