Thursday, May 10, 2012

Priorities...

I was looking through my photo book from 2010 yesterday, and happened upon this post.  It's funny how you have these moments where you "get it", and then, you slip back into your comfortable routines and you forget again.  Yesterday, with the President's announcement that he was fully supportive of gay marriage (even though I think he has been all along, who are we kidding?), I was really discouraged--again.  We are living in a secular world. So many are lost in the mists of darkness. There is so little of black and white anymore, and so much of gray. We can't get discouraged, and we can't get distracted...there is much work to be done!

Here is the post...   

In May, I had an opportunity to go to Women's Conference at BYU with my mom and sister.  It was a wonderful weekend full of learning, and a great opportunity to be still, and feel at peace.  When you're a mother of 6, I think those opportunities are few and far between!  Sister Julie B. Beck, the general Relief Society president gave a talk there that I believe that every woman should read.  The link is HERE.  It was encouraging, uplifting, and for me, it gave me a chance to look at my priorities, and reevaluate where I need to be as a mother, as a wife, and as a woman of God.  Here is a small part of that talk that I loved:

"With the Lord’s Spirit, weak and simple women can know what to do. I have been to places in the world where women aren’t able to read. They haven’t had the opportunity or have not been taught, but because of the Lord’s power that is placed upon them, the covenants they have made in the temple, and His Spirit that is poured out upon them, they are powerful women. They can discern His will, solve major problems, and feel peace, comfort, and guidance in their lives. Education is wonderful, but being able to feel the Lord’s power and Spirit upon us is the highest education we can achieve. With that, we have power and influence. Without it, we will not be able to navigate in this life. The adversary will pick us off one by one, and we will be drawn off course by the many, many voices that are out there distracting us. With the Lord’s Spirit upon us, we are strong and solid and will be able to walk with Him."

I have been thinking about this a lot lately.  Sometimes I feel like a "weak and simple woman", and I don't really think I can make much of a difference.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a news junkie!  I love reading about current events in the news, listening to talk radio, and keeping up with politics.  The problem I have had, especially of late, is there is not much in the way of good news out there.  It seems that each day, the news gets worse, and more depressing.  Our family has been reading in Helaman lately, and I am stunned how much the scriptures mirror the world that we are living in today.  Wickedness abounds, it is all around us.  Evil is good, good is evil, right is wrong, wrong is right.  For someone like me, who sees the world in black and white, good and bad, it is a frustrating time to live!  Nothing is as it seems, and sometimes I feel like I am living in the Twilight Zone!  Last week, when the ruling on Prop. 8 came out of California, it was like a punch in the gut.  I was hopeful that the law protecting marriage had been written in such a way that it would pass constitutional muster, but it was not to be.  Even worse, every article I read on the subject, even on conservative websites and blogs, said that gay marriage is inevitable.  We might as well get used to the idea, and move on.  Comments on social networking sites were amazing to me--most of them "Who Cares"...and "It doesn't affect you...so what's the problem?"  Another scripture that we read last week in Helaman described this perfectly:  "they had altered and trampled under their feet the laws...and they saw that their laws had become corrupted, and that they had become a wicked people...".  This is what is happening today--as we forget God, our laws have become secular, and corrupted. 

Then, last week, while all of this was weighing on my mind, I was doing my own personal scripture study.  I have started the Book of Mormon over again, since I am trying the challenge that Julie B. Beck gave in her talk, and the perfect time to start it was now, since school is starting.  So as I was reading in 1 Nephi, I was reading about Lehi's dream.  Now, let me just say, I have probably read this story 100 times, but a certain part of it just hit me like a ton of bricks, so I wanted to write it down so I would remember it. In 1 Nephi 8:27 it talks about the great and spacious building, which symbolizes the pride of the world-- it says:
"And it was filled with people both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit."
Then in verse 28 it says:
"And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them;  and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost."
Then later in verse 33 & 34:
"And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building.  And after they did enter into that building they did point the finger of scorn at me and those that were partaking of the fruit also;
but we heeded them not." 
"These are the words of my father:  For as many as heeded them, had fallen away."

These people that fell away were not just anyone. They were partakers of the fruit.  They were believers--they had made it to the tree of life, and were partaking of the love of God--the ultimate gift.  These were people of faith--who fell away because of the mocking and the scorn of the people in the great and spacious building.  These people were like ME!  I have tasted of the love of God, I have been taught the gospel of Jesus Christ, I have been baptized, and made covenants with my Heavenly Father in a temple of God.  I know where my focus should be!  The thought came to me--"am I ashamed?"  Do I heed the negative voices that I hear?  Do I let it bother me?  Do I let other people affect me, or my attitude, or my opinions?  If the answer is yes--than I need to change my focus--I need to change my priorities.  Compare those scriptures with this one, that I read this week:
1 Nephi 15:25:  "Wherefore, I, Nephi did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord;  yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things."

The point, for me, is that temptation and evil always has been, and will continue to be a part of this mortal experience.  The scoffing, and mocking voices will always be there, mocking that which is sacred, twisting God's words, making a mockery of that which is sacred and holy.  I believe that these things will continue, and will be even worse for our children than they have been for us.  And while I do believe that I have a responsibility to stand up for things that are good, and true, and right, the thing that we need to learn--and teach-- is that our focus needs to be on giving heed to the Lord, and his commandments--and heeding NOT those who would trample them under their feet.  If our focus is on the Lord, we will be able to feel His love, and have His spirit--and He will carry us through.  If our focus is on the Lord--we can have faith, not fear.  If our focus is on the Lord--we can trust Him, and we can relax, knowing that He is in charge.  I am grateful for that today!

(If you think this was a crazy LONG post--you should've been here for the long family night version that my kids had to suffer through...oh man!)

1 comment:

Huston Family said...

This is the first blog I've read in weeks as my chaotic life leaves me little spare time, and it was the perfect thing for me this morning. Thank you for your inspiring words, and the reminder that us "simple" women can do amazing things with the Lord on our side.

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