Sunday, March 13, 2011

Good Things to Come...

Last Sunday, Ashlie wanted to go up and bear her testimony for the first time, and asked me to take her.  I asked her if she could do it herself (I have that funny rule...you have to be able to do it yourself--I am not going to help you), and she said yes, so we went up.  She was a little nervous while we were sitting up there, I'm sure that seeing all those people from the FRONT of the building was a little nerve wracking--I know it is for me every time!  She was so sweet as she bore her testimony.  Some people don't really think kids have a testimony--they are just rehearsing what people tell them to say... I think about it differently.  We learn the gospel line upon line, precept upon precept.  A testimony evolves as children learn about the gospel at home, in primary, and on their own as they have experiences making choices at home and in school to see how the gospel principles work in their lives.  I believe that Ashlie does believe that the church is true.  She does love her family, and she loves Jesus.  She has learned about Him, and been taught about Him out of the scriptures.  I believe that a child's testimony, as simple as it may be, is truly amazing!  I am so proud of her for sharing what she believes, and what she loves. 

As I went up to bear my testimony, I was relating an experience that I had last week, and some insights I had while I was in my side yard doing some work in my rose garden.  We have a rose garden on the side of our house that has about 10 huge rose bushes.  When we moved into the house 2 years ago, in the springtime, it was a mess, and I thought the bushes were all dead.  I didn't know what to do with them, so I just pruned them all down to stubs, and left them to see if they would grow back.  Since our boat is parked right in front of them, the rose bushes are often out of sight, out of mind.  However, a few months later, during the summer, those roses grew back beautifully, and the kids would go out with scissors all summer long and fill our vase on the table with beautiful multi-color roses.  This winter, again, those rose bushes were out of sight, and out of mind.  When I went out last week to look at that sad mess of rose bushes again, I decided to prune them down to the nub once again, and hope they grow back like they have every year.  I'm sure that those of you who read this who are gardners are shaking your head!  I'm sure there is a better way to take care of these roses than to butcher them every year and start over--but thus, here I am again doing just that. 

As I was sitting there with my pruning shears cutting the mangled, dead bushes away, I thought about our current situation, and the struggles we have had since selling our business.  I thought about how me pruning those rose bushes was a lot like what happens to us as we have trials in our lives.  Heavenly Father prunes us, and sometimes it really hurts.  Yet, it is necessary to help bring about new growth, and to strengthen our faith and our testimony.  I am determined, even when it hurts, to grow back stronger, and bloom again.  Even though we don't fully understand why we have to face the struggles that we do, God knows the end from the beginning.  He is making us into what He would have us be, and sometimes he has to prune us in order to do that.  I also noticed as I was pruning those rose bushes, that over the years there are more and more parts of those bushes that never grow back.  Dead, dried up parts of the stump, that will never see new life--scars, probably because of my lack of experience, and lack of care in grooming them.  However, in our lives, I think that we all have scars from our experiences that we can never fully recover from here on the earth.  Scars that can only be healed by our Savior, and can only be healed when we return to Him.  I can only hope and pray that I can keep my faith strong enough, and do the things I need to do to return to Him one day and I know at that time, we will understand the reasons we had to face these trials, these prunings if you will, and we will understand why we had to feel the pain here on Earth that we did.  How can I become closer to my Savior without feeling some of the pain that He felt?  So I must be willing to submit my will to His, and try to grow from this experience, even when it is hard, and even when I don't understand. 

During our Relief Society lesson, we talked about overcoming the trials in our lives, and the teacher showed this video.  It is taken from a talk that President Holland gave years ago (1999) called "An High Priest of Good Things to Come".  I actually remember sobbing during this talk as it was given, because at that time we were going through another trial that seemed just as hard at the time as this one does now.  Funny to think that back then, we had only been married 6 years...and our lives were SO different!  We need these timely reminders, and I sobbed again as I watched this during her lesson.  As much as I am hurting right now, there are reminders all around me of my Heavenly Father's love for me and my family.  I am so grateful for an apostle of God who reminds us once again--there are always Good Things to Come.  My favorite part:  “Don’t give up, boy. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it—30 years of it now, and still counting. You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.” And this:  "Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."  Love that!  The text of the talk is HERE, and it is phenomenal!  Love it! 

1 comment:

Erin said...

Still one of my favorite talks EVER!! It has kept me going through so many things....hang in there Tami! Love you!

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