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Davis Journal

Flaws vs blessings

Jan 20, 2023 11:09AM ● By John Waterbury

I found a quote on the internet that goes:  I have too many flaws to be perfect, but too many blessings to be ungrateful.  Now here’s something we know about – FLAWS.  For some reason it seems that we’ve been given more than our fair share.  I’ve complained about them, but somehow, they keep popping up.  They must be purposeful!

In the song “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning” by Philip P. Bliss, I find some solace in the words: Brightly beams our Father’s mercy, from His lighthouse evermore, but to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.  Let the lower lights be burning!  Send the gleam across the wave!  Some poor struggling, fainting seaman you may rescue, you may save.  And the last verse: Trim your feeble lamp, my brother; some poor sailor, tempest lost, trying now to make the harbor, in the darkness may be lost.  

I think these words are referring to us and the responsibility we have to love God and our fellowman.  Maybe that’s the purpose of our flaws; to make us aware of the pains that others may be in the midst of.

Mortality seems to be filled with challenges and loss that may tend to confuse all of us, but I’ve come to realize that they are not mere coincidences, and they’re not our enemies.  Elder Jeffery R. Holland addressed this issue very specifically when in the October Conference of 2010 he stated:  …the tests of life are tailored for our own best interests, and all will face the burdens best suited to their own mortal experience (end quote). 

We have all been trained well to understand what the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us; that we are children of God, that we had a divine beginning, and we undoubtedly will have a divine future.  But yet we tend to slip back so easily at times to incorrect thinking patterns – patterns that are rooted in insecurity and confusion, resulting in depression and uncertainty.  On those occasions, we seem to forget who we are.  Fortunately, Heavenly Father understands this pattern in our lives and inspires His General Authorities to remind us. For instance,  Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, in 2009 wrote:  Referring to Gospel knowledge….it changes everything.  It changes your present.  It can change your future.  And it can change the world (end quote).

May we remember who we are and why we’re here.  Our time is now.  The future is ours.  And it is in the midst of adversity that we become aware of our strengths.  So, share your strengths, share your love.  Decide to enjoy the ride. 

John Waterbury is a retired Clinical Mental Health Counselor who has lived in Utah since 1984 when he moved to Bountiful with his wife and four children. Since then, he has written a weekly column for several years for the Davis County Clipper titled “The Dear John Letters” which was also used throughout the intermountain West focusing on addiction and mental health problems. This new column will focus on mental health and life management issues.