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Davis Journal

When things go wrong, be strong

Jun 20, 2024 08:13AM ● By John Waterbury
Helen Keller wrote, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.  They must be felt with the heart.” And so it is with our world.  In many cases we seem to be oblivious to much of the beauty around us.  We get so busy, and in so much of a hurry that we often miss the beauty and color that surround us.  But when the Spirit touches our hearts, we are able to see the world from a completely different point of view.  The colors are brighter and the way we experience the world is clearer.  And for that brief moment, we are changed.
The Gospel teaches us that when things go wrong, be strong, but that’s harder than it sounds.  We’re taught to look for the light, especially when the darkness seems to be all around us, but that can seem overwhelming.  And we’re taught, not that everything will be OK in the future, but that everything is already all right, and that everything will be converted into something beneficial.  Sometimes that requires a major leap of faith.

The reality is that this world has been created specifically for us, to learn lessons that could be taught in no other way.  And we’re taught that our responses to the challenges in this world will undoubtedly impact our future.  The poet R. L. Sharpe wrote “A Bag of Tool.”
“Isn’t it strange that princes and kings, and clowns that caper in sawdust rings, and common people like you and me,  are builders for eternity.  
To each is given a bag of tools, a shapeless mass and a book of rules.                                              And each must make, ere life is flown, a stumbling block or a stepping stone.”  
That’s us.  We’ve come to this world to make a unique contribution, and the purpose for this contribution is not necessarily to gain world acclaim, or to achieve some kind of immunity from pain and discomfort.    

But rather, it is to fulfill a promise we made to God; a promise that we would do our part; that we would plant seeds that others might harvest, and that we would love God, and praise God, and love our neighbors.  We can do that, no matter what we may have been practicing so far.  We have been created by God, for God’s purposes.  His plan is perfect, and we fit in to that perfect plan.  

We all know that life can be difficult; and granted, more often than not, life is no “dance in the park.”  In fact, it’s more like a wrestling match!  But apparently, that too, is part of the plan.  With all the bruises and aches and pains of mortality, sometimes it’s easy to believe that we’re out-matched, but we’re not.  Yes, there are lessons to be learned and tears to be shed, and people to be loved.  But we’re not out-matched.  We have gifts that need to be shared, and life that needs to be lived, and people to be loved, rather than simply sitting back and watching Heavenly Father’s Plan unfold.  That’s part of what we signed on for.  To do less, is to fall short of the covenants we made with Heavenly Father.  It’s clear that there is purpose in the pain that we experience in life.  We are not victims, but victors!  We’re in the midst of a journey that has eternal ramifications.  We’re not here by accident.  We need to celebrate this journey.  Once upon a time, in a land far, far away we shouted for joy to have this opportunity.

Ours is a journey that leads to Heavenly Father.  Ours is a journey that has been made possible by the Savior.   In this journey, as we interact with others, it would appear that we all leave a bit of ourselves behind.  As we serve others, and as we love others, we will sacrifice for others, and we will become a little less selfish, a little less self-centered…..and a little more like the Savior.  And that, too, is part of the Plan.

With this in mind, maybe we need to live a little more intentionally.  Maybe we need to fear less and love more.  Maybe we need to do our best to be our best, because after all, we are sons and daughters of the Most High God.  The Savior is our Chief Exemplar.  The Holy Ghost is our guide and companion.  We are not out-matched. 

We worship God; not only the name of God, but with the very presence and omnipotence of God.  And as we recognize that God is the source of all that is sacred, we will be able to discover the beauty and spirituality of our existence. In this manner, we will begin to understand in some small way, the supernal love that God has for us.  His love will make it possible to go beyond our weaknesses and imperfections.  His love will make it possible to reach eternity.

We all know that life can be difficult; and granted, a lot of times, life is no “dance in the park.”  In fact, more often than not it’s more like a wrestling match!  But apparently, that too is part of the plan.  So, stay strong and remember who you are.  Don’t give up and don’t give in.