I am Lost.
By lost
2/7/2007 1:27:28 PM
I have been dealing with a lot of things lately. It seems like I keep getting hit with trial after trial. It's not just me either. It's my family too. I know there are some trials that come as a result of our own stupid decisions, but what about the ones we can't control? What about the trials that are caused by things that are completely out of anyone's control? Like natural disasters. Those people hit by tornadoes in Florida had no idea it was coming and there was nothing anyone could have done to stop it from happening. What about genetic diseases or cancers? What horrible decision did anyone make to get cancer? There was a blog about the Willie and Martin handcart companies and reaching the Sweetwater river. The only thing those people were guilty of was choosing to follow the counsel of their church leaders, because they thought it was what God wanted them to do. They were sick, weak, starving and freezing to death. They had burned most of their clothing and bedding, so they could lighten their carts and keep moving, THEN they get hit with one of the worst blizzards they'd ever seen. And nobody knew they were coming until it was almost too late to save them. Someone please tell me WHY God would have asked them to do that. As a test of their faith? Wasn't giving up their jobs, friends, families, and lives over in Europe enough proof of their faith? Or the horrible living conditions on the boat ride from Europe to America? What about the living conditions once they got to America? Wasn't the fact that they didn't quit then, enough proof of their faith? They just kept going, with the hope that God would bless them and see them through it all. When is it enough? Even after they were found, they were only barely given enough food and clothing to continue their journey onward. And still, they praised God and called themselves blessed. Was that not enough proof of their faith??? What happened to those people after they reached their destination? They had nothing to their name. No money, no food, no clothing, NOTHING. Just their faith. Were any of them blessed to go on to become rich and live a nice cushy life, or did they all simply continue working hard each day faced with trial after trial until they finally dropped dead. What exactly is the point to this life? In the church they talk all about the plan of happiness, and how men are supposed to have joy. What joy did the handcart people have? Finding that you've still got a finger and a thumb left after losing the other eight fingers to frostbite, but thank the heavens the two you have left are on the same hand so you can still function? Is that really JOY? Is that really a BLESSING? This what I don't understand about faith, blessings, trials, and things. Is this life just supposed to suck and then when we die if we were faithful we'll be rewarded with joy then? That doesn't seem fair, does it? I don't need to be reminded of Joseph Smith and how crappy his life was. Have any of you ever thought about the amazing joy he must have felt every time he witnessed a heavenly being? His life was filled with torture and crap, but he was rewarded again and again with visits from heaven. What about the rest of us who are just trying to make it through each day? I have been a faithful member my whole life. I do all the things I am supposed to do as a member, and I do them faithfully. I pray all the time for understanding, but I just can't seem to get it. Why do we keep getting hit with more and more trials that we have no control over? Is God really going to pick us apart a piece at a time until the day we die? I hear so much that he is a loving father, but what loving father is going to sit back and watch his children suffer from things they can't control? I understand letting your kid fall after telling him a hundred times to stay off the ladder, since if he falls, maybe he'll learn to stay off the ladder. But what parent would go and start shaking the ladder? Or throwing rocks at the kid while he's on the ladder? Or turing a firehose full blast at the kid on the ladder? What loving parent tries to knock their kid off the ladder? Why would a parent do that? To see how long the kid will hang on before falling to his death? To see if the kid will finally beg for the parent's help? Okay, maybe God isn't the one shaking, throwing rocks, or blasting the water at the kid. Maybe it's Satan. But as a loving parent, would YOU stand back and allow some other adult to torture your kid on the ladder? God can't take away our free will, but why doesn't he stop Satan? Or does He? Is that why the faithful handcart pioneer ended up with a finger and a thumb on the same hand? Because God finally intervened? Then why did He wait so long? I apologize if this sounds blasphemous I just really don't get it. Why does God intervene with some people and not with others? Why does it seem He jumps in right away for some and he waits so long with others? Why are there so many huge miracles recorded in the scriptures and none really today? Why didn't He send manna from heaven to the handcart pioneers? Why did he let them suffer so much? Why does he let us suffer so much? When is it enough? I don't understand. Is there not supposed to be joy in this life? Are there no rewards here on earth?


"This is the age old question isn't it? Why does God allow bad things to happen to his children?

I agree that sometimes it feels as though EVERYTHING is stacked against us. My family has suffered through a pretty rough 2 months with illnesses and lots of plain old bad luck. But at the same time, I recognize that our problems are very minor compared to others. You are obviously struggling with feelings of being abandoned in your trials. I just thought of a few things as I read your comments.

First, regarding your comments about the Will and Martin handcart company. You've probably heard this before, but I think it is particularly applicable to your concerns:

"It was in an adult Sunday School class of over fifty men and women. Nathan T. Porter was the teacher and the subject under discussion was the ill-fated handcart company [Martin Handcart Company] that suffered so terribly in the snow of 1856. Some sharp criticism of the Church and its leader was being indulged in for permitting any company of converts to venture across the plains with no more supplies or protection than a handcart caravan afforded. One old man in the corner sat silent and listened as long as he could stand it, then he arose and said things that no person who heard him will ever forget.

"His face was white with emotion, yet he spoke calmly, deliberately, but with great earnestness and sincerity. He said in substance, 'I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts mean nothing here, for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the Handcart Company out so late in the season? Yes! But I was in that company and my wife was in it, and Sister Nellie Unthank whom you have cited here was there, too. We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? Every one of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities!

" 'I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up for I cannot pull the load through it. I have gone to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me! I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the Angels of God were there.

" 'Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No! Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.'

"The speaker was Francis Webster. And when he sat down there was not a dry eye in the room. We were subdued and chastened lot. Charles Mabey who latter became Governor of Utah, arose and voiced the sentiment of all when he said, 'I would gladly pay the same price to personally know God that Brother Webster has.'"

Are you looking at your trials with that perspective? Obviously I don't know the trials you are facing, nor how extreme they are. I'm quite certain they are worse than anything I've had to endure. But I do know that regardless of the trials, or the quantity of trials, it is possible to grow through them and benefit by them - and even KNOW God and our Savior through them.

Secondly, you ask "what loving father is going to sit back and watch his children suffer from things they can't control?" Well, I'm certainly not God, but I am a loving father of 4 children. And I will watch them suffer from things they can't control SOMETIMES. Why? Because it's an important lesson of life. We all have to suffer because of things we can't control. What good does it do for SUPERDAD to come rescuing his children from everything bad that happens to them? I think of Remember the Titans, when coach Boone berates coach Yoast for coddling the picked on black players. He says "The world don't give a d**n about how sensitive these kids are, especially the young black kids. You ain't doin' these kids a favor by patronizing them. You're crippling them; You're crippling them for life."

And by the same token sometimes I, in effect, "shake the ladder" when they're on it. I have taught each of my boys to do the monkey bars. When they first try to do it, they can't hang on for long at all. So they're quick to call for help so they don't fall. I don't help them right away. I let them hang on, longer than they think they can. This way, they build strength and learn about their capabilities too. That's a pretty simple example, but from a 5-year old's perspective, it could seem like I'm abandoning them, even though I'm standing there right next to them. But I know their capabilities, their strengths and weaknesses better than they do. And I know that they will never be able to cross those monkey bars if I immediately helped them every time they wanted it.

So take that example and make it harder and "meaner" for an adult's perspective. Or even better yet, make it even "worse" for an "eternal being with divine potential"'s perspective. That is what we are. We are not children. We are not just mortal humans. We are eternal beings with unlimited potential and capabilities. To us, like to my 5-year old sons, it could seem like God's abandoning us, even though He's standing there right next to us. But he know our capabilities, our unlimited potential, our strengths and weaknesses better than we do. And He knows that we will never be able to reach that potential if He immediately helped us every time we wanted it.

Also, because of our eternal existence, this life and it's trials are but drops in a bucket compared to everything we have experienced and will experience. I think it's VERY important to remember that as well. Even if we are tried to the point of losing our mortal life, it just doesn't really matter. Not in an eternal perspective.

I know it is hard to have this perspective when you're in the midst of the trial, when you're hanging desperately from the monkey bars afraid that you're about to plummet to your death. But like that old man who crossed the plains, we can look for Heavenly Father's influence and his guiding hand in the midst of those trials. He IS there. He IS watching over us. If you will honestly evaluate your trials I know you will see where our Savior is standing by you, lifting you ever so gently, maybe not saving you, but certainly providing his tender mercies to aid you as you struggle. He knows you and wants what is best for you. He LOVES YOU. Look for his hand in your life. It IS there. It may be incredibly hard to see as you peer through the fog of pain and misery and loss you are in right now. But I know that he IS there for you and loves you. I pray that you can recognize his hand, even in your trials."
posted at 15:16:29 on February 7, 2007 by derek
For what it's worth    
"I'm glad Derek took a very understanding and kind approach to his response to your post. I appreciate both your post and his response, because they are both great questions, and great responses. If I could, could I just play Devil's advocate for a minute? I certainly don't mean to offend, but sometimes I think we could use a little bluntness.

"I have been a faithful member my whole life. I do all the things I am supposed to do as a member, and I do them faithfully. I pray all the time for understanding, but I just can't seem to get it."

What exactly do you think you have earned with all your faithfulness? Is that what it's about? Earning God's love and blessings and joy through a prescribed formula of acts of obedience? What about all the things God has blessed you with that you have done nothing to earn, like for starters, your very life and the opportunity to progress? Without this world and all of its cruelties and unfairness, you wouldn't have that opportunity. I think if you take a true inventory of your blessings, they will far outnumber your trials.

If I could bring this discussion back to the topic of addiction for a moment, it was my lack of understanding in this regard that really kept me from overcoming. For a long time I thought that it was just about me doing everything I was supposed to, and asking, "Why hasn't God taken this from me yet?" I finally came to a realization that I flat out couldn't do it on my own, but that with God's help I COULD do it. My attitude changed. It wasn't about me and my power anymore - it was about me accepting God's power, and truly believing that he would and could make the necessary change in me to overcome. For a long time I asked God to make me strong enough to resist sinning. Only when I truly asked him to sufficiently CHANGE me (and then proceeded to do everything in my power to make this possible) did I make true progress. I could change my behavior, but only God could change my nature. It became less about my own strength, and more about accepting my dependence on the Lord. And the Lord did change me. Certainly I have a long way to go, but I can never deny that he changed me, and for that I give Him thanks daily, and truly find JOY.

The prophet Joseph did not only feel joy in the midst of heavenly visitations, but also in the midst of trials. Some of the most beautiful emotions he felt and the most treasured revelations we have came to him in the terrible conditions of Liberty jail (D&C 121 and 122). I've often wondered what beautiful blessings I've missed out on in the midst of my trials because I just kept waiting for God to intervene and take them away - I did nothing but bitterly wait, wait for better times.

I'm glad Derek mentioned Francis Webster's response to the Sunday School class 's criticism of the Martin-Willie Handcart company - I've heard that story before as well, and I think it speaks for itself.

You are going to have trials. You knew that when you chose to follow God's plan. Maybe you will have more than others. Certainly you will have less than some. It will never be the amount of trials you have (or lack thereof) that determines your joy. Do you think you'd truly be happier and better off if God suddenly took away all your trials? As trite as this sounds, you can't choose your trials, you can only choose whether they will be a blessing or a curse unto you. That is wholly up to you. And even that is not totally true - in a sense, you CAN choose your trials, because not only can we bring them on ourselves with the choices we make, but also the attitude with which we make those choices.

Maybe there are wonderful things in store for you and you have all these trials because Satan is doing everything he can to keep you from reaching your potential - a potential perhaps far greater than you understand yourself. Perhaps you have trials because you are worth something. Trials are proof of our worth!

I'm going to speculate here (and I could be totally wrong), but based on the fact that you are making this post on this site, which is about addiction recovery, that somehow principles of addiction play into your frustration. Whether you are an addict or it is someone close to you, is there something you're just not quite willing to give up? Even if you are just seeking understanding, could you honestly tell the Lord that you are 100% willing to do ANYthing and EVERYthing he might require of you to either overcome an addiction or gain greater understanding? Do you desperately want to be the truly faithful and optimistic person you wish you were but deep down you are afraid of some aspect of what that might truly require of you? Maybe it's being honest with your spouse (if you are married). Maybe it's being honest with yourself. Maybe it's your pride. For me, it was all of those things. Give them away. Give them to the Lord.

This is just me spouting off, so if I've offended you, feel free to chalk it up to some windbag who doesn't know anything anyway. I don't mean to preach or rebuke, just hopefully perhaps make you think about things in a way that maybe you haven't before.

I also want to echo what Derek said, that Heavenly Father does love you. I know that He does, and that He wants you to know that too."
posted at 18:02:55 on February 7, 2007 by josh
"hi there, just passing through, and was interested to note that Josh said we hadn't earned our very lives here on earth, and I think that warrants a response.

There's that whole war in heaven thing, where lines were drawn, sides were chosen, and one third of the spirit children of God were cast out. I think it is safe to say that each and everyone of us who have ever lived, live now, or will live here on this earth have earned the blessing of life and the opportunities life presents to us.

Josh, your blogs are insightful and inspiring, but you do seem to "spout off" a bit when you read a blog that doesn't sit well with you. Instead of looking for what's wrong with the person who is blogging, you might think about embracing the spirit of what is being said. This person is feeling lost, hurt, hopeless and alone right now. I'd venture to say the last thing Lost needs is a lecture. Try some compassion once in awhile. (I know, I really need to listen to my own advice and not judge, right?)

Derek, your response was much kinder, more humble, and much more filled with compassion, but still seemed to miss the mark a little. It seemed to me that Lost was asking if we are really meant to have joy in THIS life, or are we doomed to wait to find it in the life to come. It's a compelling question, to say the least. It's also a question that nobody can ever give a straight answer to.

Lost, you sound like you're ready to give up and give in to despair. The only thing I can say is keep on praying. I know when I am feeling hopeless the last thing I want to do is pray. It's usually then that I need it the most. And the times I really can't do it, then I try to make a list of blessings that have come as a result of my trials. Everything good in your life is a blessing from God. I don't know what your trials are, but it sounds like they are numerous and overwhelming right now. Please hang in there and do remember that you are loved so much by your Father in Heaven. Maybe like Derek said, He is letting you hang on a little while longer to help build your strength. I don't know. I wish I had more clear answers for you. Remember the scripture,

"Men are that they might have joy."

It doesn't say eternal beings, or spirits, or anything else, it says "Men." Human beings. Us. WE are that we might have joy. Now. Here in this life. Maybe it's just something some of us have to look harder to find.
posted at 21:01:05 on February 7, 2007 by Anonymous
Be Thou Unafraid    
"Lost, I feel for you. It seems clear that you're going through a lot of pain right now, and pain can lead to despair, which can lead to loss of hope, if you let it. It is my sincere hope that you don't lose hope.

You are going to find that with blogs like the one that you posted, that sometimes you're going to find some harsh-sounding comments by well-meaning people. Please try not to take the harsh tone too personally. Josh, Derek, myself, and all of us are trying to help, and although some (or all) of it may sound a little pointed, I'm sure that much of it is unintentional. We all may be anonymous words on a screen, but we do care -- even though we don't know you.

I'm not sure how well you know the scriptures, so I can't help with too many loose references. But I'm going to give you some examples with the hope that it helps in the matter of both hope and perspective for you -- as well as answering a few of the questions you pose. One of those questions being the age-old one, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

The answer to that question is very simple and complicated at the same time: There's a reason for everything.

So I'm going to attempt to answer your questions with some questions, and then provide some scriptural references for you to read, ponder, and pray about. It is my hope that this helps you. But you will need to exercise some faith in order to understand and have your questions answered. It will come if you seek diligently.

Take Nephi, for example. He and his people were the ones that were being good. Why did the Lord make him and the other righteous people leave? Why didn't the Lord just punish the Lamanites and throw them back instead? The Nephites -- the followers of God had to leave their homes, their posessions, and everything they knew in order to preserve themselves. Why didn't the Lord just smite the Lamanites instead? The Nephites were the good guys. Why should THEY have to be the ones to leave and suffer afflictions while the Lamanites enjoy the spiols of their anger, contention, and sinful nature? (2 Ne Ch. 5) Is God punishing the "good guys," or is there a higher cause for this?

For another example...

Why didn't God protect Abinidi from imprisonment and death? Abinidi was a PROPHET. What reason would God have for this? Don't you think there is probably a reason for it? Maybe something deeper...under the surface? (Mosiah Ch 11-13, 17)

Did the Savior himself have a terrible, sadness-filled life? Or was he happy, despite every disappointment, harsh word, ridicule, betrayal, and the torture and death that He suffered for us all? Certainly, it broke his heart when he healed the lepers and only one came back to thank him. (Luke 17:11-17) Why all the heartache and disappointment, besides suffering in Gethsemane? Besides the cross. He was PERFECT, after all.

Something that has worked for me when I am in the darkest hours of despair: prayer. Seeking Christ. Service to others. Faith. Hope. Charity.

Don't let the world affect your faith. Let you affect your faith. If you find your faith shaken, allow the Savior to strengthen it. If you desire comfort, seek it in He who gives comfort freely.

Last, in this long response, I wish to remind you that while we're all with you and want to help you...the best help validation will come from God himself. He loves you. I promise."
posted at 23:47:35 on February 7, 2007 by fightingit
I really do mean well    
"Christie, you're right - I do spout off sometimes (too much) - I apologize. I guess I had a friend once who just wouldn't take my pity party and let me know in no uncertain terms what he thought. I was offended at first, then realized he was right. I was tired of people always giving me "church answers" (which are generally the best answers if you take them to heart) and his straightforward perspective ended up meaning a lot to me. But that was me, and this situation is different, and when I try to put myself in Lost's shoes, I wouldn't appreciate the type of response I gave. I guess what I wrote was really a reminder to myself. So Lost, I really do apologize. I suppose I could just delete my post, but then later references to it wouldn't make sense. Anyway, I don't mean to make this post about me - it's not, it's about Lost and the great questions posed, and the great responses others have given. So I'll shut up now and enjoy reading what others have written and hopefully will continue to write."
posted at 20:58:41 on February 8, 2007 by josh
There is hope    
"There are so many inspired truths here. Lost, I HAVE FELT EXACTLY THE SAME THING YOU ARE FEELING - VERY RECENTLY. A couple of things that have helped me heal:

1- Accept that your pain - even if it's less than others is/was - is absolutely valid in God's eyes. He said, "Come unto me ALL ye that labor and I will give you rest". He didn't say, "Biggest problems first" or "Take a number". He said, come! Now. And He will be there waiting as soon as you do. Maybe not to take the pain but to help you through it - and knowing that is enough for now.

2- You are probably out of Sunday School answers at this point and when you hear "Faith precedes the miracle", for me at least, I thought, "Why would I trust someone who is hurting me (or at least not doing anything about it?)" I didn't trust Him because the evidence showed a jealous, harsh, even vindictive God not one who wanted to help me. This is a lie. I realized that before I could trust the Lord to help me I needed to trust first that the Lord loves me. I made a list of all the evidence I had that he loved me. I also made a list of all the evidence I had that he did not. The "Does Not" list was easy. I quickly put a number of things down. I then started to write, honestly, reasons why he does. Months later I am still adding to the "Does" list and it is a lot longer than the other one. I pray now for the wisdom to recognize God's hand in my life and it is helping a lot. My new motto is, "Love precedes the Faith which precedes the miracle." If I focus on my relationship with the Lord first I find that the trust to walk with courage comes much easier and the evidence that he is walking with me is all around me.

3- We learn so much more through pain than by any other way. I wish this weren't true but I can't deny it. I know that I am much closer to God when I am driven to my knees (either by my choices or otherwise) than at any other time. If this is the case, then maybe trials are the ultimate effort by a loving Father to draw his child to him. Like a "mother hen gathering her chicks to herself".

4- Trial brings strength and beauty. You may not feel any way out yet but you will. And when you do you will understand how far you have climbed.

Some quotes you may have heard which help me understand the redeeming value of humility created through trials/adversity/mistakes:

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have few virtues." (Abraham Lincoln)

"I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught." (Sir Winston Churchill)

"We could never learn to be brave or patient if there were only joy in the world." (Helen Keller)

"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding."
(Kahlil Gibran)

"Religion is for those trying to avoid going to Hell. Spirituality is for those of us who've been there." (Unknown - from a plaque hanging in an old Methodist church)

May the Lord bless you. I cried when I read your plea and pray that you find peace. I will pray with you. I think others do already."
posted at 16:22:06 on February 13, 2007 by matt2
you are so loved!    
"I love the comments on this blog - it's funny, but I think Josh's first response is so like what I would have said at first too... I'm not really very skilled at that whole having compassion and empathy thing. I'm way more the "quit your whining and complaining and count your blessings," kind of girl (although if I'M having problems, I really want/need the compassion and empathy thing...). SO, I completely agree with ALL the comments here and want to add a few thoughts of my own. First, the idea of making a list of reasons why Heavenly Father loves you, vs why He doesn't is such a good idea. I have done that a lot over the past several months... except I simplified it to a list of blessings vs trials. MOST of my trials stem from something, some bad choice, that either I myself made, or that someone else made and it affected my life in a bad way. But how many times, in the middle of our trials and sufferings has Heavenly Father stepped in to ease the burden? I'm guessing He's done it every single time and we just don't always recognize it right away. Like my kids get horribly sick every single winter. Respiratory infections, pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, croup, you name it. This winter, in the middle of everything else that has been happening (just see my other blogs for the list!), I suddenly realized that although we've still had numerous colds, and some worse than others, we haven't had any of the other stuff I just mentioned. AND, their illnesses used to last weeks at a time, and this time, every single cold has been over within 3-5 days. No prescriptions, no breathing treatments, no steroids, no trips to the doctor... it was a major blessing that I only just now recognized. There is no way I could have handled dealing with all my husbands issues, plus all the rest of the trials (again, if you need to know, see the list in other blogs) my family has been facing, AND having my kids so sick like the usually get. What a simple way to ease some of my burden this past several months! Yes, I guess I am like the pioneer that Lost mentioned... grateful to have my remaining thumb and finger on the same hand! Heavenly Father is always with us. He's everywhere, we just have to look around and recognize Him. Look at the next sunset and recognize His hand in it. That didn't happen by accident. All the incredible colors in the sky as the sun is just hitting the horizon, the reds, the oranges, the purples... it's like Heavenly Fathers way of reminding us that He is there. I could go on and on about the beauty of the world and all the reminders that we have of His love, but there's just so much and I don't have time time. I just spent the past half hour telling my oldest about Heavenly Father. Who He is, and how He loves us. I myself had forgotten about His love for me... Valentine's Day brings out the bitter cynic in me and all the trials of the past several months didn't really help much today! SO, I was gripey and bitter and then my daughter asked me something about who Heavenly Father is, and I proceeded to tell her about Him. As I was telling her, it suddenly occurred to me that what I was saying was as true for me as it was for her. He loves my daughter very much, I have no doubts about that at all. And as I was telling her how much He loves her, I started bearing my testimony about His love, and my heart was filled with such joy and I just knew that my words to my daughter were His words to me. He loves me. He loves you. He's never once abandoned us. He doesn't sit back and watch us struggle or suffer. He loves us so much, He sent us His only begotten Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. He is right there cheering us on, with both arms out ready to catch us if we fall, but loving us enough to let us do it ourselves, and then AFTER ALL WE CAN DO, He'll step in and do whatever it is that we cannot do. No matter what our trials, we are never alone, we are never so burdened down that we can't ask His help. His help comes in all shapes and sizes. For me, my first help with my husband's problems came in the form of Sophie's blog, which led me here to this website. I don't know where I would be if Sophie hadn't been inspired to blog about her husbands addiction. It was a direct answer to my prayers and something I so desperately needed, because what I needed most at that time, was to hear from people who were going through the same experiences. Anyway, I'm rambling on and I'm ignoring my children who very much need me now. I hope this made some sense. Lost, please know that we are praying for you and hope you find some answers and peace."
posted at 10:49:57 on February 14, 2007 by mcr285
Recognizing a blessing    
"MCR, you didn't say it specifically so I thought I would. As long as you're recognizing blessings in the midst of trials, I think you can attest that your daughter asking that simple question was probably a blessing from heavenly Father. Look how that helped you. SO SO often I think Heavenly father reaches out and touches us through our children. I remember after my wife found out about my problems the very first time. One morning not long after, she was sitting on the stairs depressed and crying. Our son who was only 2 at the time, came up to her, gave her a hug, and said, "Don't worry Mommy, Jesus knows how you feel". I know she was very touched by that. I know that was a blessing from our Heavenly Father to her in a moment of trial, a reminder to look to the Savior, who had felt those feelings and who had suffered mightily so she would NOT have to suffer if she could look to him. Anyway, gratitude for our blessings is so important. Sometimes it's hard to see the forest of blessings for the trees of trials that are right in front of us. But if we step back a bit, he is blessing us constantly. And it's SO important for us to recognize and be grateful for those blessings."
posted at 11:38:47 on February 14, 2007 by derek
you are so right!    
"Yes! I meant to say that Derek! I can't believe I left that part out! Thanks so much for saying it for me! :) I know my daughter was inspired to ask me that question, and I am so grateful that she did!"
posted at 14:22:02 on February 15, 2007 by mcr285

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"By emulating the Master, who endured temptations but “gave no heed unto them,” we, too, can live in a world filled with temptations “such as [are] common to man”. Of course Jesus noticed the tremendous temptations that came to him, but He did not process and reprocess them. Instead, He rejected them promptly. If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us! Turning these unwanted lodgers away at the doorstep of the mind is one way of giving “no heed.” Besides, these would-be lodgers are actually barbarians who, if admitted, can be evicted only with great trauma."

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987