“The list of health problems I think it would very hard to live with is SO much longer than the list of foods I previously thought I couldn’t live without,” Merrill Alley.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
between once upon and time and happily ever after
In his April 2010 Conference Talk, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, presented some thought provoking ideas. No, they are not new ideas. However, many people live discontentedly because they fail to take them into consideration. Cinerella, Belle, Jasmine, and many other princesses who began and ended well, experienced huge trials and great adversity in the middle.
Eve recognized that she and Adam could never know good from evil without understanding both. "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility...And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter." 2 Nephi 2:11, 15
President Uchtdorf asks, "Would the pianist feel the joy of mastering an intricate sonata without the painstaking hours of practice?" This idea brought epiphany. "It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop." Jesus told Joseph Smith in revelation, "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8 It's all in how we respond. Sadly, I've been more inclined to tantrum during my life than serenity and grace.
But....life is long for a reason. Repentance and growth are possible. Anyone can change at anytime before their happily ever after if they follow God's Plan. "Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—" Mosiah 18:9
Going to church weekly, studying the scriptures daily, praying always, standing in holy places, and developing a commandment-keeping character are God's Plan of Happiness. Standing in Holy Places, wherever we find them, we stand as His witness. "Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen." Doctrine and Covenants 87:8 Standing in Holy Places means to act in such a way that we create Holy Places and leaving places (or thoughts or actions) that don't provoke holiness. In this way, we have eyes open wide against deception and darkness. "And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived, for the Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Matthew 1:37 "For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory." Doctrine and Covenants 21:6