Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Things That Matter Most

Today became increasingly worse until about early afternoon. I started on the wrong foot by waking up late and then getting to church late (luckily, I arrived in time to get the sacrament, and enjoyed the music and time for reflection). As the day wore on, some painful emotions from last night returned [I've been blessed with some amazing guy friends, but there's some other guys I'd like to be friends with who seemed interested and then dropped me... That kind of painful emotions], making me feel lousy and extra-sensitive; I managed to offend one of my roommates while I was preoccupied, which I felt bad about. While I was trying to repair things with my roommate, I got a call from my mom. One of my relatives, who seemed healthy a couple weeks ago, only has about a week left to live. Not great timing for my emotions.

The good side! While I was on the phone, my visiting teachers came over! (this link explains the history of what visiting teaching has been and has become today). It was an unscheduled visit that came at the perfect time. Right when we finished talking, my home teachers came over! (here's a link to an overview of what home teaching is). It was good to visit with them and to know that if I need anything, they are more than happy to serve. It made me so, so happy to know that the Lord's church has the organization in place to help watch, support and care for each other. I'm never alone; I have so many layers of people to rely on, and God at the head of it all. Shortly after my home teachers left, another friend came over and took me to his married friends' house, who have a week-old baby boy. During the 4 hours we were there, I chatted with the mother until she fell asleep, then joined the men in conversing about linguistics, sci-fi literature and Rubik's cubes while the baby slept in my arms.

I was surprised at how quickly my emotions were able to recover and stabilize today, and I attribute that to the knowledge I have of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the relationship that I'm developing with my Savior. What saved me was logic and faith: I realize that, logically, faith is the only way to get through life without falling apart. When you learn that someone is dying, especially suddenly, it might make you reflect on the fragility and value of life. Sometimes that thought process can have some scary implications and wonderings. Before I let my mind get that far though, I reminded myself of something I've been considering this week, that goes back to 1 Corinthians 10:13: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." More than just temptation, I read this scripture to mean that God will support his people (as evidenced in a host of other scriptures) - He will comfort them, and bear them up.

Here's one of my favorite scriptures, from D&C 6:36-37:
Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen.
When I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are on my side, working for my greatest good and happiness, I can trust that in spite of however grim the current moment is, it'll be ok. I also know that they will be with me, by my side, helping me in that very moment (and that they are also there with me sharing in my greatest joys). Based on those, I can combat fear with faith in any crisis. Additionally, the full gospel of Christ further instructs me in ways that give me peace. Read the page which explains the Plan of Happiness (also known as the Plan of Salvation) for more detailed information, but here are a few parts that apply:

- Each of us has an eternal soul.
- Heaven wouldn't be heaven unless I were with my family.
- All wrongs will be made right in due time.
- Life doesn't end at death, and I will be reunited with those I love.

As I remember the things that are most important - these gospel principles - and trust their fulfillment because of their source (God), I can prioritize and see life with a more holistic, far-seeing perspective. And I know that everything will be alright.

Isaiah 40:31John 16:33Helaman 5:12Isaiah 43:1-5 for a just a few scriptures affirming that God will provide, and we need not fear so long as we rely on Him.

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