I wanted to share what we talked about in our family devotional this morning before I head out to pitch mulch. (My new career now a days). I find patterns in scripture stories that relate directly to my life.
I wish this would have been emphasized to me as a youth. This is the scripture that prompted our discussion…
24 For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth.
25 And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of sea? – Book of Mormon: Ether 2:24-25
This passage hit me in a new way today. I stopped reading and I said to my children,
Life is like this…
but he does prepare us to face them.
“Girls, this has been a beautiful program…but I do not want you to believe for one minute that if you keep all the commandments and live as close to the Lord as you can and do everything right… I do not want you to believe that bad things will not happen to you. And when that happens, I do not want you to say that God was not true. Or, to say, ‘They promised me in (church)… that if I were very, very good, I would be blessed. But the boy I want doesn’t know I exist’… or far worse things than any of the above. Sad things—children who are sick or developmentally handicapped, husbands who are not faithful, illnesses that can cripple, or violence, betrayals, hurts, deaths, losses—when those things happen, do not say God is not keeping his promises to me. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not insurance against pain. It is resource in event of pain, and when that pain comes (and it will come because we came here on earth to have pain among other things), when it comes, rejoice that you have resource to deal with your pain.”
I want to stress the last part again, because I was one of those girls who thought that if I did everything right that maybe I could avoid the trials that I saw around me, and while it is true that good choices can prevent us from having to suffer and go through a lot of difficult situations in our life caused by the consequences of bad choices, good choices will not keep our lives trial free.
A: Because we did not come to earth for a vacation or a spa treatment. We came here to learn and grow and face some really difficult things. I do not think we did so blindly. We knew it would be hard, although I’m not sure that were really understood how hard, but we volunteered. We said, I can do it. I will get through and it will make me a better person so I can return back to God. I will get through it and I will help others so they can get back to Him as well. We were excited at the chance to prove ourselves.
“How could you feel comfortable standing next to the Savior who has suffered all things, if you yourself knew nothing of pain and had not suffered even some little bit yourself?”
So, the gospel is not an insurance policy against pain, but it is the resource that He gave us to prepare us to deal with that pain. Oh, what a marvelous resource it is! I have felt those hands pull me from the depths of the sea when nothing else could. I know my storms are not over, but I know where to go for the help to get through them. I’m grateful for the things that The Lord is teaching me through this trial. I hope that you can use this in a teaching with your own children. The world is changing so fast and our youth need all of the tools they can gather to get through the storms that surely are coming.