The past week, some things have been on my mind that I tried and tried to not think about. Particularly the whole awful reason for this blog which occurred one year ago. I'm tired of crying, tired of feeling robbed, tired of feeling sorry for myself, tired of feeling like the whole world is this horrible place that I'm stuck sharing with horrible people who do horrible things. Yeah, it feels that bad sometimes.
We had a lesson in sunday school last Sunday at church about Joseph Smith and the persecution of the Saints. In D&C 121, Joseph sees the people being tormented and pleads with the Lord to do something to make their suffering end. Heavenly Father tells him (verse 7), "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment. (verse 8) And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all they foes."
When things are hard, it is easy to forget that this life isn't our last stop. Compared to our eternal life, this will seem like a few seconds. This event could have sent my brothers and sisters and I in any number of directions. We could let anger take us over, we could let sorrow take us over, so much that we fall into a spiral of depression that warps our thoughts and makes us selfish and slaves to our overpowering emotions. I think this is what Heavenly Father means to avoid when he says, "Endure it well." There is no reason to walk around the rest of your life letting something like this take you over, cursing your existence because you feel bad or cursing Heavenly Father's existence for picking on you. Basically, I thinks it's a nice way of saying, "Drop the 'poor me' attitude and spend your efforts on something useful."
In D&C 122: 6-7, Heavenly Father describes to Joseph Smith all the horrible things that could happen to him. He then explains to him, "know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." The trials we have here are meant to help us learn and grow. Bad things don't just happen to people for no reason. I believe these things happen to righteous people because we can handle it, because we understand that some people fall into temptation from Satan and we are left suffering because of it. We know that we were sent to this earth to learn and to do what we can to better ourselves. What greater opportunity to exercise what we've been taught and to understand enough to leave behind the vengeful, angry thoughts and feelings that come from being betrayed and hurt by someone you know?
In D&C 122:9, Joseph Smith is told, "Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever." Thy days are known...and shall not be numbered less, huh? Interesting. I am comforted knowing that this is part of a plan, awful as it may be. My mother was sent here for a short time but apparently had accomplished what she was supposed to. I was sent here at this time and to this family, Heavenly Father knowing that this is what I would have to deal with and trusting me enough to let me take it on. No man can do anything to take away my knowledge of this. No man can take away the lessons I have learned. No man can take away the people I love because I know that whatever happens on this earth, it is not the end.
Whatever comes, we cannot buckle under the weight of it. We cannot fall victim to the emotions that overwhelm it. We cannot lose sight of what we are really here for. We are not here to suffer, we are here to prosper. Whatever comes, we must endure it well.
Whenever we went on a long trip my mom would play James Taylor and sing along as she drove. You can't help but think of her when you hear his voice.
Some of these songs have nothing to do with the situation, but they have phrases that we've had experiences with and make us think of our Mom, or they help remind us that we can get through this hard time.
Families Are Forever
Beloved Mother, Sister, Aunt, Daughter
Our mother was born October 31, 1956 and returned to live with our Heavenly Father on August 8, 2008. She was a wonderful woman who loved her children and loved her friends and family. She was an elementary school teacher at Gearld Wright Elementary and adored the children in her classes. She spent her time in the service of her family and we will rejoice when we will be together again. Families are forever.