So nothing super new to say this week. I figured i'd share some thoughts that I've been having lately.
I was reading through some old journal entries from my mission. It was amazing to reflect on what kind of experiences I've had with the Lord. I'm glad that I recorded those moments. I came to realize that the times that I grew the most were the times on my mission where I was most desperate for the Lords help. Those moments where I had no idea how to move forward, how to help others, how to follow the spirit. I recognized that desperation is the perfect fertilizer for the seed of faith.
President Nelson's wife, Sister Nelson shared during a YSA devotional the following thoughts,
Think of the woman who, for 12 years, endured an incurable disease. She stretched out her hand to touch the Savior’s robe. This was her only chance to be healed.
Think of the man at the pool of Bethesda who, for 38 years, suffered with an illness and had never been the first one into those healing waters.
Think of the Savior’s disciples who, with life-threatening waves crashing around their small fishing boat, cried out to the Savior, “Carest thou not that we perish?”
What did these people have in common?
They were desperate! Desperate for the Savior to heal them, help them, cleanse them, guide them, protect them, and save them! They were desperate for Jesus Christ to help them do things they could never do on their own. They were desperate to have the Savior’s strength and power in their lives. Do you know that feeling? Believe me, I do.
Perhaps you’ve been desperate to complete an assignment because the due date was quickly approaching--or had already passed. Perhaps you’ve been desperate to have someone really understand you, to truly love you. Perhaps you’re presently desperate to be accepted into a university or to find a job or a place to live, desperate to make new friends and to find your eternal companion.
Well, here’s the good news: Desperation can actually be a great motivator.
Clearly the Prophet Joseph Smith experienced intense desperation in Liberty Jail. He pled with the Lord, “O God, where art thou?” Because of such intense spiritual desperation, the Prophet received some of the most sublime revelations of this dispensation.
When we’re desperate to be guided by heaven, we work harder than ever to tune in to heaven. When we’re desperate to be physically healthy, we eat and exercise accordingly. No excuses! When we’re desperate to have more money, we eagerly follow the Lord’s law of finances--which is, of course, tithing!
Consider President George Q. Cannon’s approach to tithing when he was an impoverished young man. When his bishop commented on the large amount of tithing poor young George was paying, George said something like: “Oh bishop, I’m not paying tithing on what I make. I’m paying tithing on what I want to make.” And the very next year George earned exactly the amount of money he had paid tithing on the year before!
When we’re desperate to become the people we were born to be, our vision changes. We wake up from the spiritual amnesia the adversary so cleverly administers, and suddenly we see things about ourselves, others, and our lives we’ve never seen before. The world’s “fun” and “entertainment” start to look almost ridiculous, perhaps even spiritually dangerous. We begin to see the adversary’s tricks and traps for what they really are--temptations to make us forget our true identity and our destination.
We begin to spend our time differently. Time on Facebook doesn’t seem half as compelling as time in the temple. We experience for ourselves the profound truth taught by a wise temple president: “When we enter the temple, we leave the world of make-believe.” We become much more interested in eternal truths the Lord will teach us in His holy house than in the latest sensational comments on social media, which can be so glib and brain-numbing.
I feel as though being on a mission I can relate to that doctrine! I've had so many moments where I know that alone I am nothing, I have been desperate for my Savior's hand to be revealed! Those are the moments that are burned forever into my mind and heart, those moments where it is as if Christ Himself puts his arm around me and says, "I'm here, I'll help, just believe."
However, being 22 months through this adventure, i've noticed that I am not as desperate as I was at the beginning and middle of my mission, I've developed strength where weakness was, and become a stronger individual.
I've lately however been praying for the Lord to help me to feel desperate again, because those are the times as Sister Nelson said, that we we grow the most and find the most joy. I know that is a risky thing to pray for, but the investment is worth it.
The Lord may send trials in the days to come, but recently I've had impressed on my mind that we are actually always desperate for our Saviors hand. We take for granted that we woke up in the morning, we fail to realize it was the Savior who gave us our first breath. We forget that he created the Sun, and air we breathe, and the food we eat. We sometimes don't realize how fragile our existence is, how much He is involved in the details. He provides for us in so many ways we don't realize.
I've noticed that my recognition of these things causes me to feel a sense of desperation, realizing that without the Lord the sun would never rise. Gratitude I believe is also to recognize our desperate need for the Lord.
Anyways, there are some thoughts to chew on for a few days.
Thanks everyone for all your prayers and thoughts!
|Elder Dearden and Elder Barker, fishing on P Day|