Monday, January 12, 2015

A Sunday Lesson

I was studying in The Gospel Principles book today and found that, once again, the things I have been taught my whole life affect me in a different way now.  I don't know if they take on new meaning, but there is something new about it.  My heart and mind seem to focus toward things pertaining to Terry and our eternal relationship more than ever before, even though it was something I thought about before, I believed before, and was grateful for before. There is something different with it all now.  

This post could have been put in my To Remind Me blog, but because it is about Terry I wanted it here.  (I've wondered about putting those two blogs together - I just did add a few posts from that blog and each is post dated to the time I had originally posted in that other blog, each under the label To Remind Me.

I have chosen to share the quote from the book (in bold) and then the thoughts that came to me about that quote.

"Our Father in Heaven knows who we are and ... He has chosen the time and place for each of us to be born so we can learn the lessons we personally need and do the most good with our individual talents and personalities."

I know that it is our Father's plan that Terry's life on earth was at the time it was and for only the time it was.  I don't understand why it was as short a time as it was, but I do know it was the Lord's will.  I am grateful that we met and married and lived and loved each other for almost 35 years in happiness and joy with a family that is eternal. Terry has done much good - he has helped and taught me and has been a great blessing in my life. I will remember his words of encouragement, counsel, and truth, and it will guide me for the rest of my life. We often talked about how grateful we were that we had found each other and how it always felt so right.  That is still true.

"[Our Heavenly Father] wanted us to develop the godlike qualities that He has."

As I read this I immediately thought of the talk Gregory gave at Terry's funeral (see the post Christlike Characteristics).  I have some work to do on that part of my life.  I am so grateful for the qualities that Terry had developed and how they blessed my life.

"If we passed our tests, we would receive the fulness of joy that our Heavenly Father has received."

Thoughts that came to me as I read this were about an experience I had while Terry was in the hospital. 

I was frustrated, scared, disappointed, and desirous of a miracle. We had just studied about Job in our primary class so that scripture story was fresh on my mind.  I was comparing all of Jobs trials to Terry's trials - the new pains and infections that were tormenting his body seemed to be coming faster and harder ..., and he was being strong and faithful through them all so why were there so many.   I was having a "conversation with the Lord" about this fact and how Terry had not "charged God foolishly" nor had he or would he "curse God and die". With everything that has been thrown at him Terry "held fast his integrity".   

I continued with more complaints (I guess that is the best word to fit what I was doing) and I guess I was trying to convince the Lord that He could heal Terry and allow him to live with us on earth in good health for a long long time still and that Terry would serve Him well in whatever capacity He would require of him during that future life.  

As I was comparing Terry to Job and sharing all of this with the Lord I told the Lord that Job didn't loose his life, so why should Terry have to?  It was then that these words came to me clear and strong, yet ever so soft and reverent - "Terry has passed his test, now it is my turn" - Oh my goodness ..., I was Job.  I am the one that will loose my beloved family member and therefore possibly tempted to curse God and die - will I stand firm and faithful?  

I promised that very moment that I would.  I told the Lord that He could trust me to do so, and He knows that, so could He please remove this trial from me and allow a miracle to take place.  Well, we know that was one prayer that was not answered in the affirmative. I really wish I didn't have to prove myself in this way.  

Even with all of this sorrow I really do promise to "hold fast my integrity" and stand firm and faithful, enduring to the end, trusting the Lord.  That is the only way that our eternal marriage will remain in effect, and I want those blessings more than anything else.

"The purpose of our progression: to have a fulness of joy."  
Before we came to earth we learned that all of us would have trials in our lives: sickness, disappointment, pain, sorrow, and death.  (For me these seemed to come all at once.)  But we understood that these would be given to us for our experience and our good.  If we allowed them to, these trials would purify us rather than defeat us.  They would teach us to have endurance, patience, and charity.

I have a lot to learn!  Some day I want to have that fulness of joy. 


Ellen said...

As I read this I kept thinking, amen, amen and amen. It sounds like I want the same fullness of joy you desire too. Hopefully with much prayer, fasting and work on my part I will be able to make changes and improve my life so I will be able to reside with loved ones who have gone an eternal family one day. Thank you again, for sharing your depth and insight. I love you so much and am so thankful you are my sister!

The Stanley's said...

I have had this same insight over the past few years. You are such an honest writer and I appreciate your perspective. Isn't it true how much we don't want to mess up! There is so much good to fight for and fighting our pains and sorrows with a valiant heart is a true test. My prayers continue to have you in them.