Friday, October 2, 2015

How Elder Scott's Death Brought Me Happiness

Elder Scott's death has brought ma, and will continue to bring me, great joy. Weird, right?

The only deaths that ought to bring you joy are tyrants, villains, general bad guys, and maybe touching reunions.  Yet none of these fall under Elder Scott, except maybe the reunion with his wife and dear friends.

Maybe great joy is a little over the mark, but it has brought me happiness, with may are may not turn into great joy. The forecast predicts it will.

As anyone on this blog site knows, I have been sick. It began during the best time of my life while on my mission. The abridged version: I came back to the states with a mystery illness, eventually released, still sick, lots of doctors, finally diagnosed but still sick. No friends came to visit. Very rarely I got messages. I was dealing with a lot of pain that extended beyond my physical condition. I spent nearly two years in the same bed. This all has to do with Elder Scott's passing, or Elder Scott's passing has all to do with it.

I've received the yellow light to test out school. The semester has been going well so far, thank you for asking. I'm enrolled in an institute class (Women and the Scriptures, with Sis Terry), so of course we talked about Elder Scott. People shared their love and their favorite talk. If someone brought up a talk that Elder Scott gave that touched them she would always say, "Oh, is it Trust in the Lord?" This went on for a couple class periods.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise that we decided to spend Monday class period watching his funeral. After, Sis Terry bore her testimony of him, and specifically of his talk Trust in the Lord. She explained that he delivered it just months after losing his wife. It has helped her through numerous challenges and trials, and she has had some serious obstacles in her life! It was a very powerful testimony!

I couldn't help but think on the things I had heard that day. Who knew Elder Scott was so funny?! He's a little stinker. I especially loved the story Elder D. Todd Christofferson told about visiting the vineyard. I felt encouraged by his funeral. Did you know he was not what you might consider spiritually inclined? He was not a Peter Priest. Growing up he only went to church and activities if someone coaxed him. We all can think of someone like that, and how often have you thought "Yes! Totally apostle material."? If you think that, then kudos to you. You must have some special gift. He went on a mission only because his future wife said she would only marry a return missionary. He needed help! How reassuring is that? He would not have become an apostle without the help given to him by others. We ought not be ashamed of needing help to be better people.

Related to me, I can make it through this illness alone, but I can't get better alone. I ran for the first time a month ago. I was on vacation! It wouldn't have happened without my brother and the threat of him dunking me into the ocean. We have it in us to be amazing, and requiring others to access that does not take away from our divine individuality. It magnifies and excels our personal power.

I decided I would finally look up that talk. I'm so glad I did. I've only read through it once and it's already a solid highlighted block. I plan on getting to know this talk intimately. (Elder Scott, Trust In The Lord October 1995)

I've often wonder to what end has getting sick served? What's the point? I honestly can't say I've grown. Any growing done alone in a bed would be outstripped by growth on a mission, no contest. I haven't learned anything I didn't know before. Some may say it's cruel to have been so high in life then drop to the other extreme: being fit with friends and purpose to being sick and alone.
"To get you from where you are to where he wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain." 
Funny enough, he discusses questions. He points out that some are actually useful and some are actually not. The simple change to "What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change?" has changed aspects of my life that I did not expect, even with something as simple as homework. I don't fully understand why I became ill the way I did, but I no longer feel I need to. Maybe it isn't about what happened during those two years, but what I will do with it. Will I allow it to make me more compassionate?

It can not be overstated how important it is to trust in the Lord. This is something I have learned and depend on daily. Trust in the Lord. I implore you! I exhort you! Kneel down (Do it right now! Before you forget!) and just talk to your Father in Heaven. Then listen. If you're already in that habit, awesome! Tell Him everything, and how you honestly feel about it. I know God hears every prayer. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it, but He's listening with love nonetheless. He even answers prayers, too. His hand is in our lives and He shows us that He loves us ever day.
"To exercise faith is to trust that the Lord knows what He is doing with you and that He can accomplish it for your eternal good even though you cannot understand how He can possibly do it."
It's safe to trust God. I know from personal experience.  If you ask Him for help, He will help you.
I have no doubt that in the not so distant future, I will not want to have traded these two years for anything.
Sometimes I look back and I'm absolutely clueless how I made it this far and at the same time I feel like I knew it all along because I knew in whom I had trusted.

Also, he says, "No one wants adversity." How refreshing is that? We get so use to hearing why we ought to give thanks for our trails and be grateful for him. Nobody likes them. They're hard. They suck. BIG TIME. No one wants it. I could have sung when I read that. It's one of those beautiful moments steeped in humanity when you truly connect. This guy knows what it's like to be a living human. There is no pretentiousness in this talk. Just honest to goodness truth.

If Elder Scott hadn't died, I wouldn't know any of this.

I'm quite happy.

If you have questions, struggling, or just generally not as happy as you'd like, please take the time to read this talk. It's not too long and every line is precious. Sis Terry was so right. I know it's cliche to say it has changed my life, so I will simply tell you to read it and find out.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ether 12:4 - Always and Being

 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

Led to glorify God.

Hello! I hope you were able to enjoy your holidays. Welcome to the last installment (I think) of dissecting this lovely verse.

You might be able to tell what will be discussed by the blog post title.

Last time, we babbled a bit on anchors making us sure and steadfast. What else does it (hope, belief in God, faith, anchors) do?

According to this verse, "always abounding in good works". ALWAYS. That's a lot. What could that accomplish? Even if it was just one person? If you're always abounding (abounding-that's a lot, too!) with good works, I think it's safe to say you're too busy to be getting into trouble, sinning, or causing difficulties for others. Good works is more than just service. Imagine your exponential increase!
What good works can you think off?
I think of scripture study, pondering, cleaning the house (service), showing charity and compassion, homework, and temple attendance.
Which ones come to you mind?

The second part is "being". Elder Bednar gave a great talk in General Conference a few years ago on "to do" and "to be" (which I'm still trying to find the link to).

Notice that this scripture uses "being" with "led to glorify God". Not "do." It's a state of being. It will be part of your character. How cool would that be?! People would know you as being, let's say, a brother, a college graduate, glorify God, father, and a nice guy.

I like the part about "being led" too. It means you are constantly being guided. To me, that's comforting. All you have to do is follow and you will be led. Like a child to the drinking fountain. A horse to water. A boat to a lighthouse.

I love this scripture deeply. I hope you have found at least one new thing to love about it.

S Ljubavlju,
Sestra Farnsworth

My fellow sisters from my MTC group have all come home. Which leads to the questions, should I continue writing in this blog? Has it been useful to you?