Sunday, July 27, 2008
Sunday Inspirations July 27, 2008
(Sorry about the spacing, I can't seem to make the post behave today.)
This was the lesson I gave in my Young Women's class today. I didn't make it to Sunday School, where most of my spiritual epiphanies originate, so I'm taking my inspiration from the messages I delivered in class.
Perspective is a funny thing. It has to be based on truth, not our interpretation of truth. Our own personal perspectives can be skewed by our experiences and the experiences others bring into our lives. These are not based on truth.
I've been thinking a lot about how others perceive the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (nicknamed the Mormon Church). For those who have heard nothing about it, or who have been taught by those who are against it, many of our beliefs may seem really weird, out-there, or nutty. Even in this century there are individuals who are still taught that Mormons have horns, that the men still have plural wives, and other things that simply aren't true.
It can be difficult not to get one's ire up just a little when these sorts of untruthes are spoken, but one of the big things I felt impressed to share with my girls is this: we don't know where others are coming from. We don't know what they've been taught. We don't know what experiences they've had to fashion out their own perceptions on life.
The same can be said for us. Others don't know what we've had to endure, what personal testimony we might hold, and why we are the way we are. Therefore, we must treat others carefully, and with respect concerning their beliefs.
The second big point I felt impressed to share was that God knows so much more than we can ever hope to know. He sees everything from where we lived before we were born, to what we need to accomplish in this life, right down to where we can hope to be in life after death. His knowledge far surpasses ours. He knows what we are capeable of, what we need to learn to make it to where He knows we can be. Sometimes He'll ask us to go through hard times. Ask anyone who has come out of a trial seemingly stronger for the experience, and they'll tell you they've learned things they never could have learned any other way. Our trials are not always punishment for doing something wrong. Sometimes they're there to help us progress.
We all have things set up for us here in this mortal life. One of my biggest paths has been to be a mother. I'm struggling along as best I can, and there are brief, brilliant moments when I can see the hard work bringing forth good fruits. Then, of course, there are days I want to hide in my closet, ear plugs in place, and pretend "Mom" isn't actually a word. I have been given many trials in this life, most of which can't be seen. The lessons I had to learn were in my brain and in my heart, and I've passed - not with flying colors, but enough that my Heavenly Father has placed the second part of my path in this life in front of me.
Tomorrow I go to a school orientation, and hopefully in a few weeks I'll begin college once again. I had no plans to do this, at least, not for several years yet. But my Heavenly Father told me it's time, that there's another work for me to do, and schooling will help me to become the writer He knows I need to be. At times this feels overwhelming. At times this feels beyond exciting. At times I'm humbled. And at times I'm scared. I've never been good at making changes, and this is a huge change.
Before I sign off, I want to express how important it is to keep an eternal perspective in our daily doings. We need to remember who we are: precious children of our Heavenly Father, who gave us an opportunity to learn and grow and choose this mortal life in the pre-existence. We need to remember why we're here: to continue learning and growing and making a daily, even hourly choice to keep along the Lord's path. We also need to remember where we're going, and what we can become: even like unto our Father, forever connected to our families. This knowledge has brought me through many a hard time.
It is so important to make sure our perceptions, of anything, are based in truth. We can guess at what something is or what it means, but then we need to take the matter to the Lord in prayer and ask if what we think or feel is truth. Be ready for the answer, whatever it may be.