Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Inspirations September 21, 2008

There are some Sundays when there seems to be a theme running through each meeting. This is never done on purpose, but rather seems to be within the designs of a loving God who manages these sorts of things from the other side.

Today was certainly one of those days. It was my turn to teach the Young Women, and the lesson was on repentance, in particular on the happiness it can bring to our lives. I can't begin to tell you just how intense the feeling of the Holy Spirit was for me during that time. Of course I can't speak for the girls, but my own testimony was strengthened.

As we began to speak on repentance and happiness in Sunday School as well, I though for certain this was the message I needed to continue to share...until one woman raised her hand.

"I've spoken of this before," she began. "I have a sister who is incredibly wealthy. She has opportunities opening up for her right and left. She travels, she has a big house and has chosen not to live the gospel. As far as I can see, she is happy."

Though the words were not uttered, we could all hear her continue on to say, "Happier than I am, and here I am at Church."

The teacher opened the discussion up to those of us in the class. Many beautiful testimonies were born, than Sis. A, who is a most remarkable woman, took a deep breath. I think all of us knew we were about to hear something we all needed.

"Please know I'm about to talk to you with all the love in my heart," she said. "I do not ask these questions to offend, but to bring things into perspective. Do you love your husband?"

She quickly nodded her head. Sis. A. turned to the husband and asked, "Do you love your wife?" He also nodded.

Turning back to the sister our teacher asked, "Do you love your children?" We all chuckled as she jokingly hemmed and hawed, knowing her little kiddies have proved to be a bit difficult. Still, when it came down to it, she said, "Yes."

The next question was, "Do you love your parents?" We all started laughing here. Her parents, recently returned missionaries, had decided to begin attending our ward in an effort to reactivate her daughter. I have no doubt this at times did not feel like an act of love, but rather of Mom and Dad still telling her how to live her life. Though it took a few seconds, and a lot more joking, she did eventually say, "Yes."

Then came the the words we all felt to the core of our beings. "You know, your mother gave you the answer earlier. The things of this world are in your face. They're loud. You can't think over the noise, you can't see past the the riches and money. They're there to distract you.

"The things of the Spirit are normally found in the quiet moments. It is the things of the Spirit that will bring us true and lasting happiness."

I felt the truth of this message so strongly I had to write it down in my scripture journal. I knew without a doubt she was right. I'd been teaching around the message to the young women for many months now, but she hit the nail right on the head.

Television, movies, computer games, Playstation, earning enough money, traveling, expensive jewelry, big houses, expensive cars, fancy clothes, etc. These things often bring temporary pleasure, but tend to distract us from what can truly bring us joy.

Too much lately I've heard others echoing the cries of friends, family and acquaintances that no matter how hard they work, they're simply not happy. No matter how much money they earn they are not fulfilled. Now matter how much time they spend taking their kids from soccer practice to piano lessons to everything else that keeps them busy, they never feel as though they've done enough.

But that is not where you find true happiness. It is in the quiet moments of life. The minute or two just after you've woken up, before it's time to get the kids going, or to get ready for work. The times you find yourself surrounded by silence. When the television and radio have been turned off, and you actually hear yourself think. It is in knowing you've spent your day in the service of your Lord, through His daily inspirations.

As our teacher joked, sometimes it might take putting on a blindfold, locking ourselves in the bathroom, and putting in the ear plugs to be able to hear these inspirations. There will be times life does become so hectic we actually have to carve out a few minutes to ourselves, but it's vital to our entire well being to make it happen.

Allow me to end with this. We as the children of God are fighting a daily battle. The distractions of Satan work to keep us from what will make us truly happy, from that which will carry us through the hard times. Even seemingly harmless things can bring about dire results if not dealt with immediately. We must try to be vigilant in finding the quiet moments so as to keep ourselves anchored in that which will bring us true happiness.

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