Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Inspirations April 19, 2009

I wasn't sure what to post about today. To be honest I'm still not certain what to post about even as I sit here at the computer. Getting everyone ready for church this morning seemed to take forever. While I had some wonderful lessons and heard two beautiful talks (sermons), I couldn't quite wrap my head around what the Lord might want me to write about today.

During Relief Society I had a bit of an "Ah ha" moment. You know, where something clicks in a way you never saw in quite that way before. We were discussing Joseph Smith, in particular about one of the times he spent in prison. It was during this time he was able to do certain things he would not have had time to do before.

He was able to reflect - upon his life, his doings in the Church and his family, where his path might take him from there. In the normal course of his life I would imagine Joseph rarely had time to simply think, ponder, and meditate.

Joseph had time to write to the members of the Church. He wrote his wife, his mother, his family, his friends. He was able to put his thoughts down on paper, to think about what he really wanted to say, to give answers to questions he might not normally have time to give.

He spent much energy on finding things to be grateful for. In many of his letters he not only proclaimed his love to family and friends, but he told them of all the things he was grateful for. He counted his blessings. He looked for the silver linings. Even when separated from those he loved most, in conditions we could not imagine, with those railing for his death, Joseph still focused on the good things in his life.

What was so enlightening about all this? I thought for a moment about where he was, and realized that had he not been in prison, had he not had these hours of solitude and reflection, the opportunity to reflect, to write to his friends and family, and to focus on things he was grateful for might not have occurred in the normal course of his life. Joseph, as the leader of a new and rapidly growing church, rarely had time to be with his family, or sit for an evening with his wife. Him being in prison gave him opportunities he might otherwise never had.

We are sometimes given trials, tribulations, and circumstances that seem to be more than we can bear. They can sap us of out strength, bringing us down to levels we never thought we'd hit. Yet, even in the most dire of circumstances, blessings are there to grab. It is only for us to look for them, to accept them, to recognize what they are in the moment before they are lost to us.

Many of us find ourselves trapped in some sort of prison. Whether or not we remain in despair is up to us.

1 comment:

Momma Ellen said...

Good thoughts, Laurie. When we're going through those trials of life, it's hard to see the value in them, but the Lord always has a purpose in mind. How grateful we can all be for Joseph having recorded his thoughts and revelations while he and his friends suffered through severe trials of their faith. Now we can look to those to give us inspiration when we are going through our own challenges. Those scriptures have certainly been a source of inspiration for me! In fact, here's a verse from D&C 98:1 that I embroidered onto a pillow to help me remember that the Lord is mindful of us, even when--and especially when-- things are hard:

Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks.