Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Inspirations May 23, 2010

We had two missionaries speak today in our main church meeting. They were relating two specific stories from the Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ to us. One of the missionaries said something that struck me as being a perfect topic for today's inspiration.

Too bad I forgot to write it down! For the life of my I cannot remember what he'd said. Yet I repeated it over and over in my mind so I wouldn't forget. Obviously that's not working for me. Yet I choose to turn this sad testament of my leaky mind around and say perhaps that's not what the Lord wanted me to write about today, so He's taken it from my mind.

See how I did that? That's the power of POSITIVE thinking. I've had an awful lot of practice in trying to think positive this week - and trust me when I tell you it hasn't been easy. One of my greatest challenges this week has been asking for help.

Thinking positive isn't necessarily easy. Just ask my oldest. She's definitely a "glass half empty" kind of gal. If something could, possibly, just maybe, kinda, sorta have a bad ending, she's sure to think of it. For the last few months I've been trying to work with her in changing her thinking, but how can I really do that when I've struggled with it myself?

This is not to say we should be happy all the time. Certainly even the Savior struggled at times. He certainly grew tired, felt overwhelmed, and even mourned.

"When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

"Jesus wept.

"Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!" (John 11:33-36).

Christ knew death was not the end. He knew it would only be a moment before Lazarus would live again. And yet He wept. Not only for His own pain, but for the pain and despair of those He so dearly loved. He took up on Him their pain.

Christ knew fear when He took upon Himself our sins, our trials, and our mortal weaknesses. He knew fear more than any of us could understand when the Spirit of God withdrew from Him, causing Him to cry out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46).

Christ knew anger, or righteous indignation. He went to visit the temple, the House of God, wherein He found people selling their wares, animals, and other sacrilegious things. Did He become angry? Yes. Enough to make a scourge, turn over a few tables, and send these men out of the temple.

"And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, my house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves" (Mark 11:17).

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was perfect. In all ways He was perfect. Yet even He feared, He became angry, and He mourned. What do we learn from this? It's not necessary to be happy all of the time! I think we all have a tendency to think the road to perfection means we'll appreciate everything and love at all times and never speak a harsh word. We set ourselves up to believe we're failing if we experience these emotions.

But this is not what the life of Christ has taught us. He taught us that even when we fear, we must have enough faith to go through the scary times knowing the Father is watching over us all. He taught us it's okay to be sad even when we know what wonderful things are waiting for us on the other side. He even taught us it's necessary to reprimand when someone has done something wrong - though I would add to this judging is not for us to do, neither is ruling in unrighteousness. Christ did not hurt anyone when He turned them out of the temple. He tipped over the tables, used His words to reprimand, and did all this because wickedness was occurring in a very sacred place.

In other words, it's okay to be mortal. Our glass will not always be have empty or half full. At times we will find our cups overflowing with goodness and light. Other times our cups will only have a few drops of goodness in it. No matter how we try to be positive, we will sometimes find ourselves sad, or fearful, or any other negative emotions. This doesn't mean we're slipping further away from perfection.

What matters most is what we decide to do with those emotions. Will we allow them to overwhelm us to the point we become stagnant in the gospel and in life? Or will we follow the example of our Savior and act on the negative to find the positive? For even when He mourned there was joy to be found when Lazarus was raised. Even when He turned the wicked out of the temple, forgiveness was there for those who chose to repent. And even when He feared there was faith enough to carry Him through.

Because of this, we have all been given the greatest gift possible - eternal life. So if you're feeling down, imperfect, whatever, don't despair. This too shall pass, and good things are waiting for those who act upon the negative in an effort to find the positive.

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