As I was making dinner for my soon-to-be arriving from a Stake Youth Meeting, hungry husband and oldest children, I pondered the day that I had and realized that my attitude could have prevented me from feeling what I felt today at church. You see, I was asked to attend another branch today despite the fact that my husband is on the High Council and was needed in a different branch that he serves in. Our Stake President said that I was needed and had Paul make arrangements for someone else to speak in his branch.
I’ll be honest, I was disappointed that the Stake President chose me to leave my family, instead of Paul. I get uncomfortable being away from my family because I don’t understand Spanish very well, nor do I speak it, so I feel helpless and useless attending meetings or activities. It is a terrible temptation to “just not go” but today turned out to be such a special day, I had to take a moment to say thank you in my heart that I was there to experience it.
You see, a branch was made into a ward today, something I have NEVER seen nor did I really understand at first. But the feeling in the chapel was of pure joy, happiness and approval from our Father in Heaven and Our Savior that it was tangible. I was pleased and even honored to be part of the “big guns” that day (every single Stake auxiliary was in attendance at this meeting, including the Mission President, his wife and the Patriarch).
After the meeting, I asked my friend about the importance of this day and he explained it to me. I was blown away and I realized that I had been blessed to learn about something that doesn’t happen everyday, nor would I have been likely to experience it in Utah. I was also blessed to see the joy and exhilaration, along with the tears of happiness, on the members faces which strengthened my testimony of the happiness the gospel brings to my life and that of my family’s. But I could have completely missed out on this moment, just because I didn’t WANT to stretch myself and possibly make myself uncomfortable by going today.
This realization made me think about President Henry B. Eyring and an experience he had when he was the President of Rick’s College (now BYU-Idaho). I have pondered his experience MANY times since it was shared in this conference talk because of a particular connection he made with himself in that story. In a nutshell, President Eyring had been offered a very prominent job for his career and didn’t know what to do. He sought council and he battled between his desires and those of the Lord. He even sought council from the First Presidency but they did not give much direction as to what he should do.
Thankfully, his wife had received a prompting that they should stay, “but she insisted, wisely, that I must get my own revelation. And so I prayed again. This time I did receive direction, in the form of a voice in my mind that said, “I’ll let you stay at Ricks College a little longer.” My personal ambitions might have clouded my view of reality and made it hard for me to receive revelation.“ (bold added for emphasis) Thirty days later an experience occurred that President Eyring felt he was to be a part of and he seemed blessed by it, not upset that it happened. He felt he was in the right place at the right time. But this ONLY would have happened, had he not sought to change his will to that of the Lord’s.
I have pondered this story MANY times since we moved to Costa Rica. I have constantly battled the feeling that I have sacrificed TOO much moving here and for what? This story has helped me see that I have NO IDEA why I am here but in the end, I will be eternally grateful that I was. So, although I am not thrilled about my calling as the Stake Primary Secretary, because I feel I am not able to help them in the same capacity as if everything were in English, I began to realize today that the Lord is “letting” me be part of something. It is His church, His Father’s Plan and His Father’s will that I am “allowed” to obey – and if I do, I will be grateful I did.
So I want to thank my Heavenly Father, for ALLOWING me to experience something so special, so unique, so rare that I hope never to forget it. I now pray that I will stop feeling sorry for myself because I feel disconnected during our church services and instead EMBRACE being “allowed” to attend His church in Costa Rica. So many blessings to count . . . why waste my time on the negative or “entitlement / expectation list” of my life!
I love President Hinckley as well! I have loved him since the first day I saw a close-up shot of him giving his talk during the October 1995 Saturday morning General Conference. I literally felt like he was speaking only to me. So I hopped onto the “Old Ship Zion” and I have fought every day to stay aboard. I think this quote is worth its weight in gold. Something to always remember, especially when life gets you down.
I leave this experience and my testimony that God lives, He loves you. You are His child. He truly does want what is BEST for you, even if you don’t think it looks what is best. “It will all work out.” In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.