Friday, June 18, 2010


We know these are the last days, and we know the prophesies about all that will happen, but for some reason, we seemed to think it would be in the future. Now, of course, we know that we are in the midst of the adversity - the testing and proving phase we were told about. Are any one of us not being touched (or slammed) by this thing that is supposed to be so good for us?

I love Neal A. Maxwell. He made things so very clear and puts them into proper perspective for us: "We should not complain about our own life's not being a rose garden when we remember who wore the crown of thorns." As I think about some of your trials, I want to cry out: Oh, But....." And the Spirit whispers, "Be still. It is for their refinement."

Elder Maxwell said: "How can there be later magnification without our enduring some present deprivation! The enlarging of the soul requires not only some remodeling, but some excavating . . . How could there be refining fires without our enduring some heat?" Thank heaven for answers to prayer and the help that comes enabling us to "endure some heat."

He said, "A good friend who knows whereof he speaks, has observed of trials, "If it's fair, it is not a true trial!"That is, without the added presence of some inexplicableness and some irony and injustice, the experience may not stretch us or lift us sufficiently. The crucifixion of Christ was clearly the greatest injustice in human history, but the Savior bore up under it with majesty and indescribable valor." I guess maybe it is the irony and injustice part that we shed the most tears over. How hard it is to remember to say, "What am I supposed to learn from this?" and "Thy will be done."

I like this quote: "For the faithful, our finest hours are sometimes during or just following our darkest hours." This gives me hope. It makes me remember that we must take that step, in faith, out of the present light into the darkness before we will be able to see the rest of the road ahead.

And another of my favorites: "One's life cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free." Growth hurts. I remember having terrible growing pains in my legs as a child. I cried myself to sleep countless times because the pain seemed too great to bear. But it was nothing compared to the growing pains the Lord gives us the opportunity to suffer in raising children, burying them, watching them suffer for their mistakes - or in their own growing pains. Or our own deprivations in life. It is our faith that keeps us moving through the stress that refines us as we grow. Sometimes it seems too hard to bear.

"How can you and I really expect to glide naively through life as if to say, "Lord give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy." Oh, I feel so ashamed to think I have ever prayed for those things to be removed from my life when Elder Maxwell puts it that way. If we are supposed to become like Him, I guess it stands to reason we must experience the things that He did. How could we ever do that without the help of our loving Heavenly Father??

"We cannot expect to live in a time when "Men's hearts shall fail them" (D&C 45:26) without expecting the faithful to have a few fibrillations of their own!" I'm afraid the goosies are having more than a few fibrillations right now, but what glorious creatures are being created in His refining fire!

"The harrowing of the soul can be like the harrowing of the soil; to increase the yield, things are turned upside down." I can just picture that implement slicing through the soil, turning it over, revealing all the fresh soil that was hidden underneath the top crust of ground. What an apt illustration of how our hearts feel sliced by the circumstances that we, or our loved ones, are suffering. We can only pray that the increase will be worth the pain, and remember that an all-knowing, all-loving Father is truly in charge.

And the last one: "The storm fronts that come into our lives will not last forever. We can surmount the drifts of difficulties and we can hold out if we maintain our perspective and faith... Just as we know there is a sun just beyond today's cloud cover, so we must not doubt the continued, watchful, and tutoring presence of The Son in spite of the stormy seasons in our lives." The song from the Secret Garden comes to mind: "Hang on, it's not you, but this day will go away."

No. One more: "The thermostat on the furnace of affliction will not have been set too high for us - though clearly we may think so at the time. Our God is a refining God who has been tempering soul-steel for a very long time. He knows when the right edge has been put upon our excellence but also when there is more in us than we have yet given." Scary thought - more we have not yet given.

Some one made a little plaque that said, "I know the Lord said He would not give us more than we can handle, but I wish He didn't have so much confidence in me."

What incredible things the Lord is doing with this group. What faith! What marvelous instruments in His hands you are!I feel privileged to know you.

1 comment:

Jeri Gilchrist said...

I love the quotes you used by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Lynn. This was indeed a touching post, thank you so much!