Friday, November 7, 2008

Peace and Solace

Today was a good day. Then again, I have been having good days in Provo lately. Today I got up a little late for Book of Mormon, but I made it there on time. Harriet and Elise (both of whom I promised to mention in my blog- despite their attempts to make me giggle with their limited ASL knowledge) walked in late. Silly children staying up late. Then RM and I went to the MSRB to wait for Honors 292R. I ran into Angela- we talked for a bit. That was nice. Then we went into the lecture room for my favorite Honors 292R lecture that we have had so far.

She talked about selling your birthright for a mess of pottage- becoming frauds in the modern world. People often use excuses and make themselves frauds. People deny the blessings of the Spirit, leave the Church, involve themselves in false attempts to find truths through sex, drugs, alcohol, and thus people make themselves frauds. She told us often God has more marvelous plans than we can imagine. I wonder about this for myself, as I am struggling to discover my purpose. This lecture was very spiritual. I can't quite express it in words. It was a spiritual experience and not an emotional one, as she said people often confuse emotional experiences for. She is behind a lot of LDS produced things- Fourth Witness (shout out to alea- he introduced this to me), the Testaments, the Hill Cumorah pageant, Finding Faith in Christ- the woman with issue of blood was her (? I am not fully sure- she mentioned something about that), and Emma Smith: My Story (with my new obsession with Emma, I almost freaked out when she said that). I loved her lecture. She was quite the teacher. That's what I love about 292R- the exposure to so many different wonderful professors.

A few other highlights from today: Civ-boring, piano-good,talking to Andrew on the phone about the protesters (which I will address in a moment) Welsh-good (I decided to take Welsh 102! I think...),dinner, visiting with my favorite SarahJane and her wonderful roommates Catherine, Margo and Ceci, Wall-E with Katie, Heeje, Peter, socializing, registering for classes (!) and now almost sleeping.

So when Andrew called me I was shocked about the news that people were protesting outside LDS temples but not really shocked at the same time. Prop 8 brought up a lot of emotions. I am saddened by these protests and feel that they are not the best way to resolve the issue. I am saddened in general, however. I love God and all men and harbor no resentment towards anyone. I wish they would pay me and my fellow Saints, even if we are not always worthy of that name, the same courtesy. As an American citizen, I support their right wholeheartedly to protest, but I am saddened that they lay the "blame" squarely on the Mormons who, while major financial bankers, are not the full reason it passed, in fact, they are not even the major reason it did.

I feel for the Saints in California who are trying their best to live like Jesus whether they opposed or supported the Prop. To them, if any of them read this, I offer this simple message from the words of one of my favorite hymns that has carried me through the toughest of times.

Alice Gifford- Where Can I Turn for Peace?
"Where Can I turn for peace,
Where is my solace when other sources cease to make me whole.
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart, searching my soul

Where, when my aching grows,
Where when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?

Who, who can understand
He, only One.
He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching,

In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind
Love without end."

In this lifetime we will have our Gethsemanes. Our Golgothas. But remember, God will help you. Much like the sad Friday when Christ died, we will face days of challenge, heartache, namecalling, and just being hurt in general. But I promise you, like Elder Wirthlin has, Sunday will come. Whether it be here or in the eternities, it does not matter. God will not cast us off. He will send us angels to bear us up. Christ will hold us when we cry. I know this. I have languished. I have suffered. And I felt that healing hand in my life that only Christ can offer. He will succor us, no matter what the situation. In the deepest pit of despair, He will come to us. He may not relieve us of our challenges or even our problems, but I promise that he will come to comfort and bear us up. It may be through someone else. It may be through that person that you never thought you would meet. That person you prayed for for over 10 years in your life. It may be through that friend you thought you would never had. God listens.

God Himself atoned for your sins. Now let us go and proclaim the peace and solace He will bring to all that accept His atonement and come unto Him. All ye that are weary, find that peace and solace.

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