Sunday, February 7, 2010
Hide and Seek
Isn't that so much like life. I know that Heavenly Father is there, but sometimes I don't try very hard to find Him. Aren't there times in each of our lives when we don't try very hard to find our Heavenly Father? Aren't their times when we might not want to find Him? Sometimes, we want Him to come right away, at the first sign of a problem. We want Him to notice us and fix it, so that we don't have to suffer. We want Him to take everything away, even the problems that we have caused by our own decisions. But that is not the way our Heavenly Father works. He lets us grow by working out our own problems. Sometimes He steps in to help us, but usually that is after all that we can do first.
I know that I sometimes wish Heavenly Father could fix everything before I ever had to suffer. I want Him to take it from me before the hurt. But, I have to admit, that when I endure, the lesson is usually something I needed to help me grow. When I look back at my life, it has some pretty dark times in it, but those times are part of the tapestry that makes me who I am. Those times are equally responsible for my testimony today. I have thought about this a lot, and if I had the opportunity to make them not happen to me, I don't think I would choose that. I am who I am because of both my trials and my blessings.
“But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance” (1 Ne. 1:20).
I know that my Heavenly Father has showered me with His tender mercies in my life. I know the He is very much aware of us. We just need to learn to trust in Him that all will be for our good.
The following is an excerpt from from a talk given by David A Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
It is entitled "The Tender Mercies of the Lord".
"In a recent stake conference, the tender mercies of the Lord were evident in the touching testimony of a young wife and mother of four whose husband was slain in Iraq in December of 2003. This stalwart sister recounted how, after being notified of her husband’s death, she received his Christmas card and message. In the midst of the abrupt reality of a dramatically altered life came to this good sister a timely and tender reminder that indeed families can be together forever. With permission I quote from that Christmas card:
“To the best family in the world! Have a great time together and remember the true meaning of Christmas! The Lord has made it possible for us to be together forever. So even when we are apart, we will still be together as a family.
“God bless and keep y’all safe and grant this Christmas to be our gift of love from us to Him above!!!
“All my love, Daddy and your loving husband!”
Clearly, the husband’s reference to being apart in his Christmas greeting referred to the separation caused by his military assignment. But to this sister, as a voice from the dust from a departed eternal companion and father, came a most needed spiritual reassurance and witness. As I indicated earlier, the Lord’s tender mercies do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Faithfulness, obedience, and humility invite tender mercies into our lives, and it is often the Lord’s timing that enables us to recognize and treasure these important blessings.
Some time ago I spoke with a priesthood leader who was prompted to memorize the names of all of the youth ages 13 to 21 in his stake. Using snapshots of the young men and women, he created flash cards that he reviewed while traveling on business and at other times. This priesthood leader quickly learned all of the names of the youth.
One night the priesthood leader had a dream about one of the young men whom he knew only from a picture. In the dream he saw the young man dressed in a white shirt and wearing a missionary name tag. With a companion seated at his side, the young man was teaching a family. The young man held the Book of Mormon in his hand, and he looked as if he were testifying of the truthfulness of the book. The priesthood leader then awoke from his dream.
At an ensuing priesthood gathering, the leader approached the young man he had seen in his dream and asked to talk with him for a few minutes. After a brief introduction, the leader called the young man by name and said: “I am not a dreamer. I have never had a dream about a single member of this stake, except for you. I am going to tell you about my dream, and then I would like you to help me understand what it means.”
The priesthood leader recounted the dream and asked the young man about its meaning. Choking with emotion, the young man simply replied, “It means God knows who I am.” The remainder of the conversation between this young man and his priesthood leader was most meaningful, and they agreed to meet and counsel together from time to time during the following months.
That young man received the Lord’s tender mercies through an inspired priesthood leader. I repeat again, the Lord’s tender mercies do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Faithfulness and obedience enable us to receive these important gifts and, frequently, the Lord’s timing helps us to recognize them.
We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies. The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times in which we do now and will yet live. When words cannot provide the solace we need or express the joy we feel, when it is simply futile to attempt to explain that which is unexplainable, when logic and reason cannot yield adequate understanding about the injustices and inequities of life, when mortal experience and evaluation are insufficient to produce a desired outcome, and when it seems that perhaps we are so totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto the power of deliverance".