I love this picture. The earnestness in the woman's face as she looked up into the eyes of the Savior. Her willingness to listen. Her desire to learn. All of this is something that I need to seek after and find myself. Everything in the gospel teaches us that we can change if we need to, that we can be helped if we truly want it, that we can be made whole, whatever the problems of the past. Whatever the sins we have done. What is hiding in our hearts.
And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.According to the dictionary, the word blessed means “enjoying happiness,” “enjoying the bliss of heaven,” “bringing pleasure or contentment.” Yet there is an apparent contradiction between the blessings we seek in today’s success-oriented world and the blessings the Savior refers to in the Beatitudes, which open the great Sermon on the Mount.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
How many of us strive for higher spiritual levels as though we hungered and thirsted for them? To hunger and thirst for something involves struggling through it, working in spite of it, and sacrificing our time, talents and energy to achieve it. I am trying harder to really strive for higher spiritual levels. Now that I have a new calling with the young women, I need to make sure that I am an example. I need to make sure that they see the good things I do. I want them to feel that their thirst is being quenched and their emptiness is being filled.
The blessings of hungering and thirsting are immeasurable. Remember the story of the woman of Samaria at the well. It is one of my favorite stories. You see, she was not a jew. She was not like the rest. But she is the one that the Savior told, "whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
President George Q. Cannon said once:
“No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, [God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is [against] His character [to do so]. He is an unchangeable being. … He will stand by us. We may pass through the fiery furnace; we may pass through deep waters; but we shall not be consumed nor overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties the better and the purer for them, if we only trust in our God and keep His commandments.”I am learning that part of hungering and thirsting is also learning to trust. The more I study and learn, the more I see that I need to trust that He is there and that He knows what I need. We will emerge from our trials with His help and His love. He will meet us at our own wells and He will give us the water that makes us never thirst. We have only to ask and He is there.