Saturday, March 26, 2016

To Sense the Saturday

Today is Saturday. In my family it is a typical day of morning household chores and family time together.  But today is a different Saturday. It is a day of in between.

I found myself wondering this morning, what it must have been like so many years ago. After having watched the man you loved, and had committed to follow, be taken in such a violent way. What did they think, those early believers? How did they feel? They had been given a promise, but how unfathomable it must have sounded in that moment, on that Saturday. They had seen others rise from the dead, but only under His power. How could those few, faithful followers have been able to even imagine the concept of resurrection?

Hope is a unique word. It is simple to have hope in something you understand or experience. I hope the sun will rise each morning, but I do not question it. I have seen it happen every day for forty years. But to hope in something that makes no sense, carries no logic, and yet is promised, is much more challenging to the soul.

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) Words given to His disciples just hours before He left them. How did His peace permeate the tragedies that followed? How did they hold to hope, on Saturday?

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught that, “Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness.” ("The Infinite Power of Hope", October 2008, General Conference) How does hope have power? Hope in the midst of tragedy centers us, it grounds us and fixes us in doctrine. The disciples had been taught clearly, by the Master Himself, that He would rise again. They knew and understood the truth. And yet. And yet they had to cling to that teaching when everything around them seemed to counter that truth. They had no evidence, no proof that He would return – only a promise. A promise and an injunction to hope.

I love the symbols of springtime, as life reawakens all around me. I love the first sign of the crocus, the vibrant colors of tulips and daffodils, the gentle buds returning to the trees.  All contain a promise, a promise of hope.

But in the Saturdays, sometimes we wonder. We wonder if the promises will hold true. We find ourselves in the in between, mired in the memories of tragedy and pain. We want to believe. We want to hold to the promises, but they are yet unseen. They require hope. Hope in the seemingly impossible. Hope in the unknown. Hope in the promise of peace, His peace.

“The things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk,” President Uchtdorf continues. “They uphold us through trials, temptations, and sorrow.  Everyone has experienced discouragement and difficulty. Indeed, there are times when the darkness may seem unbearable. It is in these times that the divine principles of the restored gospel we hope in can uphold us and carry us until, once again, we walk in the light.” ("The Infinite Power of Hope", October 2008, General Conference)

So if you find yourself, today, in the sorrow of a Saturday, know that you are not alone. Some of the most faithful disciples to ever live found themselves seated and sorrowing and somber in their own sightless Saturday. Take a moment to look around you. See the ray of sunshine peeking in over a cloud, feel the promise held within a blossoming bud, or touch the tips of a tulip petal. All hold the seeds of promise. All hold life within them. All contain hope.

Trust that what is dark now, will one day dissipate. Perhaps in a promised day of resolution, or maybe it will simply fade in the brightness of emerging hope. Trust the promise - the light will come.

"Because God has been faithful and kept His promises in the past, we can hope with confidence that God will keep His promises to us in the present and in the future.” (Uchtdorf, "The Infinite Power of Hope", October 2008, General Conference)

And today… today, my friend, if you simply need to sit in the sorrow of your Saturday, let me sit with you. Listen to this music for a Saturday. We will wait and watch together, holding fast to the promise of His peace, waiting for the flowers to emerge, trusting in the power of hope and the promise of a Sunday. You are not alone.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lesson in Likening

One of my favorite scriptures is 1 Nephi 19:22-23 when Nephi comments about his purpose for expounding upon so much scripture in his teaching his brothers. He first states that he read many things from the plates of brass to them “that they might know the doings of the Lord in other lands, among people of old.” He specifically cites the words of Isaiah as having the power to “more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer”. In summary he writes that “I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.”

I have employed this principle over and over in my study of the scriptures, particularly as I have read the Book of the Mormon. I have had many experiences when the scriptures have become a type of Liahona for me, to guide me in my journey through life. (Alma 37:38-47) Many times the lessons I learn are taught only through the spirit, leading me to see and understand parallels from ancient experiences to my own. Often these lessons are difficult for me to articulate and share, because they are understood solely by myself under the influence of the Holy Ghost. Many times I feel myself echoing Ammon’s sentiment that “I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.” (Alma 26:11) There are times, however, when the message is so clear that I almost laugh aloud at the clarity. God truly does speak to us today through His holy word.

Our family is moving. We have moved many times in the course of my husband’s schooling and career, but unlike all our previous moves this one does not include a move out date. We are in this one for the long haul. We had our sights set on a certain area, but Heavenly Father saw fit to guide us somewhere else. We have felt His hand clearly, although at times seemingly crypticly, during this journey. We have felt strongly that He has been leading us to a specific place for His purpose.

So this week we have been in our new city searching for a new home. Before I ever purchased a home I imagined how delightful it would be to tour many homes and choose a wonderful new place for our family to live. The reality of those searches has always been less than enjoyable. Every move has involved traveling to a new state, looking at homes nonstop for several days, then placing an offer – often on the final day of our house hunting trip. The idea of leisurely walking through lovely home after home was quickly replaced by exhausting driving, searching and the subsequent mushing together of every floor plan and finish in my brain. The process is difficult, exhausting and stressful.

Last night after our second day of seemingly endless showings, I opened my scriptures before collapsing into a dead sleep. I opened to where I had left off the night before in the book of Alma. Ammon asks his brothers if they remembered the beginning of their mission to the Lamanites, but I saw myself in the middle of my long day at the beginning of this mission of moving. He said, “Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us and said:…bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give you success. And now behold, we have come…we have been patient,… we have traveled from house to house, relying upon…the mercies of God.” (Alma 26:27-28) There I was, at the end of a long day of traveling from house to house, reading that phrase. I felt the Spirit whisper its direct application to me. I felt the comfort of the Lord, the promise of success if we are patient and rely upon the mercies of God.

Some might call this coincidence. Elder Bednar calls it the tender mercies of the Lord. I have experienced the beauty of such experiences enough to recognize a Father’s watchful care. I know that He knows me. I know that He understands my struggles, my circumstances, and my unspoken fears. I know that He wants to comfort me, to give me reassurance through the Holy Ghost, and give me success. I know that His word is given to me for my profit and learning, so I can know His doings, and believe in the Savior. (1 Ne. 19:22-23)

I add my humble testimony to the great missionary Ammon’s, “Blessed be the name of my God… who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land. Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in.” Even a weary woman searching for a home in a new city.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I cried uncle last month.

I was getting my house ready to put on the market and reached the point where I had more tasks than time. After another bone wearying day, I was in tears. I knew I couldn't do it all myself. I had worked myself into exhaustion. My husband had been working nonstop after his full day at his job, my children had been scrubbing and polishing from the minute they got home from school. We weren't going to make it and I knew it.

I have always been a very independent person, even as a child. I always wanted to do everything myself and over time drew an unhealthy amount of pride from the things I was able to accomplish on my own. It is very difficult for me to ask for help - even when I really need it.

But that late, exhausting night in March, staring at my computer screen, I knew I had to. I simply could not accomplish what I needed to on my own. I needed help. I struggled within myself, feeling guilty that I was incapable of completing my tasks, until my mind finally caught hold upon a thought. If any of my friends were feeling the way I was in that moment, I would do anything I could to help them. I swallowed my pride, and sent out an email. "Uncle! I need you. Please help."

Within an hour I had responses from so many of my friends - willing to come over and help me wipe down cabinets, scrub showers and polish my floors. I was overcome with gratitude and relief.

The next day I was still apprehensive about them coming over. Would they feel taken advantage of? Would they cringe at scrubbing floors with me? Would they think less of me after having helped? I worried and wondered and worried. That morning, as one friend was wiping down my kitchen cabinets, I thanked her for coming. When she responded that she was glad I had asked, I expressed my concern that by asking for her help I was putting her out. She then taught me a profound lesson by her response. She said, "When I got your email, I didn't feel like you were putting me out. I felt like you were letting me in."

That sentiment has stayed and stayed with me during the last month. I wonder how many times my Heavenly Father has been standing by, waiting for my requests for help. We are told over and over in the scriptures to ask for His help. "Ask and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you; " (3Ne. 27:29) In my valiant quest to be self-sufficient, how many times have I unwittingly uninvited the Source of all strength to come in and help me? When I have felt overwhelmed and burdened, why have I not cried, "Abba, Father! I need you. Please help!" And then instead of worrying that I was putting Him out, recognizing that my plea was in fact, an invitation. Letting Him in.

I'm learning that we are given challenges, at times, to help us remember that we need Him. We simply cannot make it through this life on our own merits. We need our Heavenly Father. We are His children. He loves us. He wants to help us. Will we trust him enough to petition Him for help? "Father, I need you today. Please help me." And then wait in patience and faith to let Him in.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Or Praiseworthy

I have been writing on my other blog ( for just over a year now. Hooray! It has been a wonderful creative outlet for me and I continue to marvel that my ramblings resonate with anyone that lives outside of my head. In an effort to connect with a wider audience, I made a conscious decision to write pieces that were universal in content. During that time I have found myself at times wanting to express more precisely my feelings about my beliefs. Instead of reformatting my existing blog, I decided to create a new one to fulfill that desire.

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of you might know me as a Mormon. I love my family. I love my Heavenly Father. I am eternally indebted to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is my rock and my salvation. I hope that in an effort to write things that are not only "of good report", but also "praiseworthy" that I can share more completely the things that bring me peace and joy in my life.

Here's to a praiseworthy year.

*NOTE - I have taken the titles for my blogs from the thirteenth Article of Faith. The Articles of Faith are a compilation of my church's basic doctrines and beliefs. The thirteenth, and last, Article of Faith reads -

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul - We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.