Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A little off topic...

With a lot going on right now and having been gone on vacation and various other things, I've kind of fallen off the bandwagon here again. I'll get back to it soon!

But in the meantime, I was reading something at lunch that really struck a cord with me. The book I'm reading is The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. It about a man who decides to spend a year living his life very literally according to the rules in the Bible, including things in the Old Testament like don't wear clothing that is a mixture of linen and wool.

He starts to question why it is so important to obey this law. A very devout man replies that we don't know. And we don't have to know.

"This is a law that God gave us. We have to trust Him. He's all-powerful. We're like children. Sometimes parents have laws children don't understand. Like when you tell a child not to touch fire, he doesn't understand why, but it is good for him."

I think this is an incredible insight! And it's something that I believe, but I've just never heard it phrased quite this way before. It helps me with things like the Word of Wisdom. Sometimes people have asked me for very specific reasons - but why don't you drink tea? Why don't you drink coffee? Why can you have a Coke or a piece of chocolate if you can't have coffee? And I always try to explain that it's not really necessarily the caffeine and that's why chocolate is okay. And I have to admit that I don't really know all the reasons behind the things we're told to avoid - but I trust in my prophets' teachings and so I do avoid what they say to avoid. But that's always felt a little weak to me, even though it's really kind of the same argument as the man in the book gave.

I guess the difference is just that he's so much more eloquent than I am. So I'm going to remember this for the next time I come across something that I can't explain or have a hard time accepting. This is a law that God gave us. We have to trust Him. And if we trust him, we believe that following His law is what's good for us, and we do as He says.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mosiah 25

24 And they were called the people of God. And the Lord did pour out his Spirit upon them, and they were blessed, and prospered in the land.

We should be striving to be the people of God so that we can receive these same blessings!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mosiah 22-24

Mosiah 24:14 is one of my favorite scriptures.

14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

When I was in graduate school, I was a very busy girl. I was working about 60 hours a week (because my work was also my final project for my Masters degree, so I was putting in extra time to finish the project). I was also taking a double load of classes. I would get up at 8 a.m. and go up the hill to school for classes in the morning, then go to work after lunch. Between work and writing papers and other projects for class, I usually didn't leave the computer lab until 3 or 4 in the morning. I would go back to my apartment and get a couple of hours of sleep, then start all over again.

I was feeling the pressure already, then, just a few weeks before my final defense of my Masters project and then graduation, I received a letter from the registrar's office. Apparently there was some sort of problem with my graduation paperwork and they were telling me that I would not be able to graduate on time after all, just for want of this single piece of paper.

I cried. I cried and cried and cried. I was just so stressed and so tired and I just couldn't cope. It was after hours so I couldn't call the registrar's office to see what was going on. All I could think was that after all my hard work, I wasn't going to be able to graduate. It's not like it would have been the end of the world, really. At most, it would have meant I had to go through one more semester of classes and then graduate in the fall instead of the spring. But at that moment, it felt like the end of the world to me.

I got ready for bed, which included reading my scriptures. I read Mosiah 24 that night and when I came to verse 14, an incredible soothing calm came over me. I suddenly just KNEW that everything would be okay. That the Lord would help me bear my burden and that I could relax and leave it to him. I felt instantly better. I went to bed and was able to sleep well, knowing that I could deal with things in the morning.

The next day I was able to go to the registrar's office and get things straightened out. They didn't want to be helpful at first, but I was able to remain calm enough to think instead of just reacting. I enlisted the help of my professors and they were able to get things fixed so that I graduated on time. And I have always remembered the sense of relief and calm that I received when I read that verse.