Today was a good day at Church. It was so interesting how the things I prepared for my lesson (last minute because my team teacher hasn’t been there for 3 weeks now) have had a tendency to go right along with what I’m dealing with.
Last week it was about fasting and prayer which I was going through with the temple trip and the fasting for answers on how I should handle things, this week it was about Job and the trials and tribulations he went through while still having faith in the Lord. Although I’m not Job by any means, I don’t have it nearly as bad as he did – his family and friends gave up on him, he lost everything, and he STILL was faithful.
While we were in Sacrament meeting and I was looking over the lesson, there were a few things that stood out to me (D&C 121):
7 My son, apeace be unto thy soul; thine badversity and thine afflictions shall be but a csmall moment;
9 Thy afriends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.
10 Thou art not yet as Job; thy afriends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgression, as they did Job.11 And they who do charge thee with transgression, their hope shall be blasted, and their prospects shall amelt away as the hoar frost melteth before the burning rays of the rising sun;
I hope I can have the faith sufficient to really believe that these scriptures I’m finding are not “coincidence”. I feel thy aren’t but also feel there are things I can still improve on and be better at.
I decided to look up “coincidence” at LDS.org: I found one talk titled “Answered Prayers or Coincidence?” Here are some things that stuck out to me:
When the Lord answers our prayers, it’s easy for us to say, “Lord, forget that request a few days ago. I’ve taken care of it myself.” We think that we have done something ourselves, or that what occurred by divine direction was merely a coincidence. A number of experiences have convinced me otherwise. The Lord constantly blesses our lives, but often we fail to recognize those blessings…
Sometimes, too, we don’t consider ourselves worthy to receive answers and fail to recognize our Father in Heaven’s love for us. Finally, answers to prayers aren’t always the answers we expected or even necessarily asked for…
The Spirit whispers to us all the time. But we often don’t take the time to listen, especially if our spiritual antennae are rusty. But if we are in tune, the message will be clear and direct—helping us, comforting us, and even saving us on those occasions when God intervenes on our behalf…
…we are being watched over by a loving Father in Heaven. He answers our prayers, and we need to recognize those blessings. They bring to us true exhilaration and a sense of well-being that affects almost every aspect of our lives. They also let us know that God loves us and will lead us “in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Ps. 23:3.)
Another talk I found is by Elder Bednar titled: “The Tender Mercies of the Lord“. This talk has really hit home too.
“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).
Some may count this experience as simply a nice coincidence, but I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Often, the Lord’s timing of His tender mercies helps us to both discern and acknowledge them.
Elder Bednar is talking here about when he was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He said before he stepped to the pulpit for the first time as a new General Authority, an intermediate song was sung. The song was “Redeemer of Israel”. Elder Bednar said, “If…I had been invited to suggest an intermediate hymn for that particular session of the conference—a hymn that would have been both edifying and spiritually soothing for me and for the congregation before my first address in this Conference Center—I would have selected my favorite hymn, “Redeemer of Israel.” Tears filled my eyes as I stood with you to sing that stirring hymn of the Restoration.”
Just reading this particular part of the talk makes me want to cry: today in church there were a few things that really touched me and helped me feel the tender mercies of the Lord too. We sang the hymn “Let Us All Press On” as the intermediate song. Not only is it one of my favorite songs, but the third verse seemed to be an answer of sorts too:
If we do what’s right we have no need to fear,
For the Lord, our helper, will ever be near;
In the days of trial his Saints he will cheer,
And prosper the cause of truth.
As we sang that song, tears too came to my eyes. I really do feel I’m trying to do what’s right, I’m trying to be honest, I’m trying to be open and up front about where I feel I should go with my career.
The WM payout is still fresh on my mind, however. It is something I’m going to investigate tomorrow.
My hope is that everything will go smooth tomorrow, that I will leave on good terms, possibly even still being involved in some small way with PR, and that there will be no hard feelings.
Again, the main mistake I feel I made was not being aware of the Disclosure Policy and not thinking enough about the affiliate spiff that Ben and I had made inadvertently.
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…
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 (see 1 Ne. 1:20).
WOW! I can’t say that it has been coincidence to read these words of a living disciple of Jesus Christ.
I really feel I’m on the right path. I feel I’m doing what Heavenly Father wants me to do at this time in my life. I feel I can and will support my family in the way Heavenly Father wants me to. I feel opportunities have and will continue to come as I put my faith in Jesus Christ, strive to keep the commandments, maintain consistency in doing the little things like studying the manual and the scriptures, and continue working on overcoming my addictive behaviors.
I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope it brings me as I try to follow the will of the Father.
Step 9 Scripture and Question
“I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.
“For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors” (Alma 34:31–32).
What else do you accomplish when you soften your heart and go to make amends?
For me, softening my heart and making amends is one of the best ways to show my willingness to do whatever God would have me do. It’s a way to show humility and confidence that God’s ways are much better than my ways.
I also feel that the power to forgive others and make amends is one way the Lord shows the plan of justice and mercy to us. If I have held grudges or not ask forgiveness for things I’ve done to others, how is God going to be just in forgiving me of my trespasses?
By making amends, I’m doing my work.
“Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength” (D&C 11:20; emphasis added). This is the work of people on the earth.
“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39; emphasis added). This is the work of Heavenly Father.
Making amends and reaching out to others is how I work with Heavenly Father to do the work he has sent me here to do. (Ironically, this sounds a lot like my Patriarchal Blessing.)
Things I’m Grateful For Today
- That I was able to have this uplifting study time BEFORE 10:00 p.m. – it actually started earlier today
- That I really feel the “tender mercies of the Lord” in my life
- That I feel I’m doing my studying and being consistent for the right reason, not just to be seen by others but because I need the support from Heavenly Father
- That Becky and I seem to really be on the same page with the decisions that have been made
- That I haven’t watched football at all today 🙂
- That I was able to have a fun time with the kids tonight watching Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
- That I was able to be patient today with the boys in my class