After a fitful night's sleep, I awoke around 6:30 this morning and began to ready myself for the long day ahead of me. I was tired, struggling with family problems, and really just wanted to pull the covers over my head and stay where I was until, well, until much later. I hoisted my tired aching body out of bed, ate some honeydew melon, showered, dressed and made it out the door in time to be about ten minutes late (again) for Church. I quietly eased into a seat beside a sweet young mother and her baby daughter.
With gratitude in my heart for at least being there in time to take the Sacrament, I bowed my head in silent prayer. "Please, soften my heart," I prayed. "Heavenly Father, please bless me now." That was all I could think of to pray for. I opened my eyes, and all around me were friends. I was at home, another safe place. I realized that I already was blessed with an abundance of love that I could see and feel. My heart not only softened, I think it melted, just a bit.
Tonight, as I opened up my blog and started typing, a message came to me that I thought I should share with you. It's from Jeffrey R. Holland, one of the leaders of our Church. All of his talks (sermons) seem to strike some nerve with me. My favorite talk of his is entitled, He Hath Filled the Hungry with Good Things. In this particular talk, he is speaking to anyone and everyone, regardless of our situations in life. He extends an invitation to all who hunger and thirst, but cannot be satisfied with the choices being dished out by the vain and foolish servants in a world of pride, greed, and selfishness.
Responding to Elder Holland's invitation requires a desire for change. He said: "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." I believe this can happen, but that it will only happen when a need for change is recognized and truly sought after. I love the phrase hunger and thirst. It seems to demand some action to prevent death, either physical or spiritual, or both. A feast can be laid out before us, but unless we reach out to partake of it, we are still left as empty as we were before we took our seat at the table.
Also included in Elder Holland's talk was this: "In spite of life's tribulations and as fearful as some of our prospects are, I testify that there is help for the journey. There is the Bread of Eternal Life and the Well of Living Water. Christ has overcome the world--our world--and His gift to us is peace now and exaltation in the world to come. Our fundamental requirement is to have faith in Him and follow Him--always. When He bids us to walk in His way and by His light, it is because He has walked this way before us, and He has made it safe for our own travel here. He knows where the sharp stones and stumbling blocks lie hidden and where thorns and thistles are the most severe. He knows where the path is perilous, and He knows which way to go when the road forks and nightfall comes. He knows all this ..... because He has suffered 'pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind . . . , that he may know . . . how to succor his people according to their infirmities.' To succor means 'to run to.' I testify that in my fears and in my infirmities the Savior has surely run to me. I will never be able to thank Him enough for such personal kindness and such loving care. "
The small effort (it really was small, comparatively speaking) I made to get myself to Church this morning, and hang in there for the whole block of meetings, was rewarded with an overflowing cup of "spiritual nutrition" to help me "keep on climbing," at least for another week.....
To read all of Elder Holland's talk, just click on, or copy and paste, this link: