Monday, July 29, 2013

[peace and picking raspberries]

Our power went out during church yesterday.  3:47 pm I believe is what they said was the exact time.  Right during Charity's incredible lesson on Peace.  Sometimes the lessons at church are just exactly what I need to hear.  This was one of those.

The lesson was based on the talk Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness by Elder Quentin L. Cook.  

President Heber J. Grant described the Savior's peace this way:
"His peace will ease our suffering, bind up our broken hearts, blot out our hates, engender in our breasts a love of fellow men that will suffuse our souls with calm and happiness."

From Elder Cook:
Peace comes from knowing that the Savior knows who we are and knows that we have faith in Him, love Him, and keep His commandments, even and especially amid life's devastating trials and tragedies.

The Savior's Atonement will overcome and compensate for all of the unfairness of mortal life and bring us peace.  Humbling ourselves before God, praying always, repenting of sins...and becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ are profound examples of the righteousness that is rewarded by abiding peace.

Even with the trials of life, because of the Savior's Atonement and His grace, righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace.  In John 16:33, Jesus says, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

President Harold B. Lee taught: 
There is a refining process that comes through suffering, I think, that we can't experience any other way than by suffering...we draw closer to Him who gave His life that man might be.  We feel a kinship that we have never felt before...He suffered more than we can ever imagine.  But to the extent that we have suffered, somehow it seems to have the effect of drawing us closer to the divine, helps to purify our souls, and helps to purge out the things that are not pleasing in the sight of the Lord.

This was a great reminder to me of the power of The Atonement.  Once again, I needed to hear, to believe, to remember, that The Atonement is NOT just to help cleanse us of sin.  The Atonement allows us to lay our sorrows, our sadness, our hurt, our guilt, our anger, our weariness - all of that stuff - at our Savior's feet.  We are promised that if we do, even and amid life's devastating trials and tragedies, we will have peace.  

We returned home from church, woke Grammy up from her nap (knee surgery on Thursday is pretty exhausting and painful!), and fixed some lunch.  Still no power.  We read a little, visited a little, did a whole lot of nothing for a while.  Then Luke went to do Friends of Scouting collections and I went out to pick raspberries.  I'd neglected them too long, and with those crazy gusts of wind (strong enough to knock down a pole and take out Hyrum City's power for SEVEN hours), I found many of my berries had been blown right off the bushes.

I picked what was left.  Still a huge bowl full.  As I was picking the raspberries, I was thinking.  Not much else to do while picking raspberries.  Every time I finish picking the berries, my arms are scratched and my fingers are full of tiny little raspberry prickles.  One would imagine that after doing this for so many years, I would realize the importance of gloves and long sleeves...

And then I realized.  Isn't that what the lesson in RS was all about today?  The long sleeves and gloves are the righteous living that promise peace (no prickles and scratches)?!  

Simple things that allow us to hurt less.

Why is this such a difficult lesson to learn?  Why do I need reminder after reminder after reminder to just do what I've been taught?!

Sigh.  Sometimes I think the simpler things are, the harder I make them.

Today I'm putting on my long sleeves and gloves (saying my prayers, reading my scriptures, humbling myself, seeking opportunities to serve).  Today I'm trusting in my Savior.  Today I am accepting the gift of peace.  Today begins another challenge to remember the promise and gift of The Atonement.    

"His peace will ease our suffering, bind up our broken hearts, blot out our hates, engender in our breasts a love of fellow men that will suffuse our souls with calm and happiness." - President Heber J. Grant

Hymn No. 89: The Lord is My Light

The Lord is my light; then why should I fear?
By day and by night his presence is near.
He is my salvation from sorrow and sin;
This blessed assurance the Spirit doth bring.

The Lord is my light; tho clouds may arise,
Faith, stronger than sight, looks up thru the skies
Where Jesus forever in glory doth reign.
Then how can I ever in darkness remain?

The Lord is my light; the Lord is my strength.
I know in his might I'll conquer at length.
My weakness in mercy he covers with pow'r,
And walking by faith, I am lead ev'ry hour.

The Lord is my light, my all and in all.
There is in his sight no darkness at all.
He is my Redeemer, my Savior and King.
With Saints and with angels his praises I'll sing.

The Lord is my light;
He is my joy
and my song.
By day
and by night
He leads,
He leads me along.

"Peace comes from knowing that the Savior knows who we are and knows that we have faith in Him, love Him, and keep His commandments, even and especially amid life's devastating trials and tragedies."  - Quentin L. Cook

1 comment:

Sean Bennett said...

Deb -
Thank you for your insight! I just studied this talk this morning - preparing to teach it in RS this next Sunday and then saw your post on FB.
Do you mind if I share your insight in my lesson?
As always... you are an inspiration to all who visit this blog!

love you! Cathy