Wednesday, August 6, 2014

[zion]

On Sunday, our Sunday School lesson was The Gathering of Israel.  Our lesson started late.  We had exactly 29 minutes.  The lesson started out on track as we discussed the physical and spiritual gathering of Israel.  And then I shared something I had learned in my lesson study.  A quote from Elder Bruce R. McConkie.  (I actually used a lot of a talk he'd given in preparing to teach the lesson (Come: Let Israel Build Zion)).

The message which has come to us is that the Lord will “have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.

I shall speak of the manner in which the Lord will build up Zion, the manner in which the Lord is having mercy upon Zion, and the part we are expected to play in the building of Zion.

...as of now, the Lord has laid upon us the responsibility to lay the foundation for that which is to be. We have been commissioned to prepare a people for the second coming of the Son of Man. We have been called to preach the gospel to every nation and kindred and tongue and people. We have been commanded to lay the foundations of Zion and to get all things ready for the return of Him who shall again crown the Holy City with his presence and glory.

Zion is people; Zion is the saints of God; Zion is those who have been baptized; Zion is those who have received the Holy Ghost; Zion is those who keep the commandments; Zion is the righteous...

After sharing this quote, I asked first, "Where is Zion?" and second, "How is Heavenly Father showing mercy upon us?"

The remainder of our lesson was spent discussing Zion.  And our Heavenly Father's love of us that is shown so clearly within our Zion.  That is one of his greatest mercies.  That we are surrounded by those who love, serve, support, guide, and help us along our path.

Zion is right here.  It is my own little family.  My own little circle of friends.  My own extended family.  My own little ward.  My own stake.  Right here.  Right now.  

What is my responsibility within Zion?  We have been commissioned to prepare a people for the second coming of the Son of Man. We have been called to preach the gospel to every nation and kindred and tongue and people. We have been commanded to lay the foundations of Zion and to get all things ready for the return of Him who shall again crown the Holy City with his presence and glory.  Pretty clear.

As the discussion continued on preparing a people for the second coming of our Savior, we talked a lot about example and service.  Like it or not, regardless of our circumstances, and sometimes because of our circumstances, people watch us.  They watch what we say.  They watch what we do.  They watch how we treat those around us.  They watch how we respond to challenges and to the task of daily life.  I've heard it said many times, "You are always an example - you can be a good one or a bad one, but you're always an example."  This is something on which I need to work.

I really love our ward.  I really love our stake.  I really love our little town.  There are so many great people here.  So many people that love our Savior and constantly find ways to lift and serve others, not to say hey look at me, I'm so awesome!, but in a manner that that exemplifies the love of our Savior.

This discussion brought me up sharply in remembrance of all of the loving acts of service we have received.  Meals, money, fundraisers, cards, letters, texts, visits, treats... we live in our own little Zion and it's a pretty great place to live. 

However, that being said, I'll admit that it's been a rough few days.  

The days after a really awesome spiritual experience usually are.
  
I need to do better at remembering that.

Remembering that my emotions will be higher.  Tighter.
That my patience will be shorter.  
And that my tolerance level will be non-existent.

Satan is real.
  
And I let him in this week by allowing simple things to breed anger and impatience.
By responding with annoyance instead of understanding.

I simply must do better.

I took an interesting quiz yesterday at www.16personalities.com .
My results: 
Your personality type: INFP (turbulent variant)
Strength of individual traits: Introverted: 83%, Intuitive: 40%, Feeling: 81%, Prospecting: 56%, Turbulent: 93%. 

INFPs are driven by a strong sense of right and wrong and a desire to exercise their creativity, even if only behind the scenes. Their weaknesses include sensitivity to criticism, poor organization, and low assertiveness. Keirsey referred to the INFPs as Healers, one of the four types belonging to the temperament he called the Idealists.[2] INFPs are one of the rarer types, accounting for about 4-5% of the population.[3]

The turbulent variant part made me a little sad.  The best I can figure is that my emotions are still all over the place.  I suppose that just gives me an awareness.  I can't hide behind my grief.  Or use it as an excuse.  I can't live there.  I DON'T HAVE TO LIVE THERE!  I can miss Kenton, as I do with every piece of my heart, but I can miss him while still showing an outpouring of love and patience to those around me.

Going forward, my goal is to be less sharp, less critical, more supportive, more forgiving, more understanding.  I respond too quickly.  Expect too much.  Allow hurt to enter too easily.  We have been commanded to preach the gospel... and in my experience that mostly comes down to living the gospel.  Responding with kindness, patience, love.  Doing my part to build up my own little Zion instead of tearing it down. 

Today I am grateful for forgiveness.

** And, yes, I realize that this post is all over the place and probably makes zero sense to anyone reading it.  Not that anyone really does read it, but whatevs.  Today I needed to dump my thoughts.  That's how I attempt to organize and work through them.  I don't know if it worked or not.  

1 comment:

Jalane said...

I read all your posts and this was one of my favs! Love you Deb and thank you :)