Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Peace and Healing

I know so many who need peace and healing, who just want to forget what they experienced yesterday in Boston. Even though I was not downtown at all (and the mundane budget preparation I was doing is nothing by comparison), I know people who were, and my heart aches for everyone who was affected, whether directly or indirectly.

Yesterday morning was a special Monday opening at the Boston temple. I went because I was asked to serve, but it was a blessing for me as much as a service opportunity. I was in a worship session at 7:30 am with about 40 young missionaries and a few other people. I reflected on the power in that room - 38 young men who bear the priesthood, and 2 young women, all called of God and set apart to preach His gospel in Boston and the surrounding region. All 40 have put their education and their lives on hold while they serve the Lord full-time, spreading the good news of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. They represented only a fraction of the Elders and Sisters who serve in our area, but while small in number, they were great in power and devotion to the truth.

Tonight, my home teachers came over - two of the best men I know. They bear the priesthood of God and are responsible to visit and care for a small number of men and women in our ward. They shared with me a message of hope and peace, of joy in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the knowledge that we will one day be restored to a perfect, immortal body because of His grace. One commented that it seemed this message was inspired, exactly what we needed to hear today. It helped me listen with greater focus, and I found peace and joy in contemplating the magnificent blessings of the Atonement and Resurrection of my Savior Jesus Christ.

As I have pondered on the events that took place yesterday with these two experiences as bookends, this is the most important message I can think to offer:

"As we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." (read more here, in Preach My Gospel)

"The love of God and the power of the restored gospel are redemptive and saving. ... His divine love ... can dress any wound, heal any hurt, and soften any sorrow." (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, here.)

I know that Jesus Christ lives and I know that He can heal us from all the wounds that were inflicted by yesterday's tragedy, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual in nature. God knows and loves all His children, and He will not turn His back on us now. Please join with me in turning to Him for peace and the healing we all need.

Friday, April 12, 2013

What's New

There is an animal that eats my crocuses. Every year. I think it might be the raccoon I saw a few weeks ago as I was pulling into the driveway. Or maybe the bunny I saw last fall sitting near my flowerbeds. At any rate, I'm sad about it since I plant crocuses for the flowers, not the animals. At least I was able to enjoy the pretty yellows for a few days before they disappeared.

The other good news is that the trees are starting to bud and the world is turning green again! I bought a hyacinth plant at Trader Joe's last week and it has been making my office smell heavenly. It brings me happiness. The hyacinths in the backyard are coming up and blooming as well. Happy day.

Tonight I went to the BSO with my two friends. I was grateful for no traffic on the highway on the way there, since I left 15 minutes later than I thought I should, and ended up there on time after all. I was also grateful I remembered to put the tickets in my purse last night - they have been sitting on the dining room table for a month. Two blessings in 24 hours. Yay! Oh, and the concert was pretty amazing, too. We heard a world famous violinist, a super cool piece by a Russian composer I'd never heard before, and Pictures at an Exhibition. It was great.

Did you enjoy General Conference? I sure did! These were my two favorites:

Our daily contributions of nurturing, teaching, and caring for others may seem mundane, diminished, difficult, and demeaning at times, and yet as we remember that first line in the Young Women theme—“We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us”—it will make all the difference in our relationships and our responses. - Elaine S. Dalton

All the difference in our responses to others and in our relationships with those around us. Who wouldn't benefit from that?

When [affliction or desperation] moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes.  - Jeffrey R. Holland

Elder Holland already italicized the part I needed most to hear. :-) 

These were the two messages for me. It made a difference this week. I love being part of a church that has Apostles and Prophets who guide us to all truth. Amazing.