These are my grandfather’s scriptures from his mission in the 1940′s.
I had been fine all day. No tears. No freak outs.
I was fine, that is, until my mom said to me, “Linds, your dad and I admire your faith.”
Tears streamed down my face as I managed to choke out, “Faith in what?” Because, let me tell you, I wasn’t feeling full of faith. I wasn’t feeling particularly hopeful. In fact, I wasn’t doing a lot of feeling at all.
Their answer on the phone was simple: Faith in your Savior. I appreciated what they said and it brought the familiar warmth of the Spirit, but I didn’t really understand it or even believe it.
Several weeks later, my dad and I got into an email conversation about the whole situation and I asked him to expound on what in the world he meant by “faith.” I wasn’t feeling it.
Your faith in the Savior is great. You believe what He says—that you will be blessed by keeping your covenants. Just like Alma taught, you take a seed, plant it, nourish it and when it bears fruit you recognize the source and savor it. Just consider and reflect on how you have approached infertility and adoption and the formation of your family. You have found a way to fulfill the commandment to multiply and be fruitful—which you certainly are doing. Just like Nephi you have said “I will go and do.” He had to make several attempts before he was successful in his mission and purpose. This is great faith.
It was eye opening to think of people in The Book of Mormon who undoubtedly had great faith, but also took the time to document their failures and weaknesses. There is something so encouraging in equating faith with the ability to get up, brush yourself off and try again no matter how beat up you have become on the journey–knowing that the Savior will “consecrate your afflictions for your gain.” That is faith in Christ.
A couple days later, I was talking to my mom about how I was surprised that I wasn’t angered at everything that had happened. She told me straight up, “That is the power and gift of the Atonement.” The Savior, in all His power, offered to take the anger and I let Him. I never felt it. I still don’t. It boggles my mind and humbles me.
Right after the whole thing fell apart, I got an email from my youngest brother who is serving a mission for our church in Portugal.
Mom and Dad told me about the news. It was sad to find out and I’m sure you guys are pretty bummed but I know you guys have faith in Christ and will be fine. In Alma 7:11-12 it says:
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
I know its kind of typical for your younger brother on the mish to pull out a scripture but hey, that’s part of my calling, right?! I hope this helps you. I like how He says He suffered everything so that He would know how to succor us, or help us in these rough moments. I love you, Linds and I know it’s tough but you’ll get through it as long as you put your faith in Christ and let Him heal you.
Allowing the power of the Atonement to come into your heart and take away your pain/anger is faith in Christ. Recognizing and trusting that the pain He suffered in Gethsemane makes Him the expert on how to help you is faith in Christ.
And I have great faith in Jesus Christ.
Three final thoughts:
- Don’t I have a fantastic family? So supportive! So understanding. So perfect for me. I recognize that my family is a gift from my Heavenly Father. Love them.
- If you are surrounded by a lot of yuck and wonder if you have faith in Christ, the fact that you get up and keep trying is evidence that you do. If you believe in brighter days ahead, you have faith in Christ. Give yourself some credit.
- I almost didn’t write this post because, for some reason, I felt like it was braggy to tell the world that I had great faith in Christ. Well, guess what world? I believe in Jesus. I believe in Him and I believe Him. I have great faith in my Savior. I know He has the power to heal and the power to make an ugly thing beautiful, to give “beauty for ashes.” He saves me from myself everyday.