Monday, December 17, 2012

Gospel Study - Special Lessons and Having the Vision to Do

Today I read Special Lesson by Elder Ronald A. Rasband and Having the Vision to Do by Elder O. Vincent Haleck.

I really enjoyed reading Elder Rasband's talk. I’ve had many discussions with students and friends about why God allows suffering – and why He intervenes in some cases and not others. Why are some people healed while others are required to suffer throughout their mortal lives? Why are some people spared from the earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes, while others’ lives are spared? Why some crazy people take lives of innocent and many families are left to mourn their loved ones.  Many see this as either an indicator that God is either not omnipotent, or not compassionate. I see it as an indicator that God knows us intimately, individually, and He knows exactly what we need in this life to thrive spiritually, and He does His best to give those things to us.

Elder Rasband said, “Trusting in God’s will is central to our mortality. With faith in Him, we draw upon the power of Christ’s Atonement at those times when questions abound and answers are few.”
Suffering and trials in this life allow us to keep our baptismal covenants. If you don’t remember them, let me refresh your memory:
“… as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort (Mosiah 18:8-9)”.

Our sufferings and trials allow us to keep those covenants. If no one had any burdens, if no one mourned, if no one needed comforting, how could we keep those covenants?

This quote in particular stuck out to be from Elder Haleck’s talk:  We experience hard things in our lives that can sometimes diminish our vision and faith to do the things we should. We become so busy that we often feel overwhelmed and unable to do any more. While each of us is different, I humbly submit that we must focus our vision on the Savior and His teachings. What did He see in Peter, James, and John and the other Apostles that prompted Him to act to invite them to follow Him? Like His vision of them, the Savior has a great vision of who we can become. It will take the same faith and courage the first Apostles had in order for us to refocus on the things that matter most in bringing lasting happiness and great joy.

Holy Cow!  Could any talk be more timely?!  Elder Haleck’s counsel was to study the scriptures and the words of the prophets; to ponder them and to let the Holy Ghost teach us and help us catch the vision of these teachings.  He counseled us to let them inspire us.  When things are hard, only the Savior can give us lasting peace.

What great reminders as many are still asking, “Why?”

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