I have been learning so much the last few months. With strong lessons come strong emotions, so I’ve probably run the gamut. If I could sum up a thesis statement for it, it would have to be “Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.” 3 Nephi 27:27b
It is sometimes easy to excuse behaviors and responses by blaming others. While it is true that there is unrighteousness and even cruelty in the both the world and (sadly) the church, that should not affect our behavior. Nor should our circumstances. When we allow them to (and I have, so I know) it takes away the joy Heavenly Father intends us to have. It removes the presence of His marvelous Spirit, our most indescribable gift.
I think I’ve finally figured out what can keep me centered even if all the world around me is falling apart. Doctrine and Covenants 17 says it well. “you must rely upon My word.” Often the Spirit speaks to me, not just in whispers to my heart and mind, but through the Scriptures.
I feel such peace when I go to the Lord in prayer and then, when I read His word, He seems to address the problem directly. There are times I know in my heart what God is calling me to. I know it will be hard, but try to remember the words of Nephi. “for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”
I wish I could describe some of the situations I find myself in, and what God has taught me (and is still teaching me) through it. But, I cannot do so in a public forum without damaging the reputation of others. Those scenarios are reserved for my private journal. But, I can say with unequivocal confidence that the Lord allowed these situations because He knew it would teach me to be more like Him.
I have learned that I can stand on my own and find companionship in God alone. I have learned that although people lie, manipulate, and slander, there is someone we can trust, AND we can still have relationships (although more guarded) with the offenders. I have learned that it is ok to pour yourself out for someone who will trample it under their feet, because the Savior does that for us everyday. I have learned that if the Spirit puts something on your heart, you are to follow through no matter what. I have learned countless other beautiful lessons. Though there are some things I wish I could go back and change, I’m grateful for what I am becoming as a result, through the mercy of God.
Maybe, when I finally learn to be like Him completely, then the Savior can say of me what He says a little later on in 3 Nephi 27, “And now, behold, my joy is great, even unto fulness, because of you…..and even the Father rejoiceth, and also all the holy angels, because of you…” One day I will be the manner of man I ought to be.