Last night I listened to this talk right before bed. I am really enjoying this Conference a lot. Between sickness and trying to get set up for our wood stove installation on the following Monday, I feel my attention was not all it could have been, so I am grateful that we have these so quickly available so I didn’t have to miss anything.
I’ll share a couple of lines that stood out, and then my thoughts on them.
He was speaking about paying tithing and noted several “subtle but significant blessings” that come from keeping this commandment. “For example, a subtle but significant blessing we receive is the spiritual gift of gratitude that enables our appreciation for what we have to constrain desires for what we want.” As a culture we struggle so much with the 10th commandment, indeed we have entire industries dedicated to cultivate and create desires in us for things that we do not have. Coveting keeps us in blinders, focused only on what we want and oblivious to the needs of those around us, sometimes even to the point that we value stuff over the lives of others. I’ve always loved the line, “Those of us who have must live simply, that others may simply live.” (I just looked this up and it is from Elizabeth Seton and I guess the actual quote begins at “live”.) I do not believe this in a “green” sense. I believe the Lord when He says “the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things,” and I trust that when we are generous He will provide barrels of meal and cruses of oil that will not fail, but we must be generous. Grabbiness and selfishness leads to nothing but misery. Paying tithing helps us quash these.
I found this intriguing. He was listing things that we might pray for and how the actual blessings of the Lord may differ and yet still help us through our challenges and to accomplish righteous goals. He said, “We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace.” I think perhaps I see this second part played out in my life now. The Lord could respond to my prayers these days by instantly healing my body, but instead I see him giving me what I need when I need it: sufficient energy and clarity to deal with issues that arise with the kids, to go pick up animal feed when my husband’s schedule will not allow him to, to keep milking the (smelly!) goats. At these times we wish we were just strong enough to deal with it ourselves, but instead the Lord gives to us as manna from Heaven so we do not forget our dependence on Him.
Great talk. I’m so grateful for his testimony and insights.
On a related note: today I also see His grace in the way I perceive my circumstances. Looking ahead I likely have 6-7 more weeks of feeling mostly rotten and that feels long and daunting, but looking back on having been sick already for an even longer period it seems to have gone by very quickly. I keep looking at my belly and thinking, “isn’t this a little early? aren’t I a little big for this point?” but then think back to significant events in past pregnancies (such as both of my sisters’ weddings during my third pregnancy!) and, no, I’m pretty much normal. The time is just passing!