Today has been an incredibly stressful day, let me tell you. One of those days where all I want to do is get in my car, drive home, and lose myself in a massive bear hug from my parents. I find it funny that as a little kid, mommy or daddy hugs cured everything, then as a teenager you think you can handle it all on your own. Now, even though I am an adult, I feel like mommy and daddy hugs will once again cure whatever ails me.
Mat Kearney is on my playlist today. THIS song, for which my blog is titled, is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I could delve into the whole "choosing" thing pretty far right now, but I will save that for another day.
I listened to a talk today from the April 2003 General Conference by Richard G. Scott titled "The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing" (click HERE for the full talk). Last year, I was having a difficult time, and I came across this talk. I saved it in an obscure file, hoping I would remember the comfort I had felt in the words of such a wonderful man. Well, I didn't exactly remember that I had it, but I was cruising around my computer and stumbled upon it today. I felt the comfort of Heavenly Father as I read the words spoken so many years ago. Like the scriptures, the words of prophets and apostles always apply to us in modern day, no matter how long ago the words were delivered.
In this talk, Richard G. Scott addresses many powerful topics. I would like to touch on just a few of them that really helped me as I read. The first I would like to talk about is the presence of God. Elder Scott relays a story that goes:
"Years ago, I participated in the measurement of the nuclear characteristics of different materials. The process used an experimental nuclear reactor designed so that high energy particles streamed from a hole in the center of the reactor. These particles were directed into an experimental chamber where measurements were made. The high energy particles could not be seen, but they had to be carefully controlled to avoid harm to others. One day a janitor entered while we were experimenting. In a spirit of disgust he said, 'You are all liars, pretending that you are doing something important, but you can’t fool me. I know that if you can’t see, hear, taste, smell, or touch it, it doesn’t exist.' That attitude ruled out the possibility of his learning that there is much of worth that can’t be identified by the five senses. Had that man been willing to open his mind to understand how the presence of nuclear particles is detected, he would have confirmed their existence. In like manner, never doubt the reality of faith."
Though I have never seen God or Jesus Christ with my own eyes, I have felt their existence and love through the influence of the Holy Ghost. "Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." (Ether 12:6) Which leads me to my next thought...
"God uses your faith to mold your character. Character is the manifestation of what you are becoming. Strong moral character results from consistent correct choices in the trials and testing of life. Your faith can guide you to those correct choices. Clearly, it is what you do and what you think about that determine what you are and what you will become."
During times of trial, we are being molded by our experiences. It is like that quote from The Vow that I posted the other day: "We are the sum total of all of our experiences". True character shines through during those trying times. How we handle each situation is a direct reflection of the faith that we have. Elder Scott also gives us some basic principles to follow during times of trial.
1) Trust in God and in His willingness to provide help when needed, no matter how challenging the circumstance.
2) Obey His commandments and live to demonstrate that He can trust you.
3) Be sensitive to the quiet promptings of the Spirit.
4) Act courageously on those prompting.
5) Be patient and understanding when God lets you struggle to grow and answers come a piece at a time over an extended period.
"Faith will forge strength of character available to you in times of urgent need. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is used. Character is woven patiently from threads of principle, doctrine, and obedience."
We must prepare now for the things we have to face in the future.
"Why worry about future calamities or uncertainties over which you have no control? Your righteous character magnifies the probability that you will never have to suffer them. When challenges and testing do come, your faith will lead you to solutions. Your peace of mind, your assurance of answers to vexing problems, your ultimate joy depend upon your trust in Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Right will ultimately prevail. It will yield blessings now as you in faith obey the commandments of God. Remember an unfailing, continual, ever-present source of peace and comfort is available to you. It is the certainty that your Father in Heaven loves you no matter what your circumstance, no matter what winds of trial, turmoil, or tribulation whirl about you. That certainty will never change. Your ability to access that support depends on the strength of your faith in Him and in His certain willingness to bless you."
I am so grateful to have such comforting and guiding words available to me whenever I need them. Even now, after writing all of this, I feel so much better.
Sometimes, all you need is a reminder that Heavenly Father loves you to help you through the day. :)