A tragedy happened in our church last month. As members of our congregation stood around a tiny grave supporting a valiant couple that has had many struggles, only one thought was on our minds... Why?
Luckily this question was immediately addressed. Our kind-hearted and wise bishop made a statement that has burned a place into my thought pattern ever since. I have been searching to understand the meaning of his message, because though his words were simple, they contained such an element of peace and hope. He commented that when we are in a situation where all we can do is ask WHY, we must ask WHAT instead. What can we learn from this? What made us grow? What is God doing to help us through this? What could our passed loved ones tell us about where they are to give us hope?
This thought pattern has led to a very interesting perspective in my scripture study lately.
• 2 Nephi 2 "and out of weakness he shall be made strong."
-In this chapter Lehi, a prophet is giving his children his final message. At first glance, I saw only is sermon on the redemption, but looking closer, and asking myself that WHAT question, I saw something entirely different.
Verse 23 says "and they (Adam and Eve) would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery".
I feel the real message of this chapter was not my original thought pattern, but it is to explain that (vs 25) "men are that they might have joy". The only way for us to feel "joy" is to have experienced the exact opposite feelings, so we know what joy feels like. If we did not experience the range of emotions, we would be in a state of innocence, being unable to feel anything. When you think of a neighbor's pain, your family member's suffering, a personal sorrow, it becomes overwhelming... Unless you see WHAT purpose it has... These things are to enable us to feel JOY-because we know WHAT it is like not to feel it-we know real pain. (vs 14) God created "both things to act, and things to be acted upon." There is a purpose, and when God has a plan, it is only ever for us to ultimately feel joy (vs 12,13).
If you take a minute to open this chapter, and read it looking for this theme, you will find a spiritual feast!