Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thoughts on Suffering

After reading a comment by an angry Anonymous reader (see half way through Glorious Day comments), I have a few thoughts to share. These thoughts are for all who suffer.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of restoration. Just as the fullness of the Gospel that Jesus Christ taught while he was here on the earth has been restored in this day and age, so shall all losses be restored to us in due time. The quote on my last post by Elder Maxwell illustrates this point. Any suffering we do in this life creates a cavity in our soul. The Lord will restore wholeness to our soul and fill that cavity with joy in His time table. 

I don't know the Lord's time table. I don't know what happens to miscarriages and still born babies. I can't imagine a baby who dies in the womb at 40 weeks before being officially "born" is any less of a loss than the baby who dies after taking one breath. And man's definition on what is "stillborn" and what is miscarriage is only some decision made by a bunch of men. What do they know about life in the womb?

Part of the reason we are opposed to abortion in the church is because we don't know when life begins. As far as I know, there has been no revelation to inform us exactly when "life" begins. Because we don't know, we err on the side of caution and oppose abortion except in extreme circumstances. 

My point here is that the gospel is a gospel of restoration. Think about the word RESTORE. Any pain we suffer, any loss, any heartache, they all will be made up to us if we live faithful and turn to the Lord. We must consciously choose to follow the Savior in order to secure these blessings. If we suffer, we must suffer in humility and patience submitting our will to the Lord even as Jesus did in Gethsemene. 

If we have sinned or just screwed up, we must seek the Lord's forgiveness through the Atonement and bear the consequences of our mistake. He can make those consequences easier to bear if we turn our heart fully to Him. Trust me. I know on that one. 

Some consequences we can't change. Sin can be wiped away and made totally clean but consequences often stay with us a lifetime. We live the rest of our lives bearing the burden of our consequences and helping others to avoid similar mistakes. Then one day the Lord will remove that burden and restore us to whole. 

Who knows? Maybe those of us who have lost babies in the womb will be pregnant in the millennium and able to birth our children and them raise then. I don't know. I just know that all the sorrows of this world will be made up to us if we live faithful and follow the Savior. 

I trust the Lord implicitly and know that he only allows us to suffer the minimum amount of pain essential to bring about His great Work. See Elder Scott's talk HERE

I also know that even when it feels like no one is there for us, if we ask, the Lord will always send us help. Most of the time that comes in the form of other people. When other people are unavailable or insufficient, unseen hosts of heavenly beings will be rallying around us to help us though our most personal pains.

To that anonymous commenter: I send you my love and sympathy. You are not alone. Countless number of women have, do, and will suffer the same feelings of loss that you are now experiencing. This club of women support you and know your pain even without knowing your name. 

Your ancestors before you know your loss. They know your heartache. If you will allow yourself to feel the hurt rather than the anger, they will be able to attend to you more fully. Angels are best able to soothe the wounded soul that is submissive.

As for your husband situation--Be the best example possible of the Love of our Savior and the hope that He gives us. Find that hope and then let it emanate though you. Live worthy of the Spirit and follow it. The Lord will make all things right in the eternities. If we live up to our own temple covenants, we will not be held back by the choices of others.

I recommend reading THIS STORY.  I ran across it years ago while preparing for a Relief Society lesson. It illustrates the fact that anytime we suffer we literally become more like our Savior.

If you want to talk more privately, you can email Molly and she can get you my email address.

May you feel the love and prayers of those who DO stand by you both on Earth and in Heaven, including mine.


Okay after last weeks results show, I am ALMOST wanting to boycott SYTYCD. Well, almost. I am definitely voting this week. 

Party is still on at my house at 8:30. Treats will be yummy, not quite as yummy as Elizabeths homemade orange rolls but still yummy. See you there.