Monday, March 1, 2010

The Right Combination

I was not in the mood to go to church yesterday. I had a bad week between my calling and my job and the collision of the two. All I wanted to do was hide. Be off the grid for a weekend.

But Sunday rolled around, and I felt very strongly that the one place I needed to be was at church. I needed to take the Sacrament. I needed to feel the Spirit. I am grateful that I went.

It was a missionary farewell, and while I enjoyed the talk given by the future missionary, it was the talk by the current young missionary serving in my ward that made the difference. He said,

"There are currently 117 scientific elements, and when they are combined correctly, they can make something really beautiful and amazing. The same can be said of the elements of the Gospel. When combined correctly, they can make something more beautiful and amazing. The first element is faith. When faith is combined, beautiful combinations occur."

I will admit that I was not listening too intently at the beginning of his talk. My mind was wandering. Then, I heard this simple statement, and I was hooked. I began to feel the warm comfort of the Spirit that I needed.

I know that when faith is combined with other elements of the Gospel beautiful things happen. Faith is the first element needed for miracles, but, more importantly, I also know that faith is the first element needed for tender mercies to occur.

"But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance" (1 Nephi 1:20).

After Sacrament meeting, I sat in the foyer. I sat and talked with a friend about the struggles in my calling and in my work. And then, in a tender mercy, the Bishop came out of his office and invited me to talk with him. I sat and cried in his office. I told him of the struggles that have weighed me down the last two months; teaching, living, and serving in a very small city. The conflict with girls who are both in my classes at school and in my calling at church. He told me that I was on his mind a lot the last two weeks; he knew that he needed to talk to me.

In his quiet and protective manner, he made me feel better. A lot better. He encouraged me in my calling. He told me that he knows I am where I am supposed to be. He told me that the Lord wants me in this calling at this time. He told me that he has witnessed the difference I have made in the lives of the youth. He reminded me that regardless of my struggles, my own two children must come first at all times. He also admonished me to acknowledge my feelings, both good and bad. He told me that it is natural to feel a sense of pride in my calling, but he warned me of the bitterness and resentment that can come from pride. He took words from my heart and my mind and made me understand them.

My worlds may be colliding and even exploding, but I have faith that all things happen for a reason. I am grateful for the reminder that faith is the first element needed for beautiful and amazing things, but more importantly, today I am grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord.

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