Saturday, November 13, 2010

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven...

We used to live in a ward where everyone felt like family. We lived in a ward where we belonged. And then we moved to another ward. When we moved we had that "welcome" feeling that you hope to receive when you enter a new ward. It was nice to be welcomed into another ward family. Unfortunately, that feeling did not last long. Eventually, that feeling came to be the feeling you get when you go to a dinner party where you are a friend of a friend who just happened to be standing around when your friend was invited. Does that even make sense?

Well, that is how our family has come to feel in the last year or so. We accept that it is partly our doing as we are not an incredibly social family. We are a really busy family with lots of things to do outside the church. Our lives revolve around the Gospel. We are faithful in everything that we do. Christ is the center of our lives. However, we do not revolve our lives around the people in church as others in our ward do.  Our lives revolve around our family (and when I say family, I include our closest and oldest friends in that category).

This isolation was bothering me recently. I was trying to figure out why I was feeling more isolated than I have in the past.

So, as in other times in my life when I want to figure something out, I do two things. I pray. I read the scriptures.I was given immense amounts of peace from prayer.  I was given incredible insight from the scriptures. I did not exactly figure it all out, but I was definitely at peace with the isolation. I did not feel the prompting to go out and be a part something. I did not feel the prompting to go and make new friends. I felt the prompting to serve. I felt peace in my life and my place in this ward.

And then I had an experience where I received my answer. It was unexpected, but it was an answer.

What I learned was this: My life revolves around the Gospel. I live the Gospel in everything that I do; however, there are many people in my life that are not members of the church. My mother, my father, my sisters, my brothers and sisters-in-law, my father-in-law, my nieces and my nephews, and many, many good friends. 

As I was thinking of all of the people that I love, I realized this: My husband and I are converts. Yes, we have some really good friends in our ward and in our previous ward. And yes, some of our closest friends are LDS. However, because my life revolves around the Gospel, it is perfectly wonderful for the people who are closest to our immediate family (me, my husband and children) to not be members of the Gospel. How will I be able to spend eternity with the people I love most in the world if I choose to revolve my life around those who already have the Gospel?

I realized that there was a time in our lives when we needed to feel a part of a ward family. We were just coming back into activity when we moved to our old ward. We needed fellowshipping. We needed to feel welcomed. When we moved into our previous ward, our testimonies were fragile and were still mending. During those years in that wonderful ward, our testimonies were strengthened through the families and relationships in that ward. Our testimonies were strengthened by the service in that ward. The service we provided and the service we received.

Now our testimonies our stronger, and now it is time for us to use that strength in our own testimonies to impact our families and our closest friends who do not have the Gospel. There is a time for everything. And for my family, now is the time to share the Gospel, through our lives, through our words, and through our example.

I now realize that we are not isolated and that  there is "a time to every purpose under heaven." I know that we have family waiting for us to finish the work that needs to be done. Now it our time to do that work. To see that work done. "To every thing there is a season..." We have a new season upon us. We have new responsibilities to tend to.

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