Planning Ahead

In the last two and a half years I have lost sight of many things…some by choice and others by neglect.  There are many things that can come into our lives that stun us or blind us from what we have always known as true and right.  Grief did that for me.
Despite knowing that I will see my husband again, my mind was so concerned with the immediate pain of his death that I did not see what surrounded me.  I was consumed with what we had planned, what we had found and what we had lost in a mere few months that it derailed me from what my husband and I had been working on…an eternal marriage…and eternal lifetime together as a family.  We can be together forever!
The darkness spoken of in Lehi’s dream is a very real tangible thing.  Without our realizing it, we can slip away into what we are told are the comforting ways of the world or what the world thinks is true and lose sight of what we know in our soul is true.  Temptations come in ways that are not often recognized.  Temptations can even come in the form of suggestions for relief and comfort from respected sources: a long time friend, a psychologist, or teacher. They don’t mean to be throw us into the mouth of temptation or leaving what we know to be good, full of light and healthy; we make that choice.  Whether it is through desperation for relief of an almost unhealable wound or through the stresses of day to day life, we reach for that seemingly harmless bottle of tablets or worldly remedy that will temporarily take away our pain.  We do not look farther than the immediate relief and are thrilled when the remedy works for the moment.  But that’s the catch, it’s momentary, fleeting, and DOES NOT LAST.
I read an article on this morning that made me think a little harder about everything I have and what I really appreciate.  I was reminded once again of what the actual relief of my pain and grief is.
I don’t mean to be preach-y.  I’m not trying to ram my beliefs down anyone’s throat.  What you do with this is up to you.  I know that this works for me in my pain.  This is what I know is working for me during these days that I struggle with being a widow, missing my husband, and getting back on my feet.  It may work for someone else.  Either way, here is an excerpt from that article.  I hope you find it helpful.  For the full article see below the excerpt and click on the link.
O How Great the Plan of Our God!

“Brothers and sisters, we are eternal beings, without beginning and without end. We have always existed.1 We are the literal spirit children of divine, immortal, and omnipotent Heavenly Parents!

We come from the heavenly courts of the Lord our God. We are of the royal house of Elohim, the Most High God. We walked with Him in our premortal life. We heard Him speak, witnessed His majesty, learned His ways.

You and I participated in a Grand Council where our beloved Father presented His plan for us—that we would come to earth, receive mortal bodies, learn to choose between good and evil, and progress in ways that would not otherwise be possible.

When we passed through the veil and entered this mortal life, we knew that we would no longer remember the life before. There would be opposition and adversity and temptation. But we also knew that gaining a physical body was of paramount importance for us. Oh, how we hoped that we would quickly learn to make the correct choices, withstand the temptations of Satan, and eventually return to our beloved Parents in Heaven.

We knew we would sin and make mistakes—perhaps even serious ones. But we also knew that our Savior, Jesus Christ, had pledged to come to earth, live a sinless life, and voluntarily lay down His life in an eternal sacrifice. We knew that if we gave our heart to Him, trusted Him, and strived with all the energy of our soul to walk in the path of discipleship, we could be washed clean and once again enter the presence of our beloved Father in Heaven.

So, with faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, you and I accepted, by our free will, Heavenly Father’s plan.

That is why we are here on this beautiful planet earth—because God offered us the opportunity, and we chose to accept it. Our mortal life, however, is only temporary and will end with the death of our physical body. But the essence of who you and I are will not be destroyed. Our spirits will continue living and await the Resurrection—a free gift to all by our loving Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.2 At the Resurrection, our spirits and bodies will be reunited, free from pain and physical imperfections.

After the Resurrection, there will be a Day of Judgment. While all will eventually be saved and inherit a kingdom of glory, those who trust in God and seek to follow His laws and ordinances will inherit lives in the eternities that are unimaginable in glory and overwhelming in majesty.

That Day of Judgment will be a day of mercy and love—a day when broken hearts are healed, when tears of grief are replaced with tears of gratitude, when all will be made right.3

Yes, there will be deep sorrow because of sin. Yes, there will be regrets and even anguish because of our mistakes, our foolishness, and our stubbornness that caused us to miss opportunities for a much greater future.

But I have confidence that we will not only be satisfied with the judgment of God; we will also be astonished and overwhelmed by His infinite grace, mercy, generosity, and love for us, His children. If our desires and works are good, if we have faith in a living God, then we can look forward to what Moroni called “the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge.”4

Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus

My beloved brothers and sisters, my dear friends, does it not fill our hearts and minds with wonder and awe to contemplate the great plan of happiness our Heavenly Father has prepared for us? Does it not fill us with unspeakable joy to know of the glorious future that is prepared for all who wait upon the Lord?

If you have never felt such wonder and joy, I invite you to seek, study, and ponder the simple yet profound truths of the restored gospel. “Let the solemnities of eternity rest upon your minds.”5 Let them bear testimony unto you of the divine plan of salvation.

If you have felt these things before, I ask you today, “Can [you] feel so now?”6

Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Belfast, Northern Ireland. While there, I noticed the Belfast Coat of Arms, which includes the motto “Pro tanto quid retribuamus,” or “What shall we give in return for so much?”7

I invite each of us to consider this question. What shall we give in return for the flood of light and truth God has poured out upon us?

Our beloved Father simply asks that we live by the truth we have received and that we follow the path He has provided. Therefore, let us take courage and trust in the guidance of the Spirit. Let us in word and in deed share with our fellowmen the amazing and awe-inspiring message of God’s plan of happiness. May our motive be our love for God and for His children, for they are our brothers and sisters. This is the beginning of what we can do in return for so much.

Someday “every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess” that God’s ways are just and His plan is perfect.8 For you and me, let that day be today. Let us proclaim, with Jacob of old, “O how great the plan of our God!”9

Of this I testify in deep gratitude to our Heavenly Father, as I leave you my blessing, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”


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