Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"What desirest thou?"

We planned a temple trip for our Relief Society activity this month. We were leaving Lincoln at 5:45pm and weren't going to be back til 11, and since I was doing the paper route the next morning I wasn't planning on going, plus I had plans to go next week and just went a few weeks ago so I wasn't feeling desperate. We had ten sisters sign up, but only one of them was available to drive, so I ended up needing to go as another driver. I was initially kind of frustrated because all of my efforts to find someone else to drive/go in my place/relieve the most stress for the most people failed, and then I realized that Heavenly Father was probably just trying to coordinate the circumstances perfectly (or "imperfectly," as I thought initially) so that I would have no other option but to go. It turned out to be a big blessing, as it always is when we make the effort and sacrifice to go. There were 13 reasons why it would be much more convenient/easy/better for me to just stay home, but the Lord knew better and I'm glad I let go of my human planning and let Him lead me there. Austin was very supportive and gracious, as always, even though our time together is so limited and it would have been easier for him if I stayed home.

I love this picture so much! A true candid

It's so nice to feel part of a sisterhood of women who have the same purpose, belief, and love for the Savior. I ended up driving Roma's van since it could fit more of us, and it was nice to just chat with everyone on the way up and back, getting to know the two new sisters better and learning from the wisdom of our aged sisters. It felt good to give some of the older ladies in our ward the opportunity to go to the temple - mere transportation shouldn't keep us from being able to serve and it was sweet to hear the thanks of Roma, Joy, and Denice for giving them a way to the temple.

One of my petty frustrations about going to this activity was that those who planned it had us leaving a full half hour earlier than I would leave had I gone by myself, thus cutting into my family/personal time even more, but it actually was really wonderful to be at the temple with so much time to spare, getting ready slowly, showing Amalia and Audrey the neat historical things about our special Winter Quarters Temple, and feeling the quiet calm that comes from not being in a rush. I loved sitting with so many friends surrounding me, and feeling the unity of testimony that transcends age and circumstance. It was a blessing and strength to me to contemplate the individual situations of these sisters and what they sacrificed to come that night, and very uplifting to meet together in white after the session. My testimony grew and my love abounded.

I have been feeling a vague but consistent lameness lately and haven't been able to pull myself out of the slump. I've had lots of "how can I be happier?" thoughts and it was immensely gratifying to find some answers using the basics of the Gospel together in tandem: scripture study and pondering, serious prayer with time for revelation, working to be more humble and teachable, and sacrificing to go to the temple. All of these concerted efforts led me to the personal inspiration that I've been looking for, and it all kind of congealed as I read in 1 Nephi 11 today. The Spirit asks, "what desirest thou?" (which is a great question for our own personal contemplation) and Nephi asks to see and understand what his father saw in a vision. There follows a beautiful discussion about the Tree of Life and the Savior's life/purpose for us, and verses 22-23 were particularly impactful to me this time (edited slightly): "...the love of God...sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things...Yea, and the most joyous to the soul." I cross referenced Moroni 8:6 which was a perfect clarification: "And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God."

Repent --> meekness --> Holy Ghost --> hope and love --> prayer --> endurance!

ANSWERS! Finally, some clear directions to get me some of that "soulful joy" that I am struggling to find more of. My days are happy but sometimes they feel like they are missing something, and it brings so much peace to me to know that I don't have to fill it with fun but meaningless things like a nicer house, more money, more free time, whatever I'm craving that day, etc, but that the Lord can fill our hearts with His love and that is enough for us to be joyful.

I know these aren't new revelations, but I am grateful to be able to trace my own personal understanding of these doctrines as a blessing from the consistency, obedience, and sacrifice that living the Gospel requires and that we earn if we are faithful and diligent.

studying while she "crafts"
Being Relief Society President has been hard, but one of the biggest things I have gained from it is the blessing of LOVE in my heart. I feel the Savior's love for me and for my sisters and their families, and I feel my own love reflected back toward them. I feel purified as I let this love into my life and especially take more time to ponder the life of the Savior and my love for Him. I now see that I have been put in this calling at this time in my life because I need all this love to increase the joy in my soul.


  1. Jessie!!!! You are dear to my heart. Thank you for sharing. I needed this. I like that you said that we need to "earn" that love and understanding of the gospel. It requires effort, which in some days, I struggle with. BUT, it's totally worth it. In fact, it makes it easier! The joy that abounds from living the gospel helps us tackle life and all it's lame moments.
    Isn't that how the temple (or really any kind of good deed) works? No matter how reluctant we may be or inconvenient it is, in the end, it was totally worth it. Thanks for being a shining light unto the world. I love you, sister!

  2. YES. The spirit teaches us so gently right there in the middle of this crazy ole life. I'm so glad you were able to stop and feel and learn. Love you!