Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Thoughts on "Claim the Blessings of Your Covenants" by Linda S. Reeves (Relief Society General Broadcast September 2013)

"Almost three years ago a devastating fire gutted the interior of the beloved, historic tabernacle in Provo, Utah. Its loss was deemed a great tragedy by both the community and Church members. Many wondered, 'Why did the Lord let this happen? Surely He could have prevented the fire or stopped its destruction.'
"Ten months later, during the October 2011 general conference, there was an audible gasp when President Thomas S. Monson announced that the nearly destroyed tabernacle was to become a holy temple -- a house of the Lord! Suddenly we could see what the Lord had always known! He didn't cause the fire, but He allowed the fire to strip away the interior. He saw the tabernacle as a magnificent temple -- a permanent home for making sacred, eternal covenant.s
"My dear sisters, the Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our maximum capacity. We have seen the lives of loved ones -- and maybe our own -- figuratively burned to the ground and have wondered why a loving and caring Heavenly Father would allow such things to happen. But He does not leave us in the ashes; He stands with open arms, eagerly inviting us to come to Him. He is building our lives into magnificent temples where His Spirit can dwell eternally." 

-- from "Claim the Blessings of Your Covenants" by Linda S. Reeves

I was living in Provo at the time this occurred, so this metaphor for the way our lives are purified by fire and tribulation rings so true to me. It is a hard truth that sometimes we have to be burned to the ground before we can truly be built up as a better, stronger individual and disciple of Christ. So often I cling to the wreckage of the person I used to be, when if I could only accept that there is a greater purpose for my life I could become better than before.

"I want to touch upon another way that can instill us with confidence and faith. We sometimes, as women, have a tendency to be very critical of ourselves. During these times we need to seek the Spirit and ask, 'Is this what the Lord wants me to think about myself, or is Satan trying to beat me down?' Remember the nature of our Heavenly Father, whose love is perfect and infinite. He wants to build us up, not tear us down."

This is another hard one for me to grasp sometimes. I think I get so afraid of complacency and being stuck in a bad place that I listen to those thoughts in my head that say I am not good enough, that I am failing and can never be enough, because I think somehow that it will motivate me to step up my behavior and improve. However, that has never actually worked for me, and I don't think it ever will. If I believe in my inherent worth as a daughter of God, I will be more likely to behave with righteousness and graciousness.

The whole talk can be found here. 

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