Poetry and musings of a zany Mormon girl who is very proud of her Erda roots.

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 2013 CES Fireside: from a single persective

Tonight's CES Broadcast was a real gem. Replete with personal anecdotes from Elder David A. Bednar and his wife, Sister Bednar, it was  a spiritual feast with lessons for people of all ages and backgrounds. However, since this is my blog and I like to write about the things which pertain mostly just to myself, I will focus on my favorite topic: dating. Yay for being a YSA: Young, Single, and Aware of it!

Sister Bednar began with words focused on this simple poem:

We must have
Ears to hear the word of the Lord
Eyes to see His plan
Feet to follow in His path
Hearts to understand

She spoke about how many YSA become disillusioned and disheartened when blessings they feel entitled to receive have not been bestowed in a timely manner. They break covenants and turn their backs on the Lord as a manner of rebellion.

She was totally talking about dating! When people don't get to date someone they fancy, or they don't get married by a personally appointed date, many become dissatisfied.

I can remember thinking that I'd die of embarrassment if I were still single at the age of 25; a failure as an LDS YSA. At 26 I can laugh at my former self.

If I were to expand Sister Bednar's little poem it would read as follows:

We must have
Ears to hear the word of the Lord; to listen and comprehend His love and compassion for our individual needs
Eyes to see His eternal plan, with a perspective set higher than the immediate
Feet to follow in His path however long and far it may stretch because the journey is for our growth and development
Hearts to understand and become strong, unbreakable, and compassionate by learning to love all -- not just those who are exceptional

Elder Bednar  focused his talk on a seemingly small idea voiced by Elder Maxwell, whose passing opened a place in the Quorum of the Twelve for Elder Bednar. Elder Maxwell, preparing for an aggressive chemo-therapy treatment, told his wife, "I just don't want to shrink."

"To not shrink is more important than surviving," Elder Maxwell confided to the Bednars.

To shrink means to retreat or become small.

The Savior in Gethsemane pleaded with the Father that He might not shrink. And He did not.

To not shrink is the same as enduring to the end. To hold steadfast and continue despite terrible adversity and a desire to pull away from the pain of difficult trials.

It may seem trivial, but to many -- myself included at several times in my life -- dating is a very painful and difficult trial. We are taught that marriage and formation of a family is our ultimate goal in life. However, when that goal is put on hold or seems so far off as to be impossible, it is easy for despair to creep in.

Some shrink and settle for someone less than ideal, convincing themselves that they do not deserve anyone better.

Elder Bednar taught that in facing a seemingly unconquerable trial we must seek  "...to overcome, through the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, the natural man tendency to demand impatiently and insist incessantly on the blessings we want and believe we deserve."

He went on to describe a trait shared by true disciples of Christ: "Strong faith in the savior is submissively accepting of His will and timing in our lives; even if outcome is not what we hoped for or wanted."

I have a testimony of the Lord's timing in our lives being anything but that which we would plan for ourselves. Every plan I have made has been slowly broken down. I have learned humility and compassion for others as the Lord has showed His will in my life.

In no aspect of life has this been more apparent than in dating. With a righteous desire to fulfill God's will for eternal marriage, I could not understand why dating was such a struggle. I saw others who seemed blissfully on the path to a life of joy in one another's arms. Rainbows and lollipops. I could not see how blind I was. With a narrow perspective focused on my timing and insisting on immediate gratification, I could not see the eternal blessings being showered on me daily.

When I learned to have, "...focused faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and complete submission to His will," I began to see the tremendous changes in my person; the ways in which the Lord had molded me.

While very far from a perfect understanding, it is abundantly apparent that the Lord has a plan with purposes that cannot be discerned by mortals such as myself. It is folly to shrink from that which is painful, but will soon pass. Instead, we must learn to fully submit to the will of the Father in all things, and trust that He will provide a path to victory.

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