Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dear Complainer...

Church was good today. Sacrament was loud and noisy, as usual, but Gospel Doctrine class and Relief Society were EXCELLENT. Completely made up for Sacrament meeting the last two weeks - which have been horrible because people don't care that their kids are disruptive and noisy and they don't take them out of the chapel.

Gospel Doctrine class was about the Law of Consecration. The teacher started off asking us to think of our most prized possession. I, honestly, couldn't think of one. I hold all of my possessions in the same regard - they are things that have no eternal consequence. (Sure, I bet if I lost all my belongings in a fire or such, I would probably think of a couple "prized possessions" but in general, I just couldn't when she asked.) Then, she asked if we would be willing to part with it as part of the Law of Consecration. There were a lot of good comments, but it was amazing how many people seemed to either not know what the Law of Consecration was or are not ready to live it. I know it can be a hard thing to do - giving all you have to the church when asked to do so - but as an endowed member of the church, one makes that covenant to do so. I guess that, honestly, I wouldn't WANT to be asked live it either, but I KNOW it's a covenant that I've made with the Lord, so I would.

I shared an experience that I had regarding the building up of our food storage and the Law of Consecration...

Probably about 12-24 months ago, I was really struggling with something that had been discussed in one of our Gospel Doctrine classes - how when the need arose, the church members would be asked to share their food storage with others - their neighbors and fellow ward members who did not have food storage and were in need. Over the next few days, I really thought about this and hardness filled my heart.

As a church body, we have been commanded for years and years and years that we are to get our food storage together to aid in times of need or disaster. It has finally gotten to the point that our leaders want to stop counseling us to do so because it seems people just do not listen and they are tired of "warning" us. The problem is that there are other THINGS in people's lives that are more important to them - big houses, fancy cars, boats, vacation homes, jet skis, vacations, trailers, 4-wheelers, Wii games, big screen TVs, etc.

C and I were driving somewhere one evening and we got on the subject of sharing our food storage. I began crying and he asked me why. I explained that I had never had money in my life - that I had grown up in a home without a lot of things - that I had wanted a better (material) life when I grew up so I got jobs that I could progress in and had worked hard to get a good education - that he and I had worked to get out of debt other than our house and one vehicle and we are working to pay those off - that we were making good progress on getting our food storage in order - that we finally were seeing a light at the end of the financial tunnel to be able to live a little better than either of us ever had before - and now someday, we'd have to share our food storage with others who had all those material things we didn't have because we chose to get our food storage instead. It just made me really sad. I felt like, once again, I was being "punished" for not having been born into a family of privilege and money, of sorts. This weighed heavily on my mind for a couple of months.

And then, one day, I went to the temple.

While I was in the temple, I prayed about this conflict I was feeling. To help me understand it more. At one point, the Law of Consecration was mentioned and it was unlike anything I'd felt before. I knew that I was (re)committing to live that law, if it be asked of me. I gained a greater insight that it was a higher law and was the right thing and that it didn't matter if those people had things I didn't. I had something they didn't - my food storage - and that that is a higher law than that of a life of materialism. I would be blessed for having followed the counsel of our leaders. I would have ENOUGH to sustain me and my family and yet be able to share with others, if needed. And, that truly I was part of a family of privilege.

Since then, I have pushed forward to get our food storage. Jennifer was just here for a week visiting us and she actually brought us more food storage that I asked her to get for us before coming down. I'm so grateful that she came and could be of service to us in this manner. The stores here just don't get the idea of case lot sales for food storage. We don't have a lot of space for food storage in our homes here (that new house we built two years ago did though!) and then you also can't store it in your garage either, so maybe that's part of it. But, I think if they were to do case lot sales (like the stores in Utah do), they would make a bit more money as well as help people in ways they don't realize.

Our Relief Society lesson was EXCELLENT as well. Sister Bingham, our RSP, is such an inspired woman. She woke up at 5 a.m. this morning and couldn't go back to sleep, so she decided to get up in the quiet early hours and read her scriptures and study the lesson for today. A few hours later, the teacher called and said she would be unable to teach. Sister Bingham had been inspired in her own quiet way to prepare to teach the lesson. It was wonderful. It was about when Joseph Smith had come out of jail and how he didn't complain about the trials that had happened to him - he just went on to be with the people and continue on with the work. He could have complained about every little thing that happened to him while in jail, but he didn't.

I thought...How often do we go on and on about every little thing that has hurt us that day or happened to us that has been painful or trying? I thought about this as I sat there listening to her speak. Yesterday was a very trying day for Jennifer and her family as they began their journey home from their stay in Arizona. It wasn't the funnest of days for any of us and the situation. And, I knew I'd probably tell all about it tomorrow at work. But, as I listened to Sister Bingham give her lesson, I resolved that I would try a little harder to not be such a "dear complainer" as C calls me. That I would try to be more uplifting to those around me and that I come in contact with rather than sharing the negative side of things. I had someone (yes, him) tell me once that I was always so negative and that was part of the reason he was leaving me. I knew it was true, but it's genetic. I just have to continue to work on it.

I left church so uplifted and fulfilled today. I wish everyday could be that way! Hopefully our Enrichment this week will be uplifting too. We've worked hard on it and I know that the topic is truly inspired, so I have a feeling that it will be great.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Love this post. Thanks for sharing your experiences and tesitmony!