I spoke in front of my church congregation yesterday! This is the talk I gave...
“At some point in life, for better or worse, we’re all chasing something. It could be a job promotion, a new house, or even something intangible, like validation or love. This morning, I needed to gather all my thoughts for this talk and finalize everything. And I have two spots I like to go when I need to clear my head. One is a desert view right by my house, and the other is a spot by the lake. This morning I felt prompted to go the lake, but I felt like I could get the same clarity at the spot by my house, and it’s closer, so I got in the car, drove a couple minutes to this spot, and was so excited to see the most beautiful crack in the clouds, with rays of sun shining straight up out of it across the whole sky. But as I parked in my spot, a hill obstructed my view and I felt the urgency to start the car and drive to the lake so I could see it clearly again. I started driving and the thought of chasing the light kept playing in my mind. It was exciting to drive on that road by the lake in pursuit of this beautiful light that was peeking through the clouds. And that phrase that had entered my mind wouldn’t go away. Chase the light.
2 Nephi 9:13
O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?
When we ask Christ to show us our weaknesses, there is no shame attached. It’s an awareness, a clear view. He only wants to show us a better way to be happy, to be fulfilled. He wants to show us that chasing temporary feelings or things will never give us the joy and fulfillment we get from chasing the light of the Savior. He is always there, patiently waiting, gently asking if we will allow Him to heal us, to let Him create a mighty transformation in our life. To put aside our own ideas of what is worthy of the chase, so that He can give us something better.
And what is one of the worst sins that blocks us from seeing and feeling that healing light? For me it has always come back to pride. Time and time again, I come to my Father in Heaven for forgiveness of my pride, to take that pride out of my heart so that I can see the light again.
And there are so many ways that pride can take form. Sometimes it comes in the form of judging, especially those closest to us, like our spouse or children. For the last few days, one of my kids (who will remain nameless, but I think you could figure it out 😉) likes to try to sneak out really early in the morning to the neighbors house to play, and what has saved me every time is that the alarm goes off every time he opens the door. I end up running downstairs like a bullet to shut it off, and It scares him so much that I usually find him on the couch under a blanket. However, this morning when I left to clear my head, I didnt set the alarm again. I tried texting and calling Nephi to set it, or to watch out for him, but that guy sleeps like a log. I figured it would be fine and forgot about it. Until I got a text from the neighbor. Oops. My initial reaction was to blame Nephi, and all of a sudden as I was so mad about it, I couldn’t think clearly enough to write my talk anymore. I realized that I had stopped chasing the light for a moment. I asked Heavenly Father to take away my pride so that I could see that light again, and He showed me the truth in this situation. I could have just as easily been the one to blame for not setting the alarm when I left in the first place. 🤷♀️ (Nephi was probably scared for me to come home and be mad at him, but I got home and I was happy! It works! 😂)
D & C 64:9-10
Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.
10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.
Now that was a small and simple example, but last year I was hurt by a loved one so badly that I couldn’t come back from it as easily. When someone hurts you like that, it is easy to forget how the Lord sees them, sees sin, how quick He is to forgive and not hold a grudge. I forgot. I held onto that grudge, and the world felt like a much darker place than it does today. Although initially I was the one betrayed, and felt totally justified in my feelings toward this person, my lack of humility and forgiveness was full of pride. I eventually came to understand that the world would remain a dark and hateful place until I felt the healing power that that light could provide in my life.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
So each morning, I started spending time with Heavenly Father and my Savior, allowing them to teach me through prayer, scriptures, and the words of the prophets, and little by little I found rest in Him. I was able to let go of my pride, to see that person who I thought was my enemy, as God sees them. Someone who is a beautiful child of God who was dealing with their own struggles and never meant to hurt me, someone who was hurting themself, and needed my love and compassion and forgiveness.
When I hadn’t been willing to fully forgive them and show them that love, I hadn’t been able to feel it fully from my Savior either. I often told them that I forgave them, “but couldn’t forget”, which was incomplete. By asking for forgiveness from my pride, I allowed Him to heal me, to create a mighty transformation in my life that is still in progress today. And I can testify that what He has shown me is without a doubt more beautiful than anything I had ever dreamed of.
I want to share how forgiveness has transformed me as a mother.
When we go to the Lord in humility for forgiveness each morning, asking Him to show us our weaknesses, and asking him to stand readily by our side throughout the day so we can clearly see our children through His eyes, He will.
It might seem extra attentive and exhausting, but it’s actually comforting to have someone by your side, showing you a higher perspective, to be there to guide you.
Because my ideas about what is important throughout the day, easily become driven by anxiety. They stem from a place of never having enough time to do everything, to be everything, and always having another child to do something for, another thing to add to distract me from what I’m doing at the moment, so I’m never really in it. His ideas are calm, and orderly, and perfectly prioritized. When the Savior is by my side, guiding me, I know each thing I’m doing is the most important thing I could be doing in that moment. It comes with a peace that enables me to be fully present.
For example, I‘ll be overwhelmed with one of my children and He tells me that they need patience and loving discipline, loving being the key word. Another child is just waking up, and as I look at them, I know they need a hug and a “good morning, I love you”, to know that I see them. Someone else needs one-on-one time with me today to chat and sort through their big emotions, to be reminded that the Savior is always there for them, even when others sometimes can’t be.
And universal laws of order and balance naturally follow, that as your children are filled with what they need, they reciprocate that and give you what you need. They become more loving, more willing to help, because they feel that love of the Savior from me.
The prophet David O. McKay was great at tuning in to this! From his talk entitled, “The Worth of a Soul”:
‘This great caring about how we behave toward everyone around us was one of the great lessons President McKay taught. On the trip to Europe to dedicate the temple sites in Switzerland and England, President McKay was surrounded by eager English youth seeking autographs from him. The first in line was a young girl about nine years of age. She asked the President’s son, who was accompanying him, “May I have President McKay’s autograph?” The son, who thought his father was too tired, began to dissuade her, but President McKay, overhearing the conversation, turned to her and asked jokingly, “Do you think I can write plainly enough so you can read it?” The girl wasn’t sure whether he was in earnest and became flustered. At that moment an aide interrupted with a pressing question, and several minutes of conversation ensued. When the President turned to the table to begin writing autographs, the girl had disappeared.
“I have never seen Father more upset,” said his son. “Please find that girl in the blue dress,” President McKay directed. “I’m sure she has the impression that I didn’t want to sign her book. She misinterpreted my remarks. You must find her.” Before long, branch and mission presidents were looking for a little girl in blue. But the search was in vain. Finally, a missionary thought he knew who the girl was. He telephoned the President later that night and then received these instructions: “Tell the girl that I am sorry I missed her and that I have asked the branch president to send her book to me by mail to Salt Lake City; I will sign my autograph and mail it directly back to her.” And he did!’
In closing I want to remind you to chase that light every day. Find the time in your day to come to your Father in heaven by scripture, prayer, pondering, and ask him what you stand in need of forgiveness from. And just as it’s not your job to judge others, it’s not your job to judge yourself either. Im learning that too, to see my weaknesses without judging them. Nobody is perfect, and He knows that. Let him lovingly show you your weaknesses that they may become your strengths. As you do this, I promise that you will be blessed with more patience, love, understanding, and joy than you could ever imagine. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
I hope whoever reads this feels the joy and hope of the Savior in it. 💗 Love you guys.