I believe this …
"Our Father in Heaven has given us the tools we need to live and be happy. He is at the helm. We have nothing to fear. He is the God of light. He is the God of hope. I testify that He loves us—each one. Mortality is a time of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order to be tested, we must sometimes face challenges and difficulties. At times there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel’s end—no dawn to break the night’s darkness. We feel surrounded by the pain of broken hearts, the disappontment of shattered dreams, the the despair of vanished hopes. We join in uttering the Biblical plea "Is there no balm in Gilead?" We are inclined to view our own personal misfortunes through the distorted prism of pessimism. We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone.
If you find yourself in such a situation, I plead with you to turn to our Heavenly Father in faith. He will lift you and guide you. He will not always take your afflictions from you, but He will comfort and lead you with love through whatever storm you face."
These words were spoken by Thomas S. Monson, a modern day prophet. They are taken from a talk he gave entitled Looking Back and Moving Forward, and they struck me this morning when I read them. As I’ve mentioned I am working this month on being more present, more aware and more grateful for moments that are immediately in front of me. Perhaps this is why my study this morning was so special. I was particularly aware of the stillness of early morning in my home and the chance to prepare for the day. As I made my list of a hundred and one things I have to do before leaving tomorrow evening for South Africa, I suddenly remembered an email I received last week and I ran downstairs to read it again.
The email was sent to me from Jill LaVine and she passed on to me the opportunity to help a young family who is in the midst of a severe challenge. I do not know this couple personally, but I am touched by Jill’s desire to help and once again reminded of the power we have via the Internet to make a difference in the lives of each other. I believe one the greatest opportunities we have in this life is that of lifting each other’s burdens to strengthen eachother in times of affliction. We can listen to the Spirit as it whispers to us and know that we are helping God, help one of his children. That is pretty cool stuff.
So, here’s the deal. If you are feeling blessed today — take a minute to read about Stephanie Nielson at nierecovery.com and offer a silent prayer or if you can, a donation.
thanks to Kayla, I now have a link to a New York Times article about the Nielson family.