Tuesday, October 16, 2012

“… I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.”

A few Saturdays ago, I attended the annual General Relief Society Broadcast.  I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know some of the women in our new ward with a soup dinner before the broadcast.  It was delicious, and there were many laughs shared.  Now some of the women look at me, a little more knowingly, and I them.  Slowly but surely, I'm meeting and getting to know the sisters in the area.

After the dinner, we all meandered into the chapel for the broadcast.  We were so edified and uplifted through the first talk... then our Internet connection failed, and we did not get to finish the full broadcast.  Even though we missed most of it, I have to say, that I left feeling uplifted and edified.  Just that one talk was one I definitely needed to hear.

Today, while I was making dinner, I decided to play the full broadcast.  The talks were all so great... I
mean, I can't pick a favorite, because next week, a different talk will be my favorite.  But one, today stuck out to me.  I really want to share it with you, because it started a chain reaction in my thinking that has lead me to some really wonderful insights into my own life... how I view myself, and how I know God views me.

Sister Linda S. Reeves is the 2nd Counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She gave a wonderful talk titled, The Lord Has Not Forgotten You.

I listened to the talk three times and read it once.  I then looked up the scriptures that she references throughout the talk.  There is one scripture that hit me hard.  But before I tell you that scripture, please, let me preface.

I have my trials.  I have family who have trials.  I also have friends who have trials.  Sometimes, I don't always fully understand their trials, because I haven't experienced them exactly the same way...and I'm sure they don't fully understand mine either.  But I do know, that trials are hard.  They are difficult to get through unscathed, or un-frustrated, or sometimes, even triumphant.  Sometimes we are left feeling alone, that we were left hanging, with no parachute, or no life raft in our sea of doubt, worry, sin, sorrow, and pain.

I am reminded of Joseph Smith Jr. in Liberty Jail, cold, weary, and sick.  For months he sat patiently, waiting for his emancipation.

"1. O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place? 2. How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries? 3. Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions..." (D&C 121: 1-3).

Based off of Jesus' reaction to Martha and Mary's mourning over the loss of their brother Lazereth (John 11: 32-35), I can imagine Christ's reaction to Joseph.  His heartache that such a good man had to go through so many trials.

His answer came, feeling Smith with so much hope and love, I'm sure.

"7. My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; 8. And then, if though endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all they foes." (D&C 121: 7-8).

God did not forget Joseph in his trials.  He will not forget you in your trials.

Okay, back to the scripture that really hit me.  It filled my heart with love, with sorrow, and with awe...

15. "...Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel. 16.  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands;..." (1 Nephi 21: 15-16).

Those nails that pierced Christ's flesh are the proof that He loves us.  Those scars are us.  He will never forget us.

He loves you, and He wants to help you.

"...The Master is come, and calleth for thee" (John 11: 28).

"I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see, even so shall ye do unto the world; and whosoever breaketh this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation." (3 Nephi 18: 25).

At the end of her talk, Sister Reeves said, "... I testify that [the Lord] has not forgotten you!  Whatever sin or weakness or pain or struggle or trial you are going through, He knows and understands those very moments.  He loves you!  And He will carry you through those moments, just as He did Mary and Martha.  He has paid the price that He might know how to succor you.  Cast your burdens upon Him.  Tell your Heavenly Father how you feel.  Tell Him about your pain and afflictions and then give them to Him.  Search the scriptures daily.  There you will also find great solace and help."

He even suffered our temptations, in order to help us through them.  He is there, we just need to go to Him.  It is our choice... up to each one of us to go to Him, or be lead away into temptation.. like it says in 3 Nephi 18:25.

Here is the video if you haven't seen it,
or if you want to see it again!

I don't know about you, but this really helped me out this week.



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