Monday, June 1, 2015

Grateful

It's late so this'll be short. Today I just want to share that I am so grateful for experience--all experience.

My brother shared one of his favorite scriptures with me today that talks about the value of experience, especially that which we would normally gripe about, the kind of experiences that we feel get in the way of our progress when we feel, or rather think, that they 'should' be helping us. The scripture he shared is Doctrine and Covenants 122:7. In those verses Joseph Smith reports the words of comfort he received during his imprisonment in Liberty Jail, Missouri: "...If thou [Joseph, but everyone, really] shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good."

The words are powerful, but personal experience is what really gives them meaning. I kind of can't believe I'm saying this, but I am so grateful for the personal experiences I have had that have led me to better understand the meaning of those words. Innocent belief is one thing. It is beautiful in and of itself, and everyone has to start somewhere if they are to start at all, but belief from understanding. That is something. The first feels real and it's exciting, and it is, but the latter is lasting. You can't hold on to something you don't understand, no matter how good it is or how strong your desire. It is slippery and fleeting as a result of your ignorance. Understanding though. That cannot be taken away from you. It is part of who you are. It is who you are.

I was going to share some of my experiences that I've come to really appreciate, though I think I'll save them for later. I'm just grateful to have experience though, and I guess I'll leave it at that. I hope you have a great week, and that your understanding will grow that you may get the most our of your own experiences--whatever they are. Life really is so great! There are opportunities around every corner and bend. Make the most of them! But be patient. No one has arms long enough to embrace every opportunity <3