Wednesday, July 25, 2012

fear not. be of good cheer. the future is as bright as your faith.

i've been thinking a lot about the aurora theater tragedy this week. it's pretty hard not to since it is all over the news and internet (although for the most part i have tried to avoid reading or watching stories too much because i get too wrapped up in it). the tragedy hit real close to home. the theater is only 10 miles from our house, although it is not one we go to or an area of town we frequent. 

mostly i have felt such sadness that something so senseless had to happen. i feel sorrow for the victims and their families, for those who had to experience something so awful that will leave a lasting impression on them, for our community, for the innocence that has been lost, and for the killer's family and what they must be experiencing. i even feel sorrow for the killer. what could have driven him to do such a thing? 

i have thought about the sorrow our heavenly father must feel as he watches his children treat one another so horribly (and not just in this particular instance). it made me think of the scripture in moses where enoch sees the heavens weeping and asks god, "how is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?" (moses 7:29). and god responded, "Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency; And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood; Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the workmanship of mine hands. And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Enoch, and told Enoch all the doings of the children of men; wherefore Enoch knew, and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook." (moses 7:32, 33, 40,41). i can't imagine how this must break heavenly father's heart.

after events like this it is so easy to live in fear. it is so easy for me to worry about the world my children are growing up in and what they will face when they get older (since things are only getting worse). and when i start to feel overwhelmed with those feelings, i am reminded of the peace that the gospel of jesus christ brings and i am so thankful for that. it doesn't mean that we won't wonder why things like this have to happen, especially to innocent people. but it means that we don't have to be paralyzed by these things. we can continue to live life and live it happily! and it means we can still have peace, even when the world we live in is less than peaceful. and that is amazing! i ran across this quote in my scripture study this week and it seemed pretty timely, "if all the world is crumbling around us, the promised Comforter will provide His peace as a result of true discipleship....we can have His peace with us irrespective of the troubles of the world. His peace is that peace, that serenity, that comfort spoken to our hearts and minds by the Comforter, the holy ghost, as we strive to follow Him and keep His commandments." (elder dennis e. simmons).

and then i think of our prophet and how optimistic he is. here is what he said a few years ago, "It would be easy to become discouraged and cynical about the future—or even fearful of what might come—if we allowed ourselves to dwell only on that which is wrong in the world and in our lives. None of us makes it through this life without problems and challenges—and sometimes tragedies and misfortunes. After all, in large part we are here to learn and grow from such events in our lives. We know that there are times when we will suffer, when we will grieve, and when we will be saddened. However, we are told, 'Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.' How might we have joy in our lives, despite all that we may face? Again from the scriptures: 'Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you.' Fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith." (president thomas s. monson)

i love that! there is such hope for our future and i'm going to focus on that!

(another good talk by president packer "do not fear")

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Thanks for this post Stephanie. I have had anxiety about the future and the world my kids will grow up in lately (probably because Sophie is starting kindergarten, and it feels like the beginning of the end of her time at home). I actually have the quote from pres Monoson in my living room "the future is as bright as your faith." Your faith strengthens mine, so thanks for sharing! I really miss seeing you on a regular basis.