Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reminiscing: Making Plans

Several years ago, I was having a bad day. Normally, when things are going crummy, I don't feel any need to take it out on God. (That's ungrateful). But that day, for just a while, I was starting to think his plan for my life stunk.

We had just experienced our fourth miscarriage. I was still a little ticked from the third one, which happened to manifest on the very anniversary of the day our daughter had died the previous year. (Irony can be funny or depressing; that time, it was the latter).

I started complaining to my sweet husband. "This is too much!" I said. "I want to just get pregnant and actually have a healthy baby." He tried to comfort me. He, of course, was also sad and frustrated.

"We need a plan", I said. I thought if we made some kind of detailed outline of our demands to God, they would somehow work out better.

"We have a plan," said my kind, faithful husband. "Our plan is that we pray; we read the scriptures; we go to Church; we pay our tithing; we attend the Temple."

I sulked outwardly while his words took root. "I mean I want a 'let's get a baby' plan," I complained.

But I knew he was right. My surly defiance at God's apparent disinterest dissolved. Obedience really is the only plan that makes sense. We choose to obey and we follow through. Everything else is subject to forces beyond our control.

Sometimes the things we want and work for happen and we think, "Look what I did." But when you spend a lot of time and effort and faith on something that never materializes, you realize how fortunate you were those other times--how many things are beyond your power to control and how much Heavenly Father blesses you just because you ask and always because he loves you.

Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge recently gave a profoundly straightforward address at General Conference called The Way. I'll quote just a part.

The Lord’s way is not hard. Life is hard, not the gospel. “There is an opposition in all things,”21 everywhere, for everyone. Life is hard for all of us, but life is also simple. We have only two choices.22 We can either follow the Lord and be endowed with His power and have peace, light, strength, knowledge, confidence, love, and joy, or we can go some other way, any other way, whatever other way, and go it alone—without His support, without His power, without guidance, in darkness, turmoil, doubt, grief, and despair. And I ask, which way is easier?

There is only one way to happiness and fulfillment. Jesus Christ is the Way. Every other way, any other way, whatever other way is foolishness.