(from one of our trips to Hever Castle)
One day a boy said to his friend, "I am going to make the oracle lie. I am going to catch a bird and hold it in my hand. Then, I'm going to say to the oracle, 'What do I have in my hand?' He will of course answer, 'A bird.' Then I'll say, 'Is it alive or dead?' If the oracle says, 'It's alive' I'll squeeze it in my hands until it is dead . . . that way the oracle will have lied. If he says, 'Its dead,' I'll let it loose from my hands to show it is alive. Either way, the oracle will have lied."
(from that same trip)
The oracle answered, "A bird."
The boy said, "Is it alive or dead?"
The wise oracle answered, "That is entirely up to you."
This is so true of all things in our lives. We can have lives which are "alive" . . . full and active . . . filled with the joy that comes through love of family and mankind, and service to others and to our Lord . . . . or we can have a life which is "dead" . . . where we do nothing, accomplish nothing, serve noone, love noone . . . where the sole import is in, of and for . . . "our own selfish purposes."
The choice is entirely up to us.
Today our church is participating in a World Wide Day of Fasting and Prayer for all whose health permits. Our Prophet has asked us to pray for relief from the physical, emotional, and economic effects of this global pandemic. As a Diabetic, I am unable to fast in a norman way, but I can pray, and I can bear my testimony.
As I look out my dining room window this morning, not much in my little world appears to have changed. There is a breeze blowing and the sun is shining and the birds are flitting back and forth from the hedge to the feeders. It is quite chilly this morning but very bright. The truth is everything has changed, in a way nobody could have predicted even as little as two months ago. Everything is strangely quiet, except for the birds. No jet streams mar the blue of the sky above me. There is no sound of traffic on the motorway humming in the back ground . . . and for the past week, I have seen relatively few people moving about. Most are all taking our Government's warnings to stay home very seriously, which is as we should do. It is a time in history when I should feel very afraid, and I'm not going to lie, I do have those moments, but they are greatly overshadowed by other moments as I endeavor even more to put my trust in the Lord.
I have a peace in my heart, the peace which truly passeth understanding. This time of struggles we are all going through, this is our opportunity to become acquainted with God in a most private and intimate manner. I know that He is real and I know that He knows me, knows my heart, knows my fears and my struggles, and He is right there with me in them. He loves me. I can trust in my Saviour because I know that He has felt everything that I am feeling and more. He has been down to the deepest depths of despair and risen above it all. And He will shoulder this burden with me if I will share it with Him.
There is so much that I do not know. I do not know the details of how the beautiful world we live in was created. I do not understand the intricacies of the Atonement, or how the Savior’s sacrifice can cleanse all repentant people, or how the Savior could suffer “the pain of all men.”
I do not know why my beliefs sometimes come into conflict with assumed scientific or secular knowledge, and I often don't understand the “mysteries … of heaven.” I do not know why life often appears unfair, and why some prosper and others don't. Why some suffer and others don't . . . why bad things often happen to good people.
And while I don’t know everything, I know what is important. I know the plain and simple Gospel truths that are there for all of us to embrace freely. I know that our Savior did suffer the pain of all men and that all who come to him can be cleansed and born anew. And I know that what I don’t know or don’t completely understand, with the powerful aid of my faith, I can bridge the gap between darkness and light, and move on, partaking of the promises and blessings of the Gospel.
Because of my faith I can work through the struggles and difficulties in life with peace and assurance. Because of my faith I have the power to turn questions and even doubts into assurances and understanding. Because of my faith I can approach the unknown, unseen, and unexplained with unquestioning assurance. And because of my faith, even in the seemingly worst of times, I have the power to recognize with peace and gratitude that in reality it can be the best of times. Faith truly has the ability to turn our prisons into Temples if we allow it to.
I leave this testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ.
A thought to carry with you . . .
° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~＼。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ ｜ 田田 ｜門 ★
*Every time I witness a strong person,
I want to know: What darkness did you
conquer in your story? Mountains do not
rise without earthquakes. •。★★ 。*
In the English Kitchen today . . . Diner Lemon Pudding. Deliciously simple.
Have a blessed Sunday. I hope that you are able to find much in today that will bring you joy of one kind or another. May you embrace the simple things which embroider each of our lives with goodness. Don't forget!
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And I do too!