Tonight was full of secret elevators and hidden tunnels and really good desserts that I am not allowed to eat.
I was proud of me for not eating any, until also realizing my fancy salad had sugar in the dressing and on the nuts, and there was sugar in the coating on the pork. It’s everywhere, you guys! I ate the middle of the pork, and mourned my salad, but kept everything down.
It’s always a good day when you don’t throw up on any authorities.
Mostly I was very glad Nathan was there, and proud of him also for not getting any desserts – even though they were amazing. French cookies, chocolate covered strawberries, eclairs, dozens of different cookies, tables of cakes. It was a feast, and I had some melon and some shrimp and some asparagus and three bites of pork and some potatoes. It was a lovely date!
We also met with Bishop Stevenson and some others and talked with the boss of chaplains and also the priesthood director and learned a great deal. It was a blessing for me, and us, and both comforting and challenging. I guess it’s never easy when they end with, “Armor up!”
The adversary attacks with physical things, they said, because he can’t fight spiritual power. So he just tries to stop us from using it, which is really still the same thing of trying to get us to stop using our agency. There are people to rescue, and I must be a voice of courage and comfort. The only way to gain that voice, they said, is to fight the battle that gains me courage and comfort because I cannot give it without first obtaining it.
So sometimes when it seems like the adversary is still stacking against me, or my family, I can know Heavenly Father is using all of it and has a good plan for us.
The stakes are very high, they said, and the people too easily dismayed.
We must show them truth and righteousness, so that by faith they can also find courage and comfort.
It made me laugh when he said not to worry about the shininess of the armor, just to know it’s the power of God that makes it strong.
It is only by the Spirit of God that we can advance, and only by the Spirit of God can we recapture lost ground.
I needed that, as a mother, and as a daughter of God.
I am to study the scriptures, and pray, and memorize, and the memorizing will “strengthen the very fibers of my soul,” which is also a quote from my patriarchal blessing, so I guess they mean business about that.
That’s how to save my life: medicine, grains and colorful vegetables, and memorizing.
My duty, they said, is to use my words to rescue people from doubt and despair and discouragement and desolation. That, they said, will rescue people on both sides of the veil, and that makes us saviors on Mount Zion.
It’s the third time I have been to Salt Lake and been told I am a catalyst, and I am still not entirely sure what that means exactly.
Yeast in the dough.
Armor up. Be catalysts to all I serve. This is the plan. This is Heavenly Father’s will: for us to return to Him. It is the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ that allows His will to be met, and the vehicle by which this is done is the restored priesthood keys.
And in this I rejoice.
That’s what makes this the year of rejoicing, which it has been, and which it is.
It all seems so magic and other-worldly, because it is, and so many more things we wrote down in our journals.
And we must teach them to the children, even when you go to pick up the three first graders and find out they were terribly behaved for Aunt Clarissa.
There are all kinds of reasons: they are tired, one has no frontal lobe, the other is autistic, the other didn’t hear any directions in the first place, but those are not excuses. Reasons, yes, but not excuses. It’s no easy matter and they still have to learn. Some of it is childhood scuffles: Kirk messed with Seven’s cochlear implant, and Alex threw baby fits, and all of them made a mess.
But it grieves my heart because Nathan’s family doesn’t get to see the kids we know, and we can’t crack down on them after the fact.
So we talk with them directly about what we were instructed tonight, about what blessings we received, and about what good is promised them for such a simple thing as covenant-keeping.
And we tell them they are going to be eight soon, and already want to be baptized, but still need to learn to think about their choices and what consequences they themselves are choosing.
It’s not about how heavy we can dish the consequences out after naughty happens.
It’s their choice.
Not just the behavior, but the consequence of the behavior and the impact of the interactions they have.
Eternity starts now. What world are you choosing? Who are you becoming?
It’s the same questions we are asked.
And sometimes it starts with little things, like not eating amazing treats, just so you might have one more day to live for wrestling with angels, namely children.
Because really, they are so very precious, even while still learning.
And Heavenly Father thinks that about us, too.