Trying Faith

It’s quiet now, after a busy weekend at home.

General Conference happens twice a year for us, the first weekends of April and October.  There are two hour sessions in the morning and afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday, with the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing and different people giving talks in between.  God has always used prophets to speak to and guide His people as a whole, and I am grateful this has once again been restored to us, that we again have a prophet and the apostles today. That’s why we are “Latter-day Saints,” because these are the last days and the priesthood has been restored to us once again, even with its temples, as they once were.  This is the Church of Jesus Christ, and I am so grateful for the atonement that enables me to approach and someday return to my Father in Heaven.

Never has it failed for me to pray and ponder and prepare for conference with what questions and needs I have for myself and my family, and the answers always come to me through personal revelation during conference.  Sometimes the Holy Spirit is very subtle, with gentle whispers while the speaker talks of something else or something related, and sometimes the Holy Spirit reaches through the monitor and gives me a good slap rather directly.

In fact, this was maybe the strangest conference weekend we have ever had, either of us.  Nathan was gone all day yesterday for tornado cleanup with our stake, and then in the evening to attend the priesthood session with his father.  This morning we got started, but the first graders and I had to take Mary to her bus for school, so we finished conference by listening to it in the van.  The boys and I made it back to finish the last part with Nathan, but then the preschoolers were sleeping but the baby woke early.  So the whole conference either one of us was gone, or we were changing diapers or fetching things for little ones or little ones hijacked our pens or something the whole time, instead of the days of long ago where we sat intently writing copious notes.

This, though, is the living of what we have learned all these years.

Game on, folks.

We have come a long way, and can look back and see the progress He has made with us.

But goodness, we still have a long way to go.

We are trying, though, as are the kids.  They are so good, despite kid drama and plenty of mischief.  They are warmer, and more united, and happier.  We are calmer, and kinder, and more nurturing.  These are the very promises of the temple: a softening toward each other, and inclining our hearts toward one another, and binding of our family together as one.

“… And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers”  ~ Malachai 4:6

This, we know is evidence of our temple sealings.  We feel it working.  We feel the hope of our own progress.

With a heart full of gratitude for how far we have come, and a contrite spirit for all for which we still plead help, there is hope in what they said in conference today:

With the gift of the Atonement and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed…. Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, forever.”

I am grateful for a Father that doesn’t give up on me.

I am humbled and in awe of a God who wants me to succeed, to fulfill my potential, and to be happy.

The longer we have these children, the more I learn about God.  It makes sense to me, in new ways, why a girl marrying a guy and raising a family together is part of the plan of happiness.  It’s really, really hard, but nothing is so amazing.  We have fought and battled and wrestled with shadows we didn’t even know we had until we were parents, and we still have much to learn, but we are trying, and they say that counts.

And it’s in the trying that we make progress.

And there is comfort in knowing He hasn’t given up on us, and hope in knowing we can keep trying.

And He will help us even with that.

He promised.



About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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