It has been a while since I’ve had a real strong inspiration about something worthy of a post. Diana and I took our vacation to Madeline Island off the Wisconsin coast of Lake Superior, and that trip actually yielded 3…separate…posts, but only one of them fit into the “Gospel According to Scoot” theme. That doesn’t mean, though, that things haven’t been happening, or that I have not been learning. Humor me, please, while I share a few of these things.
Let me first share that there is no person in the world with whom I would rather drive 5000 miles than my dear Diana. She’s so sweet, genuine, funny, and above all, she’s guileless. Many are the times, like right now, when I want to shout, “I LOVE THIS WOMAN!!!” She is sharing this “Journey to the Fullness” with me, and it is a joy to watch her grow closer and closer, in her own precious way, to the Lord. She is truly an elect daughter of God who is only now starting to realize in a concrete way her full potential. I thank the Lord for bringing us together.
We had a meeting with our Bishop the other day, and I learned something very valuable. We were actually there on behalf of another person, and the meeting got a bit emotional. I was disturbed all day after that because I felt like the meeting was left unresolved, mostly because we were not able to successfully convince the Bishop that our point of view was right J. Seriously, though, I was disturbed, experiencing a stupor of thought over the whole thing, not understanding why I felt “edgy”. I prayed, I pondered, I prayed some more – all the way to Fresno. I couldn’t find the peace that I have grown very accustomed to. Then I realized that I was being prideful. I felt I was right, and didn’t want to let go of that – I wanted to win. As soon as I realized this, I felt better, because I knew what I needed to do – I needed to let it go and move on without resentment, confident that everybody in the meeting, myself included, was sincerely trying to do the best they could with what they knew. I knew that I didn’t have to be right – I just had to be good. I just had to love. When I do that, I have peace. It was yet another confirmation that any time I feel contention, it’s because I’m being prideful, jealous, or fearful. I’m getting much, much better at recognizing that prideful spirit and rejecting it.
I had an experience recently that borders on being too sacred to share, so I will leave out some of the details, but I think it may be important to share the outcome. During a particularly memorable moment of prayer, I began to experience a powerful feeling of love being poured out upon me. It built for a bit as I began to grow excited at this new spiritual experience, then it stopped. I cried quietly “No! Don’t stop. Lord, why did you stop?!” The reply came back, “I didn’t stop.” As I pondered my experience, I was given to understand that I can only receive as much love as I am willing to give. This, of course, let to the realization that my continued progression depends upon me learning to focus less on myself and more on others – on how I can love others. This sounds so basic – practically a cliché in the gospel – but it has suddenly become much more real for me. Diana and I were talking tonight, and she made the comment, “The more I learn, the more the pieces start falling into place”. I responded, “Yes, it truly is one eternal round, but it still all comes back to one thing. We must love.” We must love our neighbor…as ourselves. Love God. Build, do not destroy. Serve. No matter how much we learn about the mysteries of the Kingdom, it still comes back to something that is really no mystery at all. So, now I know even more certainly that I must fundamentally change my thoughts, my focus, my perspective. I must actively seek ways to love others. This is a big change, and will only be wrought through the power of the atonement.
A definition of sin for us to ponder: Making choices that prevent one from getting closer to God.
The Salt Lake Temple closed down for 2 weeks in July, and then we were on vacation for 2 weeks. As a result, we missed 4 straight Saturday nights. We’ve only worked there since the end of March, and I really missed it during those 4 weeks. We went back for the first time this past weekend, and I was able to play the part of John for the second time. What an absolute joy it is to deliver the lecture at the beginning of the endowment! What an absolute joy it is to administer, in the name of Jesus Christ, the initiatory ordinances! What an absolute joy it is to engage in pure service, with fellow ordinance workers whose goodness is tangible! I am so thankful that our Bishop recommended that we become ordinance workers!
Love to you all. Thanks so much for reading my posts. I hope some of my experiences sound familiar to you, and that they help open your own windows to the incredible blessings of this journey, as well as some of the challenges we can expect to face along the way. Isn’t it wonderful to know that, despite our imperfections, we can, through the atonement and the love of our Savior, be exalted to sit at the right hand of the Father? Think about it! He loves us so much…WOW!