Tender Mercies

Do you ever have days when you let just one single thing bring you down? When you are tired and frustrated and ready to give up hope because it seems that nothing is going your way…but then you stop and realize that you have actually received numerous blessings and it was really only one negative experience or particle of time that disrupted your good mood? I think a lot of times we don’t give the Lord nearly enough credit for all He does for us.

2 Nephi 2:25 is a verse that I’ve been pondering the past week or so. I think it is going to be the topic of my research paper for my Book of Mormon class this semester (which consequently means I won’t actually go into too much detail about it now). It’s short and simple, and may even seem trivial, but it is quite powerful:

Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

The Fall brought about death, pain, and misery. In contrast, though, experiencing that suffering also enabled mankind to know joy. We can have joy in our lives if we seek for it from the right source:

As we center our lives on the Savior, the needed happiness, energy, and peace we seek will come. President Howard W. Hunter taught, “I am aware that life presents many challenges, but with the help of the Lord, we need not fear. If our lives and our faith are centered on Jesus Christ and his restored gospel, nothing can ever go permanently wrong.”

When the primary focus of our life is to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, everything else—employment, home, and church—falls into place. Sheri L. Dew taught, “Coming unto Christ means walking away from the world. It means placing Christ and Christ only at the center of our lives.”

E. Jeffrey Hill “Finding Harmony as We Struggle to Juggle

My focus has, sadly, not been as centered on the Savior as it should have been this week. I have let worldly cares and selfish interests control much of my thoughts and time, and my mood suffered as a result. Fortunately, I didn’t take my journal or scriptures with me to the temple last night, so for the first hour or so I took the opportunity to just sit and commune with my Heavenly Father in prayer. I shared with Him all the things that were weighing on my mind and my heart, and sought His help and comfort. Though I didn’t witness any angels or have a vision or hear any voices, that time was very beneficial to me as I again tried to focus my life around my Savior and pondered my standing in His sight.

During the rest of my time in the temple, I read from 3 Nephi, chapters 16-19, where Christ is visiting the Nephites. This section of the Book of Mormon (Christ’s visit to the Nephites) has become one of my favorite sections of scripture. I love how immensely personal it is, and how clearly I am able to feel the love of the Savior when I read it.

Elder L. Lionel Kendrick once stated:

In the economy of heaven the Lord never uses a floodlight when a flashlight is sufficient

I have come to know that this is indeed how the Lord works in my life, and I am grateful for that. The “flashlight” I found in the temple (the peace that comes from putting the Lord first) has helped me to keep the rest of my life in the proper perspective. When I start to let that one little thing destroy my good mood, I recall (and many times the Lord will send a gentle reminder of) all that I have been given and the amazing place where I am right now.

I know that my Heavenly Father knows and loves me. I know that my Savior lives and watches over me. I have felt their love and seen their influence in my life. I am eternally grateful for the “tender mercies of the Lord” which surround me each and every day.

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