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In the last few months, at random times, I’ve heard a whispered voice in my head saying, “Anne, why do you love this moment?” Sometimes, it’s easy to report, because I love what’s happening, but other times I’ve had to scratch my head and respond, “Well, I actually DON’T love this moment!” In thinking about it, however, I’m sure my spirit does.
Do you love the moment you’re in right now? What about an hour ago? What about yesterday’s minutes? There’s good reason why your higher self might be appreciating each minute, even if your natural self doesn’t.
We all relished the opportunity to come to this life of physical experience. We knew that it would be challenging and even excruciating at times, but in spite of that, we all “shouted for joy” before coming here because we wanted to see ourselves grow and progress (Job 38:7). This earth was the perfect set up for that to happen.
Never Before Experience – How Exciting!
On this plane we experience a gamut of emotion; circumstances and hardships that we couldn’t have in the world of spirits. Could it be that in the previous world, we looked forward to feeling the variety of feelings and sensations that we couldn’t experience there? If we look at our earthly life from the perspective of gaining NEW experience, wouldn’t we all have been excited and eager about our future adventure?
What are some things we might have wanted to learn in this estate? (Of course, they would be things we had NEVER experienced before). Here’s a short list: What will pain and illness feel like? What will dark emotions like depression, anger, or lust feel like in a body full of hormones? How will it feel to experience joy, bliss and love in a physical body?
In the life previous, we all felt that the lessons we would learn in this Telestial sphere were crucial to our progression, or why on earth would we agree to come here? We DID have a choice! Make no mistake, no one forced us to come here! That isn’t God’s way.
God Taught Us To Understand and Accept Our Earth Test
President Henry B. Eyring instructed:
“You were tutored by Him before you came into this life. He helped you understand and accept that you would have trials, tests, and opportunities perfectly chosen just for you. You learned that our Father had a plan of happiness to get you safely through those trials and that you would help bring others safely through theirs…Heavenly Father taught you before you were born about the experiences you would have as you left Him and came to earth.
(Henry B. Eyring, Daughters in the Covenant, April 2004).
Some moments are beautiful, and some are dreadful. That was part of the plan. WE CAN LOVE EACH MOMENT WITHOUT LIKING THEM, by accepting that they’re all a critical part of our existence. Our acceptance of each moment can become a bridge from which we can cross over to the next moment, knowing that even this moment we may hate won’t last long. Once the emotion is gone, and the experience over, we categorize them away in our file of earth memories that we’ll be able to access/replay forever. What an amazing tool for learning?
The Purpose of Bad Moments
We need both good and bad moments in this life to use as a telestial resource. We must have “low” experience so that we will choose to rely on the Savior to lift us. We need to see ourselves exert faith; see ourselves trust; see ourselves overcome tremendous hurdles with His help, and then FEEL the outcome, seeing ourselves experience joy; It’s all so beautiful in the long run.
The Lord himself tells us that ALL these things will give us experience and will be for our good. (D & C 122:7). You and I were willing to be born for this “good.”
Elder Boyd K Packer taught:
“If our view is limited to mortal life, some things become unbearable because they seem so unfair and so permanent. There are doctrines which, if understood, will bring a perspective toward and a composure regarding problems which otherwise have no satisfactory explanation.” (Boyd K. Packer, April Conference 1991)
When we realize and internalize that all we are going through in this life is what we ultimately agreed to in the world before, it can help us gain a perspective to appreciate our temporary lives here. Each moment is a precious gift that we relished to experience.
Elder Orson F. Whitney profoundly said:
“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially as we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God… It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we came here to acquire.” (Orson F. Whitney, quoted by Spencer W. Kimball, in Faith Precedes the Miracle (1972), 9)8
There are moments in each of our lives that are horrific, and it isn’t humanly possible to love them at the time. Those are the moments where we’re allowed to choose our reactions, and in the process, we learn volumes about ourselves and our relationship with God. After this life, we’ll look back to them, and see how those moments were the exact ones where we were carried by the Lord. This is something we wanted to have ourselves experience.
Suggestions on HOW can we “love” bad or dark moments?
If we want to get the maximum learning out of our lives, we can learn to love most moments we’re in. Here are some ways to do that:
- I LOVE This Moment because it Gives Me Godly Perspective.
We can change the interpretation of negative events that come into our life. Instead of feeling like a victim, we can change our thinking, and realize that this experience, if we turn to the Lord, will be a GOOD thing for us. Job learned that; Abraham learned that; Joseph Smith learned that, and so can we.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught:
“… adequacy in the first estate may merely have ensured a stern, second estate with more duties and no immunities! Additional tutoring and suffering appears to be the pattern for the Lord’s most apt pupils. Our existence, therefore, is a continuum matched by God’s stretching curriculum.’ (Neal A. Maxwell, October Conference 1985)
God, and our deeper-self want us to STRETCH. How we stretch in this sphere, will define us, worlds without end!
- I LOVE This Moment because My Higher Self Wants to See me Overcome This.
Maybe this hurdle or trial is expressly FOR us so that we can see ourselves overcome it. It’s an opportunity in this life to CHOOSE Christ and ask for His saving grace. He’ll help us climb our mountains. His job is to be a Savior. Our job is to let Him “save” us, over and over again!
Few things feel better in this life than to overcome something difficult: conquering an addiction; turning a bad relationship to a good one; rising above depression, fear or any kind of darkness. When we get to the other side of these challenges, it’s exhilarating, because we’ve achieved one of our eternal goals, and the Lord has helped us do it.
What did you want to see yourself overcome?
- I LOVE This Moment because it can Give Me an Opportunity to Thank God for it.
When we can trust the Lord enough to thank Him for even the challenging moments, (especially as we’re going through them), we have truly become spiritually mature. We can find silver linings as we hold the energy of gratitude in our being:
We can turn a sink load of dirty dishes into: “Thank you that I have had so much food to eat.”
We can turn an overwhelmingly huge pile of laundry or housecleaning into: “Thanks that I have so many clothes, and a place to live.”
We can turn financial, relationship, or health difficulties into: “Thank you Lord, that I have been given an opportunity to turn to You.”
When we look at each moment with gratitude, we can find a reason to love even the hard moments. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught:
“The happiest people I know are…those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments.” (Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Women’s Conference October 2011)
The fact is, JOY comes by acknowledging and appreciating everything from the rainbows and butterflies, to the storms and earthquakes of our lives. Even though we may feel misery in seasons of our probation, they’re only fleeting moments in God-time.
I love this quote from a very wise nun who wrote:
“Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.” (Sister Corita Kent)
So why do you love THIS moment? As we look for the ways to cherish each one, we’ll see ourselves overcome all and grow into Godhood.
You can CONTACT Anne at [email protected]