Sunday, September 11, 2005

Obedience and Agency

We had a great Stake Conference today. All of the talks were interesting, but one really held my attention. We have an E.R. doctor in our Presidency and he began his talk personally. This guy can speak very well, kind of like listening to your brother go on about his daily life at Thanksgiving, very folksy and relaxed. He gave some background which explained why he chose his topic: How does one find happiness, even within the Gospel? His answer was two things: Obedience and Agency.

I like it. Simple, direct, truthful statements that require very little except acceptance of what we hear. There were the scriptures to back up his case, "...wickedness never was happiness..." and others; but what I liked the best was the agency part of it. Truth is nasty things will and do happen everyday to each of us. He pointed out the history of a couple who were among the pioneers. The family lost a baby on the journey, a grandfather, and most everything they had owned before the trip. As time went on the husband in the story eventually fell away from the gospel bitter and angry at the Lord, feeling the rewards for their obedience was unjust and trial filled. The wife, however, grew more strength in the Gospel with each obstacle and hardship. She chose to find the lesson, earn the knowledge and be happy with her situation.

This gets me thinking. I think of those folks who get up every morning in less than perfect situations and just flat out decide to be happy with their situations. Not that they are complacent or dull, just that when they realize the choices are taken away, they find something to be joyful about, they have that talent for seeing good in everything.

We all have challenges, and hopefully, S'mee can begin to better adopt this habit of seeing the good and finding more joy.

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