I have had trouble feeling the love of the Lord lately—not in general, just specifically for me. Part of that struggle, I am convinced, has been my lack of strict obedience in the scriptures and prayers department. Part of it has been all of the adjustment happening over the last year…..from adding a new baby, Drew being called as the Bishop, sending out one missionary, having another one come home, and sending one boy off to college.
Some days I don’t feel like I have time or energy to breathe. I stuff all of those emotions inside just so I can keep functioning—everyday getting out of bed to manage the affairs of my family and yet never getting to the ‘I want to do’ list. And in the process, I quit being diligent in saying my prayers and reading my scriptures….functionally, I cut off the life-line that was keeping me afloat. If I was only functioning on emotional life support, I decided to turn off the machines and let myself go. I quit believing there was much ‘personal point’ to the journey. Not a very good place to be.
I attended a baptism the other day—an amazing baptism!! This man had left the church—I don’t know for how long or what his sins were—but he had been gone for a long time. A few days ago, he was rebaptized—forgiven of his past and again welcomed into the fold of God. I felt some of the love the Lord must have for him at his return. I had a little extra insight because someone close to me has gone through the same process. I felt his joy and witnessed his gratitude for the marvelous gift of repentance and his willingness to recommit to obedience.
My husband shared this scripture:
1 And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it.
Neither did they receive any unto baptism save they came forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnessed unto the church that they truly repented of all their sins.
And none were received unto baptism save they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end.
And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.
And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls.
And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus.
And they were strict to observe that there should be no iniquity among them; and whoso was found to commit iniquity, and three witnesses of the church did condemn them before the elders, and if they repented not, and confessed not, their names were blotted out, and they were not numbered among the people of Christ.
But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.
Then he said, “We are all in that place and too often I think we forget. But we are all there and we all are required to repent and none of us are able to without the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” His words hit me. And then melted in my heart as a wave of warmth and love washed over me. The Lord had not forgotten me………..I had forgotten Him.
This morning I am reminded of the love the Lord has for me. I see it every time I look into the eyes of my little baby. When I found out we were expecting, I asked Heavenly Father if He would send me another blue-eyed baby. I LOVE Blue eyes!! I had three, but I wanted four. I feel it as I watch my 21-year-old make decisions. There was a time when I wasn’t sure things would turn out OK for him. The emotions sweep over my soul as I think about the blessings I have and the family I enjoy. Life is not easy. We are not perfect. But we are happy. And if I don’t give up, I can feel the Lord’s love, even when life is difficult.