Thursday, August 30, 2012

Special Lessons

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Special Lessons, by Ronald A. Rasband
Of the Presidency of the Seventy

Previously I've mentioned my wife's cousin's chronically-ill son (here, for example). We've sent a good many prayers on behalf of "Little Hatcher," but have fallen out of the habit in the past year. The other night, seemingly out of nowhere, my children prayed for "Little Hatcher" in their bedtime prayers. I thought it was cute and nice of them, but I felt sad that I have been forgetting.

Little Hatcher

(You can read more about "Little Hatcher" on his family's blog.)

I went on a visit with the full-time missionaries yesterday to teach a woman and her daughter about the Plan of Salvation. They seemed touched by what we discussed because their mother/grandmother is ill and isn't expected to live much longer. They were comforted in their time of trial by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In his address, Elder Rasband focused more on physical disabilities and limitations of ill children, but aged parents can also be included in the message. He gave a partial summary of the lesson we shared which also helps answer questions that arise regarding the purpose of suffering:

At these moments [of heartache] we can turn to the great plan of happiness authored by our Heavenly Father. That plan, when presented in the pre-earth life, prompted us all to shout for joy. Put simply, this life is training for eternal exaltation, and that process means tests and trials. It has always been so, and no one is spared.

Knowing that trials can be a test is sometimes of little comfort in the middle of the trial itself. However, having someone sympathetically help is comforting. I realized that I too-often do what Elder Rasband warned against:

If you come upon a person who is drowning, would you ask if they need help—or would it be better to just jump in and save them from the deepening waters? The offer, while well meaning and often given, “Let me know if I can help” is really no help at all.

(I hope my home teaching families aren't reading this, because the "let me know if I can help" is my signature move!)

What I've taken from this talk and my excursion with the missionaries yesterday is a fresh reminder that the Plan of Salvation is also called the Plan of Happiness. This happiness comes through Christ at the end of trials faced with faith—and during them, too, if we have someone lovingly helping, not just saying "let me know if I can help."

1 thought:

mrpaul said...

sorry to read about this beautiful boy's heart defect

got me wondering if the handful of doctors out there in the world engaged in stem cell therapy to regenerate organs and tissues could be of some help to him