Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Your Wonderful Journey

I’d like to quote President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s recent talk, “Your Wonderful Journey.” He begins by reminiscing about one of his childhood journey stories, and then moves to reminding the young women of the Church of the various journeys others have walked through their lives. These include the story of Dorothy and Toto in the Wizard of Oz, as well as Ebenezer Scrooge and Bilbo Baggins, leading the young women to ponder their own journey. As I re-read this talk, I felt prompted to share it with my family as a reminder to them of all that they once knew; even more as a help to them in their times of need, and a boost for their spiritual self. It is natural for all to question, to doubt, to wonder and to ask . . . it is challenging and discouraging when answers and assurances don’t immediately come to guide us. I believe President Uchtdorf presents a beautiful picture of “our story,” and illustrates the realities and challenges we may be faced with, and just how we can master them and realize our goals in the end. 
story book 
“This story begins a very long time ago, long before the earth began spinning in its orbit, long before the sun began to reach its fiery arms into the cold of space, long before creatures great and small had populated our planet. At the beginning of this story, you lived in a faraway, beautiful place. 
We do not know many details about life in that premortal sphere, but we do know some. Our Heavenly Father has revealed to us who He is, who we are, and who we can become. 
Back in that first estate, you knew with absolute certainty that God existed because you saw and heard Him. You knew Jesus Christ, who would become the Lamb of God. You had faith in Him. And you knew that your destiny was not to stay in the security of your premortal home. As much as you loved that eternal sphere, you knew you wanted and needed to embark on a journey. You would depart from the arms of your Father, pass through a veil of forgetfulness, receive a mortal body, and learn and experience things that hopefully would help you grow to become more like Father in Heaven and return to His presence.” 
“In that sacred place, surrounded by those you knew and loved, the great question on your lips and in your heart must have been ‘Will I return safely to my heavenly home?’ 
There were so many things that would be out of your control. Mortal life would be hard at times, filled with unexpected bends in the road: sickness, heartbreak, accidents, conflict. 
Without a memory of your previous existence—without remembering that you once walked with your Father in Heaven—would you still recognize His voice amid all the noise and distractions of mortal life? 
The journey ahead seemed so long and uncertain—so filled with risk. 

which way sign 
It wouldn’t be easy, but you knew it was worth every effort. 
So, there you stood on the edge of eternity, looking forward with unspeakable excitement and hope—and, I imagine, also with a degree of worry and fear. 
In the end, you knew God would be just—that His goodness would triumph. You had participated in the great heavenly councils and knew that your Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, would provide a way for you to be cleansed from sin and rescued from physical death. You had faith that, in the end, you would rejoice and join your voice with a heavenly chorus singing praises to His holy name. 
And so, you took a deep breath … 
And a great step forward … 
And here you are! 
You have, each one of you, embarked on your own wonderful journey back to your heavenly home! 
Now that you are here on earth, it might be wise to ask yourself how your journey is going. Are you on the right course? Are you becoming the person you were designed to be and wanted to become? Are you making choices that will help you to return to your Father in Heaven? 
He didn’t send you on this journey only to wander aimlessly on your own. He wants you to come home to Him.” 
I cannot help but think of my children as I read this talk again . . . I find comfort in these next words he shared: “Life can be difficult, and it can harden hearts to the point where certain people seem unreachable. Some may be filled with anger. Others may mock and ridicule those who believe in a loving God. But consider this: though they do not remember, they too at one time yearned to return to their Father in Heaven.” 
Comfort, from the standpoint of being a mother, can be found in the last line: “But consider this: though they do not remember, they too at one time yearned to return to their Father in Heaven.” 
It may well be one of our most important and trying jobs to help those we love remember what they may have forgotten. We cannot give up on them. We cannot allow them to be unreachable . . . we may just have to reach a little further, try a little harder, love a little more, believe and trust a whole lot more, pray a little harder, even plead, if necessary, with all of our hearts, but never, ever give up. 

never ever give up 
We are preparing to send our daughter out next week to serve a full-time mission. This sweet girl reached a point in her life a few years back when she needed a little reminding that she was not alone, that her Heavenly Father had not forgotten her, and that IF she would continue to fervently do the things she was asked to do, that she would again feel His presence in her life. This was a time of testing for her, it was a time of growth, it was a time of tears and frustration, and it was not easy . . . but, I can now say it was worth every moment. This little girl is prepared to share her love and her testimony, she will touch hearts and change lives as she helps others to recognize the Spirit and to pray for the answers of their hearts. Her trials, her struggles, and her doubts have made her stronger and more confident—She KNOWS! 
This line from President Uchtdorf’s talk screamed out to me as I read it: “Without a memory of your previous existence—without remembering that you once walked with your Father in Heaven—would you still recognize His voice amid all the noise and distractions of mortal life?” 
There is so much “noise” in this world…so many things to contend with, so many things that get in the way of recognizing His voice. 
As I look at one of our sons who is now struggling and doubting and questioning, my heart breaks and my prayers are more intense, more sincere, more pleading . . . but I do know that IF my son will do his part, and if I gently remind him of those things he may not remember, then he will one day reach the point his sister has. His spirit will spring to life, and even if it takes a 2x4 upside the head to wake it up, I know that his day will come. 
Until that day, I will find comfort, peace and solace knowing that our Heavenly Father is merciful and loving and understanding. He waited for me to come around, and He will wait for the many children we each have to recognize His voice. He did not send us here to fail; He sent us here knowing we would find our way back to Him. He has faith in each of us. He believes in us and sees the beauty we possess. We each have our own journey to take, some of us wander about a little more than others . . . but if we find the right path and enjoy the journey, all is well. 
Wishing you a month filled with beautiful journeys! 
Love, 
Stacey 

(July President's Message for DHSA)