Photo by Sheena Jibson
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." - Helaman 5:12
This past week I have felt like I was in a whirlwind with a mighty storm beating upon me. Yet through it all I have felt at peace. I knew that with the Lord's help everything would work out.
I don't face all of my challenges this way. As my poor mother knows, sometimes I am a train wreck when things go wrong. Why was it different this time?
I think it is because I have been working on being more optimistic.
"Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works," King Benjamin says in Mosiah 5:15. That's what I've been trying to do these last couple months. But it wasn't until I read Ether 12:4 that I discovered the key to become someone who "abounds in good works."
"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." - Ether 12:4
I couldn't be steadfast and immovable without hope. And I couldn't have hope without having faith in Jesus Christ.
For a long time I struggled with thinking positively and finding hope. I studied my scriptures each day but the world still seemed discouraging. Without realizing it, I was driving the Spirit out of my life by being pessimistic. I lacked faith in my Savior. I wasn't allowing Him to fully enter into my life.
But now that I've learned how to deal with discouragement in a healthy way, I am so much stronger. Because my soul is anchored by hope, I have a greater capacity to serve. Because I have taken care of myself, I am able to be "sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."
Pessimism is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It rejects and mocks His Atoning sacrifice. My negative thought processes prevented me from truly knowing my Savior, from fully partaking of His love.
I had to let the Lord completely into my life before I could learn how to share His love with other people.
It seems like such a small thing. I never realized that my sadness was preventing me from becoming like Christ. The adversary can be so subtle.
But Heavenly Father can be subtle too. And He has promised,
"If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." - Ether 12:27
Have faith in Christ. Let Him into your life. He will turn your weaknesses into strengths. He will give you a hope that will anchor your soul. And He will transform you into something beautiful.