Mar 8, 2004

You know what, as each day progresses, and fades into the next, the more peace I feel. Yeah, I get jumpy sometimes and I do things I probably shouldn't do at other times (nobody's perfect!) but I am still so grateful to know that I'm progressing. I'm better than I was yesterday. Tomorrow I will be better yet.

I am reminded of the parable of the vineyard. A young man mentioned this in his testimony yesterday, and for whatever reason I had completely forgotten about it. But I realized that over the past 8 years or so I was one of those workers who complained about getting the same reward for starting in the 1st hour as those who began their work in the 4th hour, or the 5th hour...and so on. We all get that penny; we all get the same reward if we labor dilligently and righteously, yet here I sat murmuring and complaining, jealous and upset, because why did I have to work so hard for so long while some people seemed to get their reward for not putting hardly any time into it at all?

How foolish of me. How selfish of me. I didn't realize...of course...ok so that seems to be my primary excuse these days. But it's true...I really didn't realize. I told Heavenly Father in the pre-existence that I would be there in the 1st hour...and I told him I was willing to work for that penny. I knew there would be others who came in later than I did, yet that was what we had agreed upon. So who am I to complain?

I think this is what has helped me overcome a lot of my anger problems. I have to admit it; I have been an angry, bitter woman. I always had a big compassionate heart but I was angry and bitter almost all the time. So what has changed in the past month? I do not honestly know. Why is it that this time when I look upon others who have those blessings I so want I am now happy for them and not resentful? I do not know.

I think a lot of the peace I have found has to do with not only better understanding the Atonement, but also better understanding my mission here on this earth. I've faced up to it; my life isn't going to be easy. I may not be able to serve a full-time mission in my lifetime (although I hope to with my husband someday) but the tribe of Ephraim is also supposed to help prepare a righteous people for the Lord's purposes before His Second Coming. Why did I miss that part before? But it's true; and my mission has a lot to do with this latter comission to the tribe of Ephraim.

No, my life isn't going to be easy. Yet I find solace in knowing that the Lord has faith in me to accomplish those things that he will ask me to. I know my family will go through a lot; and they will have to stand up for the gospel in many cases. My children will be missionaries, every one of them, in the manner in which the Lord requires of them. I recognize that I too will be tested, my faith will be tried...and I have to prepare myself for those days in the future.

Yet I do not fear. I find strength in knowing this. I am grateful for the Lord and the trials he has given me thus far. I know I have many, many more to endure before my journey on this earth comes to an end, yet I know I will prevail.

I love the Lord. I love faith. I love the Atonement. I love the temple. I love the gospel. I love my family, and I love my future family. I am so blessed to live during this time in the history of the world. I believe the words which were spoken by Abraham in chapter 3:22-23. I know they also apply to me and my future family, and I am humbly grateful for this knowledge. It enables me to continue forth with faith.

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