This weekend my grandson, Gareth is getting baptized. We all know how difficult it can be to miss these wonderful family events. I miss my family very much, and they let me know that they miss me too. So Saturday will probably be a little difficult. I will probably cry a little and feel super sorry for myself because I won’t be there to share the joy of someone that means so much to me becoming a member of the Church I love so well.
I remember when I first joined the Church, thinking to myself “this is exactly what I need and want in my life. I want to get everything out of the Gospel that I possibly can in order to have a happy life.”
For many years that is exactly what I got out of my faith – lots of joy and comfort.
Once we had our children, once I struggled thru parenthood and those glorious teen years, and then when they started to become adults, my vision of the gospel expanded greatly. I began to feel a new desire. I thought about how much my elder brother sacrificed, and continues to sacrifice for me. I understood His love more as my family grew and my capacity and understanding of love expanded. My love for my beautiful family actually became – and I had to really ponder to find the right word – exquisite.
Alma understood this state of mind, when he said:
Alma 36:21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
Because I understood love more completely, I understood the Savior more. With that knowledge, I began to recognize that I wanted something different in life. I wanted to give back. I wanted to serve God. I moved from the question “what can the Gospel give to me” to “what can I give to the Gospel”?
Heavenly Father provides us the opportunity for happiness no matter where we are in our progressions. He doesn't push us as much as leads us – sometimes gently, sometimes with a yank – but it really is an exquisite process, don’t you think?
1 Corinthians 13:11 Paul stated
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
When I talk to my grandson this weekend, I will tell him that I am happy for him, and that I love him. In fact, I love him so much that I crossed the seas to serve a mission, knowing that Heavenly Father would bless him, protect him and teach him. I have the faith to know that He keeps His promises and also that He loves Gareth even more than I do..... and for this I am grateful and humbled and full of joy.