Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Come what may, and love it

For a few weeks now, I have had the saying "Come what may, and love it", running through my mind.  I revisited the talk that was given by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, titled "Come what may, and love it".  The following is from that talk... 

When I was young I loved playing sports, and I have many fond memories of those days. But not all of them are pleasant. I remember one day after my football team lost a tough game, I came home feeling discouraged. My mother was there. She listened to my sad story. She taught her children to trust in themselves and each other, not blame others for their misfortunes, and give their best effort in everything they attempted.

When we fell down, she expected us to pick ourselves up and get going again. So the advice my mother gave to me then wasn’t altogether unexpected. It has stayed with me all my life.

“Joseph,” she said, “come what may, and love it.”

I have often reflected on that counsel.

I think she may have meant that every life has peaks and shadows and times when it seems that the birds don’t sing and bells don’t ring. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result.

There may be some who think that General Authorities rarely experience pain, suffering, or distress. If only that were true. While every man and woman on this stand today has experienced an abundant measure of joy, each also has drunk deeply from the cup of disappointment, sorrow, and loss. The Lord in His wisdom does not shield anyone from grief or sadness.

For me, the Lord has opened the windows of heaven and showered blessings upon my family beyond my ability to express. Yet like everyone else, I have had times in my life when it seemed that the heaviness of my heart might be greater than I could bear. During those times I think back to those tender days of my youth when great sorrows came at the losing end of a football game.

How little I knew then of what awaited me in later years. But whenever my steps led through seasons of sadness and sorrow, my mother’s words often came back to me: “Come what may, and love it.”

How can we love days that are filled with sorrow? We can’t—at least not in the moment. I don’t think my mother was suggesting that we suppress discouragement or deny the reality of pain. I don’t think she was suggesting that we smother unpleasant truths beneath a cloak of pretended happiness. But I do believe that the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life.

If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness.

I really appreciate that last part about approaching adversities wisely, because it CAN be the times that we grow the most.  And of course when you are growing, you are happy!  No one walks away from a trial in life without taking a good hard look at things.  I guess it is our choice, or agency, as to what we do with the things we have learned. 

Having lost my dad, it has really made me look at life differently--my perspective has changed.  I want to try a little harder, be a little better, I have more empathy and love.  There have been many days that I have asked myself..."What is the point?".  We are here on the earth to "prove ourselves" and what exactly am I proving?  

Elder L. Tom Perry said, We can’t predict all the struggles and storms in life, not even the ones just around the next corner, but as persons of faith and hope, we know beyond the shadow of any doubt that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and the best is yet to come.

Ooooo, I love the sound of that..."the best is yet to come".

**If you want to read Elder Wirthlin's entire talk, click on the title of this post, "Come what may and love it". 


Erin said...

That was great! But you had better be careful or you will be talking in sacrament meeting :)

Heather Davies said...

That is funny you posted that because I've been preparing for a lesson, and I came upon that talk. I really love that saying. Very wise and inspired words!