PRAISE WORKS BY Merlin Carothers

My Wife Left Me

Dear Sir,

Since I read your books, I have been trying to thank God that my wife left me, but I can’t do it.  Every time I think about her, I can do nothing but cry.  I’m getting less and less able to do my work, and I don’t even care.  I seldom eat a full meal, and I’m never hungry.  How can I be thankful that I feel so terrible?  I’m not able to help anyone else, and I would like to use my life for something worthwhile.

When my wife first left me, friends told me I would get over it with time.  But time is making me worse.  I love my wife, and the longer she is gone, the more I miss her.  Shouldn’t people who love someone be sad when they leave?  There are many times that I do wrong, but I don’t  feel wrong about missing my wife.  Do you think I am wrong?  You help many people – can you help me?

Authors Answer

Yes, you are wrong my friend.  You are permitting Satan to destroy you.  You believe your sorrow is “right,” so you carefully hold on to it.  When you realize that it is wrong, you will let go of it and God will give you a new life.

It is wrong to doubt God regardless of the circumstances.  It may be natural not to want pain of any kind, just as it is natural not to want separation from someone we love.  But even Jesus ” learned obedience by the things which he suffered” (Heb. 5:8).  If you want your situation to be used by God to bless you and others, begin to thank Him that your wife is gone.  At first it may seem impossible, but do your best and God will honor that.  He only requires you to do what you are able to do.

It isn’t your wife’s departure that is killing you, it is your own reaction to it.  God permits you to react however you choose, but He will give you peace if you will thank Him that everything is exactly as it is and trust Him to work good out of it exactly as He promised.  What good?  Bring your wife back?  Only He knows the good that needs to be done, and this must be left to Him.

I will be in prayer with you that the Holy Spirit will help you to believe that God is with you and has a perfect plan for you and your wife.

Dear Sir

When I received  your letter, my reaction was “you’r nuts!”  I kept on feeling sorry for  myself.  But your prayer must have gotten through!  I went back and read Power in Praise again and decided to give praise a good try.  At first I felt like a real hypocrite, but once I got started, I knew I had to either make it that time or I would never try it again.  I kept saying “Thank you, God.” After a while,  I  could tell that I was feeling a little bit better.  When I was convinced that I was a little better, I got excited.  God was actually doing something for me.

You were right.  My self-pity gradually left!  I saw that I needed God much more than I needed my wife.  I still love her and want her, but I’m learning what it means to need God too.  He has a plan for my life, so I am going to enjoy finding out what it is.  Several times lately, I’ve seen an opportunity to do something for someone else, and I actually enjoyed doing it.  When I was crying like a baby, I thought only of myself.  It is like I was in a fog and am now starting to see the sunshine.  Please keep praying for me.  God must have more things He wants to do in me.

 Authors Comments

It will take a lifetime for God to complete His plan for our lives.  When that plan is completed, we are then ready for heaven.  In heaven we will be relieved of all our problems, but here on earth we need to experience whatever suffering will fit us for the eternal plan He has for us.  You are being prepared to serve Him in your own special  way for all eternity.  God could have started your eternity in heaven with the angels, but you were to come here first and learn what-ever you needed to know.  If you choose to grumble and fight against His will for you, you will be like the man who beats his head against a stone wall.  That really isn’t the purpose for a wall.  Doubting God isn’t the purpose for life either!

THIS BLOGGER HAS WORKED WITH PRAISE

One night about 8: ish in the pm, when I lived alone, near Mt Herman, in California, I all of a sudden had a screaming horrible pain in my mouth that would not stop.  Even though it seemed impossible because of the howling pain I was barely able to call a friend to come over and help me.  While I was screaming with pain that came in waves and would never stop, my friend called every where and there was no help to be found because of the late hour.

I prayed and prayed for help and relief because the pain was unbearable with no possible let up and suddenly a thought came into my mind and I could think of nothing else, except the pain, of course.  I was remembering a story about some ladies who while in a concentration – camp, enduring horrible treatment and conditions during the war.  One of the ladies had started a bible study group while in the concentration – camp and she became the facilitator of the group, she had been teaching the ladies in the group to “praise God in all things“.  The ladies where insulted and complained that it was impossible to praise God for what they were going through.  They said, “how is it humanly possible to thank God for what is happening to us with the lice, flea, rat,  and mice infestation we have to endure, let alone the treatment and conditions we have to put up with here, it does’nt make since to thank God for all these terrible things.  The ladies were told to have faith and believe in the word of God, because they were told that all through the scriptures it is stated to Praise God in all things” .  Even thorgh it seemed impossible to these women in that deplorable situation they still continued to practise the principal of : “Praising God in ALL things.

Later these ladies found that the only reason why the hostile guards left them alone was because they WERE infested with lice, flea, mice, and rats.  So apparently, God was blessing them.

So with the horrendous waves of pain from my mouth, I started praying and thanking God for the pain I was experiencing.  When I would say: “Thank you for the pain”, it did not make a lot of sense to me, so more or less I said something like: “Heavenly Father, thou has all knowledge and knows all things and is every where present in all conditions, and  I currently am experiencing this pain and I know not why, but I know there is a purpose for everything under heaven and although I do not understand why, I thank you for this pain.  In the name of Jesus Christ  Amen.  I kept praying and thanking God from 8:ish pm till 8:30 am the next day when my friend drove me to the dentist.

My friend was nice enough to up sit up with me all through that whole night of pain.  MY friend said he could hardly believe what took place during that night of pain.   My friend said to me later that there was a total transformation which went on during the hours that I was in pain.  Where in the beginning, I was told that my face was almost distorted with pain and yet as the hours past by my face became so calm, serene and peaceful, that if they had not seen the transformation with their own eyes they would not have believed it to be possible.

And what I personally experienced at first when I started to pray and thank God, was it felt like such a stupid thing to be doing, but I was in so much pain I was willing to try anything, so I earnestly continued hour after hour through that night with my friend by my side.  I would not have believed what  happened if it hadn’t happened to me.  In the beginning it was so hard but as the hours past one by one with the pain continuing, after many hours, ever so slowly the pain continued and as it did the pain ever so slowly became sweet so I could bear it, and by the time we got to the dentist office I was afraid to stop praying and thanking God.  The pain had turned SWEET.

The dentist said he was surprised that I had made it through the night because he said that the infection had affected the whole branch of the nerves and until he was able to examine the x rays he could not be sure which tooth was the infected one, and that was why I could not tell him which one of the teeth hurt, because my whole mouth hurt.

I will probably remember that experience for the rest of my life, the night I prayed and thanked God for the pain and my reward was that through the night the pain turned sweet and easier to bear.  Thank thee Heavenly Father for that lovely, but hard experience, in the Name of Jesus Christ Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Healing, a chapter from: “I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS”

By Douglas Bloch

“The word healing comes from the same root as the word whole.  To be healed is to be made whole and complete, not lacking in any way.

Ask yourself “Where do I need to be healed?  Where do I need to seek wholeness?

To nurture the body, give it proper nutrition,rest,and exercise.

To heal the mind, focus on uplifting thoughts of truth, love, and beauty.

Forgiveness is the key to emotional healing.  Make peace with all those who have wronged you and forgive yourself for your own mistakes.

And to heal the spirit, find a way to commune with God “as you understand Him to be .”  Make that connection in the way that feels right to you, and a deep peace will fill your soul.  Once you drink from the waters of the living spirit, you will never thirst again.

The most divine art is that of healing.  And if the healing art is most divine it must occupy itself with the soul as well as the body; for no creature can be sound so long as the higher part of it is suffering.                            Pythagoras

Of the most High cometh healing                   Ecclesiastes

Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole.                      Mark 5:34

This the day when healing comes to us. This the day when separation ends, and we remember Who we really are.                                 A Course in Miracles

Healing takes place as our minds become attuned to the truth of our Being. 

Ernest Holmes

Let the weak say, “I am strong.”             Joel 3:10

A sound mind in a sound body, is a short but full description of a happy state in this world.

John Locke

The physician should know the invisible as well as the visible man.  There is a great difference between the power which removes the invisible cause of disease and that which merely causes external effects to disappear.                   Paracelsus

No permanent healing is possible if a person continues to make the same mistake and thus invites the return of the disease.                  Paramahansa Yogananda 

  

I am still and know that I am a child of the healing power of the universe.  It flows though me and into ___________(name of person) to heal, renew, restore, and make well, and healthy and whole, anything in the body, mind or soul that needs it.

The white light protects us, and I approach this person with love so that only the highest can come to either one of us.  I let spirit direct my thoughts and actions to do what what they need to do.  The divine healing energy exchanged between us blesses us both for having come together today.  Amen. 

Maggie Kelley     (spoken prior to a healing treatment)”

 

Power Freedom and Grace by Deepak Chopra

(Chapter 6)   “What is the Key to Lasting happiness? (pages 81.- 94.)

Source  (sors):

One that causes, creates, or initiates; a maker.

     Behind the curtain of your intellect and emotion  is your self-image or ego.  The ego is not your real self; it is the image of yourself that you have slowly built over time.  It is the mask behind which you hide, but is not the real you.  And because it is not the real you, but a fraud, it lives in fear.  It wants approval.  It needs to control.  And it follows you wherever you go.

     There is a beautiful poem by the Indian poet Ravindranath Tagore, who is speaking to God: “I came out alone on my way to my tryst.  But who is this that follows me it in the silent dark?  I move aside to avoid his presence, but I escape him not.  He makes the dust rise from the earth with his swagger; he adds his loud voice to every word that I utter.  He is own little self, my Lord; he knows no shame.  But I am ashamed to come to thy door in his company.”

     The ego is the prison you have built around yourself, and now it holds you captive within its walls.  How do you know this happened?  You have to know that any time you feel discomfort in your body, your ego, which is e-g-o or edging-god-out, is over-shadowing your inner self.  Fear, doubt, worry, and concern are some of the energies associated with your ego.

     And what do you do?  The best way to dissipate these energies is to feel your body.  Just feel the localized sensations in your body, and keep feeling them until they begin to dissipate.  And how do you break free from the captivity?  You break free by choosing to identify with your inner self, the real you.  You break free from the prison of conditioning when you feel neither beneath anyone nor superior to anyone, when you shed the need to control other people, when you create space for others to be who they are and for your real self to be what it is.

     You break free when you no longer defend your point of view, when you no longer use stereotypes or harbor extreme likes or dislikes toward people you hardly know.  You break free when you refuse to follow the impulses of anger and fear, when you act from humility rather than belligerence, when you tread gently rather than with swagger, when your speech is nurturing rather than scathing, when you choose to express only your love.

     And how do you know when you are free?  You know you are free when you feel happy and at ease instead of fearful and anxious.  You know you are free when you are independent of the good and bad opinions of others, when you have relinquished the need to seek approval, when you believe that you are good enough as you are.  You know you are free when you surrender to the moment, to  what is, and trust that the universe is on your side.  You know you are free when you let go of resentments and grievances and choose to forgive.

     A Prayer in the spirit guidebook A Course in Miracles says that every decision we make is a choice between a grievance and a miracle.  By letting go of grievances, we choose miracles,  because grievances are the melodrama of the ego that overshadows the spirit.  When you relinquish all grievances, judgements and resentments, you truly break free and find your soul

     The soul is the source of creativity, understanding, peace harmony, laughter, and possibilities.   It is a place of stillness, which is beyond labels.  But as soon as we use a label, we create an image that overshadows what is real.  Somebody once asked Rumi, “who are you?”  And he replied, “I do not know who I am. I am in astounding lucid confusion!  If you label me and define me, you will starve yourself of yourself.  If you box me down with labels and definitions, that box will be your coffin.  I am your own voice echoing off the wall of God!”

     Rumi is saying that we create our self-image by all the labels that people give us. Without those labels we are the free spirit and the free flow of the universe.  As soon as the labels come, good or bad, then the self-image, or ego, begins to overshadow the inner self.

     The world of the ego is time-bound, temporary, fragmented, fearful, personal, self-centered, self-absorbed, and attached to the known.  It clings to pleasure and recoils from pain.  The world of spirit is timeless and eternal, free of past and future, whole, joyful, open and accessible to all.  The world of spirit is the world of community, insight, and love.  This world is real, undivided unshak-able, dynamic, creative, self-sufficient powerful, and free of limitation, expectation, and attachment.

     The world of spirit is the source of all power.  There never was and never will be any other source of power.  What the world calls power is really fear that leads to manipulation and control of others which in turn leads to violence and suffering.  Real power is the power to create, the power to transform, the power to love, the power to heal, and the power to be free.  Real power comes from our connection to our deepest self, to what is real.  That is why powerful people are self-referred, not object-referred.  These two terms need a further need a further explanation.

     As we have seen, abject-referred means that we identify with our self-image or the objects of our experience to understand ourselves.  These objects can be situations, circumstances, people, or things but whenever we refer to objects to define our identify, we are operating out of object-referral mode.  Object-referred individuals evaluate, understand, and try to know themselves through the eyes of others.  The characteristic ingredients of object-referral are conditioned thinking and conditioned response, which means living under the hypnosis of social conditioning.

     The first sign of object-referral is fatigue.  Why?  Because we have relinquished our power to the object of reference.  Ultimately, this causes discomfort in our body or, even disease.  Object-referral is the basic cause of unhappiness, and in the Vedic worldview, happiness is the most important factor in health.

     There is an interesting fable from India that illustrates what object-referral is all about.  There was once a man who had two things that he valued in his life.  One was his son, and the other was a little pony.  His whole sense of reality came from referring to these two objects.  Then one day the pony disappeared.  The man was devastated because he had lost half of what he truly valued.  He was in the depths of despair thinking about his lost pony, when the pony returned with a beautiful white stallion.  Suddenly from the depths of despair he was in the heights of ecstasy.

     The next day, his was riding the stallion and fell down and broke his leg.  So from the heights of ecstasy, the man was now in the depths of despair.  He was wallowing in his misery when the government’s army came looking for all the young men to go to war.  They took every young man in the village except the man’s son, because he had a broken leg.  So from the depths of despair, this man was now in the heights of ecstasy.  You can guess, of course, that this story of object-referral has no ending.

     By their very nature objects change, and as long as we identify with objects, we will never know our real essence.  When we evaluate and understand ourselves through objects, or through the eyes of other, our life is like a roller-coaster ride because the only constant about people, things, situations, and circumstances is that they change.  If our identity is tied to these, then life is always going to be unstable.

     The opposite of object-referral is self-referral.  When we are self-referred, we identify with our inner self, the unchanging essence of our soul.  We feel wonderful regardless of the situation, circumstance, or environment we are in.  And why do we feel wonderful all the time?  Because we don’t identify with the situation; we are the detached, silent witness of the situation.  We are secure in who we are, and we have no urge to prove this to anyone.  If we had the urge to prove this to someone, then we would again be evaluating ourselves through the eyes of others.  Self-referral is an internal state of joy, and this is different from happiness for a reason.

     Of course there’s always a reason to be happy.  Somebody says, “I love you,” and that makes you feel happy.  You win the lottery and make a million dollars; that makes you feel happy.  This kind of happiness is an expression of object-referral: Your happy because of this; your happy because of that.  But inner joy is independent of the situation, circumstances, people, or things.  When you experience inner joy, you are happy for no reason.  Just the mere fact of being alive to gaze at the stars, to experience the beauty of this world, to be experientially alive in the miracle of life itself is your happiness.

     Everything in life is transient and changing because that is the nature of this world, but when you are self-referred, you enjoy the change instead of resisting it.  People have asked me, “What about situations that are difficult to accept?  If something bad is happening in my life, how can I be happy instead of negative and depressed?” Well, by going back to your source, by recognizing that whatever is happening, it comes and goes.  You don’t need to look positively or negatively at a difficult situation.  To always look positively at a difficult situation is artificial, isn’t it?  If I were to positive all the time, first of all I’d be terribly boring.  Second, I’d be terribly unnatural.  Third, nobody would want to be with me.  To always look negatively at a difficult situation is also unnatural.  I’d just become exasperatingly negative and a total bore.  To be natural is the best state to be.

     I once had a patient with a serious disease, and I had never seen her in a mood that was not so-called positive.  She was exasperatingly positive, and finally I asked how she could do that.   She broke down and said she was petrified of having a negative thought.  But isn’t being petrified of having a negative thought a negative thought in itself?  Of course it is, so we don’t need to manipulate our thinking.  To manipulate our thinking is an artificial thing, and one which the Vedic tradition calls mood making.  It’s better  to be spontaneous, and in the spontaneity is joyfulness.  It’s better to be natural, and to let the universe play itself out through us.

     What is a negative mind?  It’s an interpretation.  What is a positive mind?  It’s also an interpretation.  And the difference between a positive mind and a negative mind is sometimes quite superficial.  If you ask me if preferable to have a positive mind, I’d say, “Of course.  A positive mind is preferable to a negative mind,” but both a positive mind and a negative mind can be a turbulent mind, and sometimes one can switch to the other very quickly.  Courage can become fear in the twinkling of an eye.  Love can transform into jealousy in the twinkling of an eye.  There are turbulent minds.  More important than a positive mind is a silent mind.

     We have to learn to go beyond both a positive mind and a negative mind to become a silent, nonjudgmental, nonanalytical, noninterpretive mind.  In other words the silent witness.  In the process of silent witnessing, we experience inner silence.  In the purity of silence, we feel connected to our source and to everything else.  The tendencies that emerge from this connection are evolutionary and spontaneous.  In silence, we just flow with the tide and spontaneously become nonjudgmental, nonanalytical, and noninterpretive about situations, circumstances, other people, and ourselves.  In silence, inner energies spontaneously wake up and bring about the appropriate transformation for every situation.

     There’s a saying that goes, “The river of life runs between the banks of pleasure and pain, and one bumps into both.”  That’s not the problem.  The problem occurs when we cling to the banks, either the positive one or the negative one.  When we quietly reconcile ourselves to all the contradictions that life offers, when we can comfortable flow between the banks of pleasure and pain, experiencing them both while getting stuck in neither, then we have achieved freedom.

     Joy and sorrow, happiness and suffering, are the play of opposites; they are transient because they are time-bound.  Spirit, the essential you, is independent of the play of opposites; it dwells in the silent bliss of the eternal.  And when you know yourself as this field of pure consciousness, then you are living from the source, which is bliss.

     That’s why the key to lasting happiness is to stop looking for it, and to know that you already have it.  If you look for happiness, you will never find it.  If you think it’s around the corner, then you will keep turning the corners.  The real key to happiness is to live and play in the field of intelligence that is beyond positive and negative.  That field is your source, and it is magical, holy, joyful, and free.

     Happiness and sadness are different faces of infinite consciousness.  Both are transient, and you are neither because you are not a state of consciousness.  You are consciousness itself expressing all of these states.  Why would you want to identify with a wave on the ocean or a mere drop of water when you are the ocean?  you are not the ever-changing behavior of the ocean.  And this water-i-ness of the ocean?  And this water-i-ness doesn’t change.

     The real nature of a person is Being, which is not thought.  To experience lasting happiness, you have to go to a place beyond thought and experience inner peace.  It’s not that you have to have a positive attitude.  It’s not that you have to shed your sadness and bring in happiness.  You have to go beyond both; otherwise, it’s just another version of positive thinking.  You have to go beyond the world of duality to the field of pure potentiality and live from your source.

     Rumi in one of his eloquent poems says, “Out beyond ideas of right-doing, there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.”  This field is not in the realm of thought.  It’s beyond all ideas, and all concepts, ideas, and interpretations.  In this field that fear and Rumi is talking about, there is power to manifest your desires, there is freedom from and limitations, and there is that good-luck factor known as grace, which is the fulfillment of desire through synchronicity and the support of the laws of nature.

                                           My notes: 

I thought this particular Chapter was very thought provoking and I want to practise the the principles Deepak Chopra talkes about. It especially enthralled me when he stated:                                   

LET THE UNIVERSE PLAY  ITSELF OUT THROU US” 

I would really like to get to that point where I can enjoy seeing that happen in my life and on regular basis.

New thoughts on the direction of this Blog (date was: Dec. 15 2012)

I was thinking about what is truly needed for this Blog, to be about, because I know that life can seem at times to be all about the  seemingly bad news and all the tragedy that life can bring. Sometimes, really the only thing we can do, individually, is think good thoughts or say our prayers for the  person, place, or thing, yet when people are really trying to stay positive “no-matter-what”, though all the “stuff ” that seems so negative, sometimes when we can hear a positive quote or some good deed someone has done, for no apparent reason, or really any positive or good thing, it is good to keep them upper most  in the mind.  It can really be anything, from a positive idea to a good recipe and the list goes on it can have potential difference to lift people’s souls just a little higher than where they were before.

I do know that if  I  can change my thinking, I can change my life, and the actions will follow.

That is what I plan to share, and maybe along the way I will get the opportunity to lift a little higher, those who are trudging the happy road of destiny.

To keep me on the right path and striving in the right direction I have picked for this Blog’s guiding light :   The 13th Article of Faith of the  Church of Jesus of latter-day Saints

“We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things.  (and this is the best part) If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”…

This Blog  needs to be a place where people can go to get Encouragement, Inspiration, or Something Positive to lift the Spirit of everyone everywhere.               THIS IS THE HOPE.

“Don’t Force Things” the Book FIND AND USE YOUR INNER POWER by Emmet Fox

“Never force things.  Never bring heavy pressure to bear in a given direction.  Never make up your mind that a certain thing must be done, or that it must be done now.  All this sort of thing is dangerous, and likely to land you in trouble instead of improving matters.  It is really using  will power, and is unscientific and unspiritual.  It is looking to the without, whereas spiritual demonstration looks to the within.  It is what engineers call a centripetal action, and spiritual demonstration in always centrifugal.”

“What you really want is harmony and true expression at every point in your life.  The actual way in which this comes does not matter so long as you get the thing itself.  When you encounter a firm resistance anywhere, it usually means that you are on the wrong road and had better retreat and try another.  Mental or material pushing  will only get you farther down the wrong road, and it gives you a longer distance to retrace.”

“Claim that God works in you, and that when He works He always succeeds that He knows the best way and is inspiring you to take it, that He meets no resistance for He works with joy, and that you and your life are part of that.”

 

 

 

 

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An Affirmation for Joints

In a Book Called HEAL THE BODY A-Z    By Louise Hays  —the mantal causes for  the physical illness and the way too overcome them

Joints:   represent changes in direction in life and the ease of these movements

repeat at least 3 times or more :

I easily flow with change.  My life is divinely guided and I am always going in the best direction

 

Leaving Adversity Behind By Elder David S. Baxter Of the Seventy

(This morning I was looking for something I could share on this blog and I ran a crossed this perfect article that really struck a note with me, that could be so helpful to people in many different situations.  It is so very interesting how life plays itself out in our personal lives sometimes.  Little did I realize this morning when I found the Article how much I would need to read over the information again in the afternoon of this same day, for my person life.  Something happened in the afternoon that, first off was hard to believe, and second so very difficult to deal with.)

(I hope you enjoy, and get some of the meat from the Article to chew and on to work on your rough spots in your personal life as well, or to realize it is here for you when you need it.  I sincerely hope the parts of this Article I share on this Blog  help’s someone out there.)

Leaving Adversity Behind         By Elder David S. Baxter  Of the Seventy

“One of the great hymns…penne d by Parley P. Pratt, (one of the verses):

The clouds of error disappear

Before the rays of truth  divine;..

The glory bursting from afar

Wide o’er the nations soon will shine 1.

“…the Apostle Paul also uses the analogy of light in explaining how he could testify that “we are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but no forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

He explains his escape from the brink of it all this way: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of the darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give  the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6 ).

Most of us at some time in our lives feel the chill winds of adversity.  Storms brew, winds blow, rains  fall, floods rise.  It may seem that there is no end in sight, that we simply face a future of uncertainty and doubt, trial and tribulation.

As well as experiencing periodic thunderstorms, we can experience horrific hurricanes and tempests of turmoil, which can destroy our confidence and shake our sense of self-worth.  All that we hold dear can suddenly feel so ephemeral, (lasting only 1 day, or lasting for a very short time) slipping through our fingers.  Major life changes can knock us off balance, disrupting our sense of equilibrium.

Perhaps an unexpected lay-off  has led to long-term unemployment, lack of financial freedom has cut choice, or mortgage meltdown has left us in monetary misery.  Perhaps anticipated retirement after a long, busy and productive career has brought a sense of  loss.  Perhaps sudden sickness or devastating disability has left us feeling “boxed in,” helpless, hopeless, and uncertain.  In such circumstances, fear can come additional easily, while faith can be hard to sustain.

I know all of this  for myself.  While recovering from surgery to remove two sizeable brain tumors, I experienced periods of melancholy and dismay from the emotional and mental impact of it all. I discovered that I was not as invincible as I once thought I was.  Medication did not help, and a relapse or two brought additional despondency.  I began to feel sorry for myself.

Decide to Be Happy

Then some wonderful things begin to happen.  …Late one night as I shared my gloomy feelings with our youngest son, he said “Well, Dad, I have always thought that happiness is a decision.”  He is right.

I found myself increasingly expressing gratitude for all the blessings I still enjoyed.  I discovered for  myself that “this kind [of trial] goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21).

I felt the strength, refreshing power, and love of the Savior.  With Paul, I rejoice in the knowledge that tribulation, distress, and peril could not separate me from the love of the Christ (see Romans 8:35).

Fortunately, the hopeful and certain truth is that no matter what, we can find strength and encouragement.  Our burdens can become lighten even if they do not suddenly go away.  We can emerge on the other side of the darkest abyss, stronger and more resolute, better men and better woman.

Having been proven in the crucible of affliction, we will have cultivated a character that is able to face and withstand future life shocks. As a result, we can use our experiences to lift and empathize with others.  Our own example of personal perseverance can give hope to others and inspire our families.  We become more fit for the future.

While adversity may be slow to leave us, we can choose to leave it any time.  The Lord’s promise to us is as it was to Alma and his people in the midst of horrendous persecution;

“Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

“And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs” (Mosiah 24: 13-14).

Furthermore, the  Lord has confirmed, “I will not leave you comfortless:  I will come to you” (John 14:18).

Seek Heavenly Help

Heavenly help may not be obvious.  We may not immediately see or know that some other burdens that would have come our way have been lifted, diverted from our door.

The Lord assures: “Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you that mine eyes are upon you.  I am  in your midst and ye cannot see me” (D&C 38:7).

Of course, we may need to be supremely patient with others and ourselves; it often takes time for everything to work out.  Even if at times our faith seems no bigger than mustard seed, as we move forward, Providence will move with us.  If we seek heavens help, we will receive it—perhaps even in unexpected ways.

We can find the wherewithal to be thankful for what we have, rather than mourn what we have lost.  Interestingly, we often hear that same sentiment expressed by those who have lost all their worldly possessions in a natural disaster, such as a wildfire, flood, or hurricane.  In virtually every case, they say, “At least we still have what is really important.”   The testimony of Paul is encouraging: “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

As has been written, “All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” 2.

Whatever our circumstances, there will come a time when we can leave adversity behind and, with the Lord’s help emerge from the darkness into an abundance light.

Notes

1.. “The Morning Breaks, “ Hymns, no.1.

2. Preach My Gospel: A to Guide to Missionary Service  (2004), 52.