I was looking at the boys’ LDS Friend Magazine the other day and came across this article. The magazine is geared for younger kids, but this article really struck me. Specifically this verse:
John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
I have always been afraid. Afraid of life, afraid of death, afraid of sickness, war, earthquakes and sadness. Afraid of raising kids in a terrible, scary, crazy world. Afraid of ending up alone.
I have also always been very troubled by others misfortune. A few examples are: I saw an elderly man trip on the sidewalk when I was in high school and I am still just sick about it. I saw a young kid get kicked by his mother in a parking lot and my heart broke for him. 25 years ago my little brother wrecked on his bike right in front of me and I still get choked up about it.
I know I’m not the only one who gets sad about sad things. But I get sad, scared and confused. I wonder why these things have to happen. I get scared to live because I don’t want to experience the bad.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my life! I love my family, my marriage, my piano, my volleyball, my church and a thousand other things. But sometimes the sad and scared feelings overtake the good.
BUT! Jesus Christ himself said to not be afraid. He said to not let your heart be troubled and that He gives us peace. Not the kind of peace that the world gives, but heavenly peace.
My question has always been: HOW?
Of course it’s sad to see certain things happen and to feel nervous for what lies ahead, but Jesus has been through it before. He has been through so much worse than I can even imagine and He still tells us IT’S WORTH IT!! I have to trust that. So we let His peace comfort us by trusting that God knows us. He knows our hearts. He is guiding us along this life whether we realize it or not. He knows exactly what we are feeling. Our job is to keep Him close so we can keep His spirit with us. Because keeping His spirit with us is how we stay on the path back home.
So that’s my answer. I need to keep my spiritually in a good place and keep God in my heart and mind. If He’s always in my thoughts then I’ll be more likely to do what He asks. And if I do what He asks then I’m keeping the commandments. And if I’m keeping the commandments then I’m passing this test called “Life”. The bad scary things won’t go away but I will be more peaceful about it because I will have a spiritual objective. That’s the only objective to have so we can fulfill our purpose here on earth.
What is the purpose of life?
During this life we obtain physical bodies and are tested to see if we will obey God’s commandments. We came to earth to prepare to have an eternal family, bless God’s children, and build His kingdom. Our experiences during mortality are meant to help us become more like our Heavenly Father.
The purpose for this life is to be tried and tested to see if we will be obedient to the Commandments God has given us. It’s also to learn as much as we can. If we are going to be like God one day, we’ll need to know a lot about life. You know that feeling of “no one understands?” If we have been through a lot of hard times we will be more sympathetic and understanding to not only people in this life, but in the life to come. When I’m the queen over my own little world in heaven I want to be able to understand what my kids are going through. I want them to know that I’ve been there and I understand.
Life is a test so we are prepared for eternity. There are happy and sad things along the way, but the whole reason we’re here is for a test. Tests are filled with problems. Some easy, some hard. There will be wars, earthquakes, sickness and sadness. Problems at every turn. It’s just how it goes. Everyone who is, has or will be on earth will be tested. An elderly man may lose his sense of balance. A kid may have been born into an abusive family. A cute little fuzzy headed boy might wreck on his bike and scar up his face trying to keep up with his sister who said he’s not fast enough. A thirty something year old may have a heart that is too sensitive for her own good.
We all have something. It’s part of the test.
(1) a critical examination, observation, or evaluation
(2) a procedure intended to establish the quality, performance, or reliability of something, especially before it is taken into widespread use.
They always say “Life is a test” right? Here’s putting into perspective:
I had a conversation with my sweet little Buddy about life recently. This is how I explained it to him: Life is like a giant open math test. At the end of the test there’s an awesome party (heaven) for those who pass. We have a teacher (Jesus Christ) who has taught us the lessons we need so we can pass the test. We have an answer book (scriptures) we can study from and use during the test. We have teacher’s aides (Heavenly Father and the Prophet) giving us hints and reminders all along the way. We can raise our hand (pray) ANY time during the test to ask for help. We sit in groups (families) so we can help each other. We have classmates (friends) to help us and we can help them. There are parent volunteers (leaders and teachers) available to help.
There are also people in the room trying to mess us up (Satan and his imps). They whisper the wrong answers in our ear, throw paper airplanes at us and try to distract us. The more we ignore them and keep our eyes on the test, the more we can focus on getting the answers right. They are always there walking past us and trying to throw us off, but it’s our choice who we want to listen to. It’s our choice to throw the paper airplanes back at the imps, or just ignore it and focus on our test.
And by the way, it’s not just a boring ol’ classroom. It’s bright and happy. There are bowls of candy on every desk. Music is softly playing. There is a lot of color and decoration. It’s a happy room.
What’s great about this test called “Life” is that the teacher wants us to pass the test. He wants us to be with him at the big party at the end. He has given us everything we need to pass. We just have to focus, do what we have been taught and do our best.
Life is meant to be great! We can be happy even though there is bad and sad all around us. We will still feel sad when we see an elderly man trip and we will still be nervous for natural disasters. But those things are part of the test. God wants to see how we’ll handle them. He wants to prepare us for what is to come. Will we get discouraged and give up or will we push through and keep working?
BE NOT AFRAID. Our teacher is in control and if we let Him, He will help us pass this giant math test. We are all capable. We have the answers. We just need to keep focused and keep our eye on the prize. Tests are “intended to establish the quality, performance, or reliability of something, especially before it is taken into widespread use.” There’s a pretty awesome “widespread use” ahead of us and we’re preparing for it now.
I’m not expecting to get 100%, but I am expecting to pass.