Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Dawning of a Brighter Day

Anyone who knows me probably can't imagine I would write a title like that on a day like today. Back in January when I was getting daily radiation therapy, I had to drive about 45 minutes each way. I became addicted to talk radio (we have a great FM station here). It was the beginning of the election frenzy and I was on board. Since then I have listened to and read everything I could get my hands on. I mourned when Romney had to bow out. I cheered when Sarah Palin and her big family and conservative values joined Mccain. I think I began to scare people a little with my obsession. I teared up as I voted yesterday and prayed hard for Mccain. I was angry with Obama and his supporters. Angry that abortion was fine with them. Angry that we didn't know what he was up to or what he really was going to do. Angry that that was ok with so many Americans. I love America. I didn't want "change" for change's sake. I love freedom of Religion. I want to be able to say that I am pro-life and that I believe marriage is between a man and a woman without being told I'm a bigot or that I didn't care about women. I love capitalism. I was sad that we had gone through 13 years of really hard times to get Jaymee into a practice only to have it taken away. I love that we are the most generous country on earth. I didn't like being told we weren't. But I have to stop right there. I've gotten off course and forgotten what I learned today. My point is that I was passionate about this election.

Last night when I saw that Obama had won I cried and cried. Unfortunately, Jaym was in a benadryl coma because he lost a battle with poison ivy making us a huge fire pit in the back yard so I was all alone in my grief. I came upstairs and began to pray. I prayed that my sadness could be replaced with peace. I prayed to know that this was indeed the will of the Lord. I don't like being angry. I don't like those dark feelings. I begged Heavenly Father to grant me understanding and then I went to sleep. It was a restless night. I tossed and turned and wrote a scathing blog in my mind about how it's the end of the world and it stinks. Also, every time I woke up, however, the phrase "perilous times must come" came to my thoughts. Over and over all night long.

This morning when I woke up, I went straight to my computer and typed in the phrase in to the search on lds.org. A talk by President Hinckley came up called "the Dawning of a Brighter Day". It says that "peril is not a new condition for the human family." It mentions the war in heaven, Noah's day and other times in the Old Testament, the wars in the Book of Mormon and about poor Moroni wandering alone without a people because they had all been killed off. It talks about the apostasy and the plague where 50 million people died and those who were left worried whether humanity had a future at all.

But then came the Renaissance. Light, science, healing, art. The Restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. It didn't mean evil was gone - evil manifested itself as persecution and hatred. Charles Dickens was quoted saying,"It was the best of times and the worst of times... it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

We are in a great time. The work of the Lord is moving across the earth. Knowledge increases every day. People can be cured of cancer. The world is more educated than ever. President Hinckley said,"Man’s ingenuity knows no end when the God of heaven inspires and pours out light and knowledge."

These are also perilous times. It would seem as if many people are choosing evil over good. Or choosing not to care. The end of his talk was the part I was supposed to read the most. I'm just going to paste it here because I can't say it any better: (italics added because they are pretty)

"Do we really comprehend, do we understand the tremendous significance of that which we have? This is the summation of the generations of man, the concluding chapter in the entire panorama of the human experience.

But this does not put us in a position of superiority. Rather, it should humble us. It places upon us an unforgiving responsibility to reach out with concern for all others in the Spirit of the Master, who taught, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt. 19:19). We must cast out self-righteousness and rise above petty self-interest.

We must do all that is required in moving forward the work of the Lord in building His kingdom in the earth. We can never compromise the doctrine which has come through revelation, but we can live and work with others, respecting their beliefs and admiring their virtues, joining hands in opposition to the sophistries, the quarrels, the hatred—those perils which have been with man from the beginning.

Without surrendering any element of our doctrine, we can be neighborly, we can be helpful, we can be kind and generous.

We of this generation are the end harvest of all that has gone before. It is not enough to simply be known as a member of this Church. A solemn obligation rests upon us. Let us face it and work at it.

We must live as true followers of the Christ, with charity toward all, returning good for evil, teaching by example the ways of the Lord, and accomplishing the vast service He has outlined for us.

May we live worthy of the glorious endowment of light and understanding and eternal truth which has come to us through all the perils of the past. Somehow, among all who have walked the earth, we have been brought forth in this unique and remarkable season. Be grateful, and above all be faithful. This is my humble prayer, as I bear witness of the truth of this work, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen."

I am humbled today that even though I don't always do my part, the Lord reaches out and answers my prayers. He lead me to this talk and I do feel peace. I feel like getting over my feelings about the election and showing a greater love to all of the people around me. That's all I have power over. Our country and its fate is and always has been in the hands of the Lord. We need to do our best and be grateful to live in such an amazing time.

Sorry this is so long. I had to share.

14 comments:

Toria said...

Shelby, I LOVE this! Thank you so much for sharing. I too felt peace not because the election gave me the outcome I hoped (I'm with you- and felt the opposite), but because of prayer and a recognition that I still need to do my part and do all I can do and I CAN make a difference.
Thank you for turning to Pres. Hinckley and including his words, I REALLY appreciated this and needed to read it.
Thank you thank you!

Melanie said...

Thank you shel! This is so important. You write so well. Dang it - another talent you have. Why did the Lord give all of them to you? At the end of last night I felt that now it is out of MY hands and I need to support and do what I can to help. I was inspired by McCain's speech. I think it was his best and so from the heart. This talk is SO important and I'm glad the Lord led you to it.

On a happy note - prop 8 and 102 passed. I feel like I had a part in it and it makes me happy to see that you CAN make a difference in some things. Maybe not all - but some.

Christy said...

Thank you for posting this! You always seem to be so in tune with the spirit as you write. I'm grateful that you shared these comforting words from our Prophet.

Amanda in GA said...

Thanks Shelby ths is just what I need to hear.

Sara B said...

Thanks Shelby, it was so good to read reassuring words from the phrophet. He's right, this isnt the first time the world has been in despair. But YES! Proposition 8 passed! There is HOPE!
I miss you.

Anonymous said...

Perilous times will happen whether or not Obama was elected. As americans we need to unite and support the President no matter what our views. How wonderful that we as a country have made history by electing our first African American President.

Annette Miller

Steve said...

Great thoughts, Shelby!
Thanks for posting this.

Steve Watson

PS Your sister is right about your writing.

Nancy said...

Shelby
What a couple of weeks! Our area worked so hard to pass Prop 8 because a prophet of the Lord told us this was a critical issue. I know all our hard work and "means" changed this election as far as Prop 8. But Satan has not given up and is working in all these areas to make these very perilous times.

I actually prayed for Pres Elect Obama this morning that he would make righteous decisions and surround himself with good men. I know we as a people need to be vigilant and make ourselves heard when measures are proposed that threaten our standards and the positive things about our country. But we can make a difference. We just did. Don't you love Pres Hinckley's optimism. He is not naive. He knows that the outcome will be victory for the Lord and we are on His side.

Thank you for helping me look on the bright side of this. I wish we had had time to talk last week. It was a bittersweet time. I love you and didn't really communicate that to you during the funeral things. Now we are half a country apart again. Come to Cali soon...

MarySue said...

Very much worth the time to read. Thanks for sharing inspirational words from our prophet.

karen said...

WOW. inspired. timely. exactly. ditto.

JENNIFER said...

You are so in tune, what a gift. The election outcome was hard for a lot of people...even me and I'm not even American!!! My 9 year old daughter came home from school scared out of her mind after hearing way too much at school. The peace we find,through Heavenly Fathers guidance, in all that we do and say, is what we need to be sure we have... everyday. To have that peaceful Spirit, what a blessing for all who know.

Rod and Kandace said...

This really inspires me. I have tried the past few days to have a good attitude...to think about the cycles that have gone on since the beginning. This seemed to put it all together for me. I appreciate you sharing such a sweet testimony. Thank you!

Brewer's Ink said...

Wow, Shelby, you've grown so much since I taught you in Beehives. You look great, and I've loved checking out your blog (I hope you don't mind). I thought you were an amazing person then, and I can see that many other people think so to! -Jeanette

Nikki said...

Yay, Shelby!! So true. Thanks.