Tag Archive | institute

In Time

Things have gotten a little preachy lately, and maybe I should apologize for that.  This blog was always meant as an aid to help me write every day, or almost every day, and has become a record of my thoughts.  I’ve been trying to get my life back on track, and have started going to church, praying and reading my scriptures more, so naturally, my thoughts have turned towards God.

I went to institute last night.  President has a way of opening up my soul, and forcing me to take a good look at what is really inside.  We talked about overcoming the natural (wo)man, because,

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”

Mosiah 3:19

We talked about how we can do what our body wants to do–the natural man, or how we can follow the counsel of the Lord–to put of the natural man, and become a saint.  And, hey, look at that!  The name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

President mentioned, almost in passing, that we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves.  If we are hard on ourselves, we’ll be hard on our spouses and children.  A quick reminder–the title of this class is “Marriage and Family Relations”, and is being taught for singles–really a range of people with me at one end–no hopes of marriage in the near future, and at the other end, engaged couples who will be wed in weeks or months.

Anyway, that struck me.  I’ve had friends, family members, mission companions, and psychologists tell me that I’m too hard on myself.  The immediate (if rarely vocalized) response to that has always been “If I’m not hard on myself, then who will be?”  President talked about how men tend to elevate themselves up above their true position, and women tend to be too self-deprecating.

I realized that I need to get to the place where I can see myself the way the Lord sees me.  So when I got home, I hit the scriptures, then hit my knees.  After a heartfelt prayer, I needed to read my Patriarchal Blessing.

Um, Mormonism note.  There is a calling in the church, on a Stake level, (a stake is a collection of wards, a ward is the congregation that meets together each Sunday.  A calling is a [unpaid] job or position in the church) of Patriarch. Among the duties of the Patriarch is to pronounce a special blessing upon the heads of the members of his stake, one by one, as Isaac blessed Jacob, (Jacob may have tricked Isaac, but he was the rightful recipient of that blessing, or else the Lord would not have honored it), and as Jacob blessed his 12 sons.  A Patriarchal blessing is deeply personal, and shouldn’t be shared with the world.

Okay, back on track. There were two parts of my Patriarchal Blessing that really struck a chord last night. The first was in a section that I though discussed a portion of my life that had already past, the second was describing blessings yet to come.  Before the second part were the words “in time.”

In time.  Two simple words, but they left me sobbing.  The blessing that follows these words is something I’ve ached for for a long time.  Those two words reminded me to be patient.  The part of my life described thereafter may not come when I want it to, but it will come when I am ready.  I had wondered if I had missed the time frame in which that portion of my Patriarchal blessing could be fulfilled, if I was off following my natural woman, doing, as President is fond of saying, dumb stuff that was keeping me from feeling the Spirit of the Lord when that blessing should have happened.  I wasn’t.  It isn’t my time yet, but it will be, someday.

I woke up this morning at peace with myself, which hasn’t happened in a long time. Never mind that it happened at 5:30, and I didn’t make it to bed until close to midnight, then spent time disagreeing with the dogs over who got to sleep on the bed.

I hope I can make this feeling last.  I’m actually starting to feel like I’m getting my life squared with the Lord.  It’s a good feeling.  I wish I could remember that when I start to wander.

Hard Lessons

I made it to Institute tonight, for the first time in way too long.  For my non-Mormon readers, Institute, or Institute of Religion is a class for adult members of the church–sometimes provided in conjunction with a college or university, and sometimes put on by the stake. Since I’m not in school, I should be attending Stake Institute.

My Stake President, who is also a licensed psychologist and professor at BYU is teaching this institute class.  The topic?  Marriage and Family Relations.  Did I mention that this is a class for singles?  President is very pro-active about getting the members of his stake married and moving on with their lives.

I love to be taught by my Stake President, but the topic of the class kind of put me off for too long.  I’m glad I went tonight, though.

The topic of discussion was “Moral Cleanliness”.  We talked about sexual purity, of course, but President went beyond that–talking about our morals, and how, if we expect our hypothetical children to be moral, responsible people, then we need to be moral, responsible people.

We talked about addiction, to drugs, alcohol and pornography.  We also talked about stuff like anger issues.  While I don’t have a problem with any of the issues that President discussed, I did start thinking about the places in my life where I am weak, where I do need help.   And I was astonished to see how far I’d slipped from being the person that I want to be.

I made a list of things that I need to do to recover myself, and fortunately, it was all in areas that I knew I needed to work on anyway.

I’m going to do better.  I don’t know if I’ll ever marry or have children, but if I do, I know I want to be the best wife and mother that I can be. I also know that I won’t be successful as a wife or mother, or, for that matter, as a human being, without the help of my Heavenly Father.  I can’t will away my depression or neuroses, but with my Heavenly Father’s help, I can deal with them.

I will do better.  I will.  I have to.  I think I’ve been staring at the kind of person I’ll become if I don’t, and I don’t like what I’ve been seeing.

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