Saturday, November 13, 2010


A little over two years ago my son broke his right elbow, 36 hours before our family vacation to Colorado. The rest of our summer was waterless. And a summer where we live without water is a very long summer indeed. It was with a happy heart that we, at last, arrived at cast removal day. My son was ready to draw, swim, run, and generally make up for a lost summer the second his cast was removed. But, much to his dismay, when the cast came off he could hardly move his arm. Our doctor explained that we would need to work with his arm every day to improve mobility, and that in a few short weeks he would be back to normal.

Those few short weeks were some of the longest of my seven year old's life. Each morning and evening we would go through the stretching exercises while he would scream in pain. He would cry, plead and beg for us not to do the stretches, he was confident he didn't need them. He was certain that his arm would get better on its own. But we persisted with the stretching and in a few weeks time his mobility had returned to normal and the pain was but a smidgen of a memory.

I thought of this experience in the temple on Friday.

"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 of the natural man and becometh a 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 3:29

In my life some things needed to break so that the natural man could be put off. When I thought the healing was complete and the cast of the natural man was ready to be cut away, I didn't understand that my journey was just beginning. It was now time to willingly submit to all things which the Lord knew were in my best interest. My Father in Heaven knew that in order to obtain full mobility I needed to endure the pain of stretching. And while I have spent the past six years crying, pleading and begging that the affliction be removed, insisting that I didn't really need the stretching - that surely I could learn this lesson on my own, He lovingly and gently continued to hold my hand in His and stretch my soul.

I'm not to full mobility yet. There are still days where I lack the willingness to submit to all things. There are times when it appears that the end is in sight, only to realize that the Lord's plan is different from my own.

But, I love and trust Him. And I have learned to trust His stretching.

"...peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high..." - Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8

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