I ended up playing Farkle with some friends tonight. I love that we laughed so much! There were so many funny things said--like "Farkle is the Mormon version of gambling."
Life is beautiful, especially when you are looking for the beautiful things that happen every day.
I'm actually going to share another for today. This one is a bit more personal than other happy moments I've shared.
Behind the LDS temple where I live, there's a hill where one can sit and see the temple and over into the city. During times when I need quiet so I can do some thinking, I go there. So, after my friends and I said good-night, instead of heading back to my apartment, I went to this hill.
In recent weeks, I've had two friends reference the same talk in our conversation--but they were different conversations. I'm pretty sure this means it's one I should check out... So, whilst sitting on the hill tonight, I pulled it up on my phone. I feel so blessed for the way it addressed some concerns I've had lately.
The talk is entitled "His Grace is Sufficient" and was given by Brad Wilcox. (Find it here.)
There are three points that particularly meant something to me. First, Brother Wilcox explains that in life sometimes it seems that there are only two options: perfection, or giving up. I frequently feel that I need to be perfect, and when I fall short of that, it is too easy to get down on myself and, in a sense, give up. The truth is, though, perfection isn't meant to be achieved in this life. Because of Christ's Atonement, it's ok to make mistakes and it perfectly perfect to NOT be perfect. "When we understand grace, we understand that the blessings of Christ’s Atonement are continuous and His strength is perfect in our weakness."
Near the end of his talk, Brother Wilcox quotes Elder Neal A. Maxwell:
"Now may I speak... to those buffeted by false insecurity, who, though laboring devotedly in the Kingdom, have recurring feelings of falling forever short... This feeling of inadequacy is... normal. There is no way the Church can honestly describe where we must yet go and what we must yet do without creating a sense of immense distance... This is a gospel of grand expectations, but God’s grace is sufficient for each of us."
I love the validation this quote gives. It is normal to fall short and even more normal to feel inadequate because of it.
Second, Brother Wilcox references the hymn "Come, Come, Ye Saints." He speaks specifically of the line "Though hard to you your journey may appear, grace shall be as your day." Now, I've been singing this hymn all my life and never really thought about what exactly that means. I love the way Brother Wilcox explained it:
“Grace shall be as your day”—what an interesting phrase. We have all sung it hundreds of times, but have we stopped to consider what it means? “Grace shall be as your day”: grace shall be like a day. As dark as night may become, we can always count on the sun coming up. As dark as our trials, sins, and mistakes may appear, we can always have confidence in the grace of Jesus Christ. Do we earn a sunrise? No. Do we have to be worthy of a chance to begin again? No. We just have to accept these blessings and take advantage of them. As sure as each brand-new day, grace—the enabling power of Jesus Christ—is constant. Faithful pioneers knew they were not alone. The task ahead of them was never as great as the power behind them."
Third, at the very end of his talk, Brother Wilcox lists all the people in your life who are "pulling for you." But the last thing he says is, "Jesus is pulling with you." I feel so comforted by this. See, I have a really difficult time trusting people. It's hard for me to feel like they genuinely care for me. I think about all these people (mostly referencing "peers" or just people I don't know well. I trust the leaders of the church.) in my life who are probably "pulling for me" and recognize that this should give me encouragement. But I don't always trust them, so I can't always believe they are "pulling for me." But when I imagine my Savior pulling with me, I feel secure.