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A motivational thought I read long ago.

posted Mar 19, 2010, 10:42 AM by Christine Merrill
I read this years ago, by Ardeth Kapp, telling about lessons learned overcoming the trials of not having children.  Even though we have children (some people think we're a HUGE family!) the lessons still resonate with me:  trust God, don't be selfish.  Enjoy!

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Part of those trials is facing alternatives and making decisions. For those of us without children, the choices may seem incredibly difficult to make. What would the Lord have us do? To what extent do we seek medical attention? What about adoption and foster children? What about no children? If that is the choice, then what do we do with our lives? The choices are never simple. During these times of searching, we often find ourselves caught between conflicting counsel from parents and friends and leaders and doctors and other experts. Some couples I've known even consider divorce, each one thinking the other is responsible.
 
From my own experience, I've learned that the only lasting peace is the peace that comes when we learn the Lord's will concerning our opportunities in life. To do that, we must consider our alternatives, formulate a decision, and take it to the Lord. Then, as President Dallin H. Oaks observed when he was president of Brigham Young University, "When a choice will make a real difference in our lives"  and where we are living in tune with the Spirit and seeking his guidance, we can be sure we will receive the guidance we need to attain our goal. The Lord will not leave us unassisted when a choice is important to our eternal welfare." (BYU devotional address, 29 Sept. 1981, in Brigham Young University 1981-82 Fireside and Devotional Speeches, Provo: University Publications, 1982, p. 26.) I believe that. We just don't know the Lord's timeline, and that is where our faith comes in.
 
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It was like a beacon in the dark. It became a motto, a guiding light. That night, speaking I think by inspiration from the Lord, the patriarch of our family said to me, "You need not possess children to love them. Loving is not synonymous with possessing, and possessing is not necessarily loving. The world is filled with people to be loved, guided, taught, lifted, and inspired."
 
My husband and I knew that parents are constantly placed in situations that develop unselfishness and sacrifice. We began to realize that if we were to learn the important lessons that our friends with children were learning, we needed to place ourselves in situations where we could serve and sacrifice. So we began to say yes to everything and to everyone.
 
It wasn't long before we had many opportunities to serve and sacrifice. Often, at the end of a long week we would plan for a moment together"just the two of us"and the telephone would ring. We'd postpone our moment together and carry on with joyful, grateful hearts for our opportunities, hoping to qualify even in some small measure for the quality spoken of by Elder Neal A. Maxwell:
 
"So often our sisters [and I would add brothers] comfort others when their own needs are greater than those being comforted. That quality is like the generosity of Jesus on the cross. Empathy during agony is a portion of divinity!  They do not withhold their blessings simply because some blessings are [for now at least] withheld from them." (Ensign, May 1978, pp. 10-11.)

--From, "Just the two of us for now", Feb 1989 Ensign
 
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