“Does the Journey Seem Long?”

“Does the Journey Seem Long?”

Hello, my friends! It has been quite a long time since I last had anything to say. My sincerest apologies. It has been a crazy few months! (Geez, like FIVE since I last posted! Gracious.) Anyways, I have finally reached a point where I absolutely love life again. There was a scary time in there where that was a hard thing to do. A really hard thing. But you know what? That’s the beauty of the Atonement. Because our Savior took upon Himself such a hard task, He is able to lift our burdens, to make us able to bear them. I love that. Because of Him, we can do hard things.

So I made it back to BYU. I’m taking spring and summer classes, then full-on taking the proverbial bull by the horns as I continue my education. I’m changing my major – don’t ask me what I’m doing yet, I haven’t quite figured it out! – and I’m planning on learning Mandarin Chinese in the Fall. Yay!

It has been a hard, long journey to get to where I am now. Relatively healthy, and greatly improved in happiness. The happiness I feel now doesn’t stem from just being in another place, or in forgetting anything that has happened in the past six months. It comes from the peace of knowing that I am where my Father in Heaven would have me to be right now, and having no doubts in that regard.

Joseph Smith once said in his Lectures on Faith:

” It is apparent that there is a direct relationship between the strength of one’s faith and the effectiveness of his prayer. There is, however, a principle associated with this matter of faith that we should all understand. I used to feel that if I could develop enough faith, I could receive in every instance exactly what I prayed for. This belief was based upon such scriptures as Matthew 17:20, in which Jesus said to his disciples, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” But at that time I had not learned that this promise was made upon the implied condition that one’s request be made in harmony with the will of God.

We learned this principle in our home through a rather trying experience. During the early years of our married Life, my wife and I intensely desired a particular blessing that we thought would be a great blessing, and we set about to obtain it by faith. We asked, we believed, we thought we had faith, but though we fasted often and prayed fervently, the years rolled by without bringing us the object of our prayers.

Finally we concluded that there must be something that we had not fully understood. Further research and prayerful study of the scriptures revealed the fact that we were not giving proper consideration to the will of the Lord, that we were concentrating our faith and prayers solely upon receiving the particular thing which by predetermination we had set our hearts upon. We had to reconsider the conditions of the promise. We found that Jesus had stated them in full in several places. For example, to the Nephites be said, “…whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is Right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given you.” {3 Nephi 18:20. Italics added.) In the light of this and other scriptures, we came to realize that pending the time we could know what is right and what is expedient, we had to learn to be as earnest in praying “if it be thy will” as we were in presenting our request.”

I feel like my life in the past year or so has been a conglomerate of trials intended for me to learn this very same principle – that the Lord has a plan for us, and that His ways truly are higher than our ways. We have this contagious misconception of how things should be, how people should change, and what they need to learn. What we don’t always realize is that the path we are each on right now is the one that will bless us with the most growth. We are here on this earth not just to receive a physical body, or to find success in the world around us (however we measure that success). We are here to learn the difficult, challenging, even IMPOSSIBLE lessons that we need to learn in order to become like Heavenly Father. We are His children, with a divine nature and an inheritance of divine traits that we have the potential of possessing. This life is where we prove to Him that we can handle, well, everything that life throws at us. It’s not meant to be easy, it’s meant to be worthwhile.

And oh, how sweet it is to be loved by Him. I know that who we become in this life is a reflection of who we will be in the eternities. We have a choice. Are we going to be supportive and loving and understanding of others, seeking after all things ‘virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy’? Or will we be distracted by the plan we have created for ourselves? This life is a very tricky path, with many upside-downs and sideways! We just have to keep moving forward, because that’s the only direction that will bring us true happiness. I think we know this in our hearts, but we’re truly fearful of the infinite potential we have as a son or daughter of God. We just have to learn to trust Him, and to understand that it is the pursuit of joy and knowledge which merits our receiving them, at the hand of He who has endured it all.

Isn’t that the greatest?

Called to Virtue,
Called to Serve.

Kayla Ann