Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It Really Works!

Following the counsel of our prophets will result in blessings. I know. I'm going through a tough time because of the economy. At this point I have been out of work for 3 months. I am 'concerned', but I am not worried. I get discouraged at times because it gets tiring, but I do not live in despair.

In the world's view, I am too old - at 48 - to still be going through this stuff: trying to 'repair' my career path, trying to save for a retirement, having a solid investment portfolio, etc.

I have had to use what investments I had to live on. That bites. My career has been 'derailed' for some time, and I didn't realize until just 3 years ago that it would take furthering my education to get past the crippling effects of a wrongful termination, employers who have gone out of business, leaving unethical situations, etc.

I look around me at people who apparently don't have many (or seemingly ANY) challenges in their lives. But I know that they do have them... it's about the appearance. Those outside of the gospel don't want to show their troubles because they don't want to look weak. Those inside the church (and I mean REALLY inside, as in converted and consecrated) don't show it because they carry a cheerful countenance - much like the Savior taught in the Sermon on the Mount about those who fast (Matthew 6). They don't 'disfigure their faces and appear unto men' to be having any challenges in their lives. They are great examples of gratitude.

Yet despite all of these worldly concerns that would make me feel like 'a lesser man', I have held onto my faith. I have tried to keep the commandments of the Lord and serve in His kingdom. And he has blessed me for it. I haven't been 'blessed' with the career opportunity that will save me from my situation, but I have been blessed to have what my family needs at this time, without having to resort to welfare, unemployment compensation or church assistance. I have learned over many years of experience that the Lord will bless and provide, often in ways I don't expect.

We have family prayer morning and night. We have family home evening every week. We read the scriptures 6 days a week in the morning (not Saturdays). Every year of my adult life I have been able to declare myself a full tithe payer, even in the roughest of times. I am trying to attend the temple as often as I can, almost weekly (instead of 'weakly', ha ha). Despite my rediculously busy schedule between work (trying to find it and doing side jobs, etc), school (25 hours per week) and family needs, I find time to serve in the church as Ward Mission Leader and Sunday School teacher. I am trying to do everything right that I can. And I am being blessed, I know I am.

When will job/career relief come? Who knows? Until then, I will keep trying, keep serving, and keep praying, knowing that my Savior wil provide as he sees fit. But He will provide, I have no doubt. This is my testimony based on many years of results. In Jacob chapter 7, Sherem desired to debate with Jacob about the doctrine of Christ (verse 5):

"And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen angels, and they had ministered unto me. And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I could not be shaken."

I have not seen the angels, yet, but I have heard the 'voice of the Lord' through the Holy Ghost, and have had so many blessings that followed the exercise of faith, that I likewise cannot be easily shaken.

I know I am not alone in my challenges. In the world's view I could be called a 'loser' because I don't have the material wealth that others have (and the debt that often accompanies it, thankfully). But in the eternal perspective I am not losing. I am winning in a big way. I know this to be true. I simply must endure to be able to realize the fruits of this victory. It's worth it.

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