Thursday, April 26, 2007

Our Growing Season


by Kari Diane Pike

Perhaps it is just the season, but I’ve noticed that most of the life lessons that have come to my attention lately seem to be oriented around growth: growth of our children and grandchildren, building and strengthening our faith and testimonies, and a growing knowledge of the mind and will of a loving Father in Heaven.

Our family spent the hours between General Conference sessions planting a vegetable garden. I loved listening to the talks and feeling the Spirit and then working outside with our family preparing the soil and placing the seeds in the ground. As I listened to our children whistle or whine, depending on the task they were assigned, I couldn’t help but wonder about the allegorical seeds that are being planted in their lives. As we toiled to dig the nasty Bermuda grass, roots and all, out of the soil, I pointed out how leaving just a small piece of the root in the ground would allow more of this tenacious plant to spread through the garden. I asked them if they could find a gospel analogy in that example. Ammon, 16, and Brittany, 14, both rolled their eyes and at the same time said,

“There is an analogy in everything!”

I smiled and asked, “Yes, and the scriptures teach us what? That all things…”

“Testify of Jesus Christ.”

How do I express the joy that filled my heart in hearing that my children are grasping these gospel concepts? Even if they responded in less than enthusiastic tones, they gave me a glimpse of their spiritual growth.

Recently, an article in April’s Ensign, telling the history about the Tabernacle, caught my attention. The article does a wonderful job of showing how the Tabernacle was built through great sacrifice and under less than favorable conditions. It describes the uniqueness and importance of that remarkable building, and it tells about the sacred spirit of the Tabernacle. The article then closed with a quote from Pres. Hinckley,

“Our bodies,…our minds, are the tabernacles of our spirits. He who is the Father of those spirits would have us build strength and virtue into these personal tabernacles. Only in such strength is there safety and growth and happiness. If there is one great ringing message I take form the builders of this structure it is this—be strong!” (Building Your Tabernacle,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, 51)

My mind whirled with comparisons of building and growing: planning, blueprints, goals, tools, materials, and so on. I think it is safe to say that most of us grow under less than favorable circumstances. And, like the unique design of the Tabernacle, it is the very stressors we experience in life that give us our real strength. Those stressors give us the opportunity to make choices and it is through making those choices we experience growth. Without choices, there would be no growth! And without growth, we could not come to know the mind and will of our Father in Heaven and experience joy and happiness in this, our season of life.

3 comments:

  1. I love your garden story. So true, and told so well!

    I'm teaching seminary this year, and searching for ways to teach my students (2 of whom are gransons) about the valuable lessons learned by the saints in the early days of adversity. The connection points grow sparser and sparser as our society grows more and more affluent. Good for you for planting that garden!

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  2. Kari, I want to come live at your house!

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  3. G'donya, Kari. Well put, and very uplifting to my spirits. I may be slow at posting a comment, but I read your blog at a busy time. Nevertheless, you brought to my heart a lovely, good, strong feeling. You always seem to. Have you considered sending this blog to the Ensign or New Era?.

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