Jun 6, 2007

Terror, Joy, and My Status

by Anna Arnett

Thank you, Marsha, for sharing your grateful, heartfelt reflections of your wonderful Sabbath day this week in Christopher Creek. Following so closely after the trauma of approaching fire, it must have been an even more touching relief. No wonder you thanked Our Savior, The Comforter, your family, all friends, and the firefighters.

I’m reminded of the great terror of thick darkness and destruction almost two thousand years ago, and of the glorious, thankful aftermath which filled the hearts and souls of those who survived so completely that its loving influence remained unabated for some two hundred years, and it took another couple of hundred for this goodness to die out.

I asked my husband to describe the terror he felt when he knew he would not come back safely from his third bombing mission. He said it was not debilitating, for he could and did still take off, but his fear consumed his mind until he thought of Christ in Gethsemane and he was filled with a sweet calmness. I think he still has it.

Though we shun problems and turmoil, even hate to face them, perhaps we ought to be grateful for all these sore tests; for after the trial of our faith come the blessings.

Of course you or I would never beg for trouble to attack us (and seldom wish it for anyone else, especially our friends) but when trouble does come (and it will) if we prayerfully try, I think we can gain a deeper understanding of feelings represented by words like tolerance, patience, love, respect, compassion, and even, sometimes, forgiveness. Above all, we learn the joy of relief when things settle back to a ‘normal’ that is more or less enriched, depending upon which thoughts we have chosen to keep.

Every day of my life, if I look for it, I can see evidence of good works abounding. People serve each other. Family, friends, even strangers, offer smiles or a helping hand. Why? Moroni said, “. . . if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gift of God.” Does that mean that every friendly word, every good deed, every kind and honorable action, even though it may seem to originate in someone else, is actually being done ‘by the power and gift of God’? What a mind-boggling thought! How awesome to realize that whenever I look at the good in others I am actually seeing sons and daughters of God, acting under His influence.

I look at others who are much more talented than I; more prolific, more understanding, more diligent, quicker, etc., and I wonder. Does it really matter which particular gifts are (or are not) mine, or how wide or narrow my own sphere of influence might be?

For Mothers’ Day, a beloved daughter-in-law brought me a hydrangea plant with four huge, round clusters of small blue blossoms. Every time they begin to wilt, I pour a cup or so of water into the soil, and within minutes the blossoms re-hydrate and regain their radiant beauty. Even today, more than three weeks later, two balls of blossoms look great, and I wonder how these two survived their ‘drought’ when the other two in the same pot gave up.

These blossoms seem to say to me things like:
“Don’t give up.
Be who you are.
There’s always help.
Receive thankfully and give generously.
Bloom your best where you are planted.
If you keep on trying, it will be enough.”


  1. Anna, once again you have shared great insights with us that you have gained over a long and well-spent lifetime. Thank you for a lovely post!

  2. Thanks Anna, for reminding me to look! Rene

  3. Anna,
    You have such a sweet way of reminding us that no problem is too big with the Savior on our side.

  4. Anna,
    I love the way you use words. I smiled when you talked about seeing others more talented than yourself...because I see you as a women with so many incredible talents! You have such a great mind and wit. On top of that you are kind a loving and beautiful! Thanks for the gentle reminder.

  5. Anna,
    These last two weeks have been so hectic I haven't had time to visit the site. I've missed your wisdom and the wonderful way you have of dispensing it. It's nice to return and find you there.


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