by Kari Diane Pike
"Life is not waiting for the storm to pass...but learning to dance in the rain." - Vivian Green
I noticed something while reading Alma 8:14 - where Alma has labored to teach the people of Ammonihah and the people have reviled him. Alma is described as "being weighed down with sorrow, wading through much tribulation and anguish of soul." Then a wonderful thing happens. 'It came to pass while Alma was thus weighed down with sorrow, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared unto him, saying, 'Blessed art thou, Alma; therefore lift up they head and rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God."
The footnotes directed me to Mosiah 2:2-4. King Benjamin describes how an angel appeared to him and said,"For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice; and that thou mayest declare unto they people, that they may also be filled with joy."
These men had been praying, laboring diligently, and keeping the commandments. The Lord answered their prayers, addressed, their concerns, acknowledged their efforts to live righteously, and gave them comfort. Then the Lord commanded them to share that comfort and joy so that "they may also be filled with joy." That which is freely given must be freely shared so that the gift can continue to grow.
I love the messages of love and peace that our latter-day prophets have been sharing with us in these challenging times. President Eyring's message that "The very opportunity for us to face adversity and affliction is part of the evidence of [Heavenly Father's and Jesus Christ's] infinite love." Pres. Eyring further stated that "Even when you feel the truth of that capacity and kindness of the Lord to deliver you in your trials, it may still test your courage and strength to endure." Wow! Just because I feel weak or inadequate, does not mean I have failed. While there may be times when I might wish Heavenly Father didn't love me quite so much, I do realize that the point is to hang in there and keep being who I am - a daughter of God, a being of light and truth - and keep doing what I need to do - keep my covenants.
As I have learned these truths, I have felt the presence of angels attending to my needs and assisting me in my stewardships. In the early hours of one particular Sunday morning, a severe migraine prevented me from getting any sleep. My family had spent the previous day helping another family move and I didn't have the heart to wake my sleeping priesthood bearers. The pain became so severe and unbearable I thought I might even need to go to the E.R. Instead, I knelt by the bed and pleaded with My Heavenly Father for comfort and strength and relief from the pain. When I crawled back into bed and gingerly put my head on the pillow, I was prompted to turn over onto my stomach and turn my head to the left. As I did this, I experienced a sudden relief from the sharp pain. I could still feel a dull pressure in my head, but I fell asleep almost immediately and slept soundly for the next three hours. I easily attended my meetings and saw to my stewardships. This was just one of many of the tender mercies given to me that week. My testimony of prayer and the need to always ask for the Spirit to attend us in our endeavors continues to grow as I share that joy with others.
It's not the lack of challenges that makes us happy. It's not about getting what we want when we want it, or what others can do to make us happy. Happiness is a choice. It's about gratitude - recognizing and acknowledging from whom all blessings flow. It's not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's all about learning to dance in the rain, and we never know when learning that dance will reflect the light of truth for someone else to follow.