by Kari Diane Pike
September 30th, 2011, the high temperature for Salt Lake City reached a hot and sticky 90 degrees. Today, I am watching ginormous snowflakes perform cryogenic experiments on the tomatoes and peppers in my garden.This abrupt change in season seems to match the changes going on all around us. Last night I received a phone call from a friend who began our conversation by apologizing for having to be the bearer of a piece of disturbing news. Someone we both knew and trusted in business had violated that trust. We were aware that some of his business practices had become, shall we say, questionable, and that the quality of his products had been deteriorating. Learning that he lied about his credentials and not only mislead customers, but put their health at risk, came as quite a shock. My friend expressed feelings of anger, dismay, and betrayal. She asked me how I felt. After an initial reaction of disappointment, I felt sad -- sad for the pain this man is creating for himself and for others. I thought about how we live in such uncertain times and how the whole world is in a constant state of change. Scientific "truths" change every day. Eggs are bad for you...no, eggs are good for you. Cook with canola oil, no, wait! Coconut oil is best...even though we told you years ago how bad it is for you. Fashions change, the value of the dollar changes, we change.
After a few minutes of trying to process this information I felt a warm sense of peace wrap around my heart as I began to pray. Our Heavenly Father is constant. His truths never change. The gospel is true, and in this uncertain, changing world, we can place our faith in his Son Jesus Christ. My faith is not in a man who can and will make mistakes. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, no matter what happens, everything is going to be okay. I am grateful for the learning experience and the opportunity for growth that came from knowing that businessman.
In the world, everything changes. Sometimes those changes come suddenly, like today's snowfall. Other changes are so gradual, we hardly notice until we suddenly find ourselves holding our first grandchild, or wondering when we started calling 30-year-olds, "kids." Change is an important part of the growing process. I am grateful for the ability the Atonement offers us to be able to change -- to become better, stronger, kinder, and more charitable. Change is good in so many ways. I think it is the fear of change that gets us into trouble, because the most important things never change.
1 Nephi 10: 17 - 19, in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Nephi expressed a desire to see and hear and know of the things his father taught him. Nephi knew that if he diligently sought for answers, God would hear and answer his prayers -- that God never changes and that by the power of His Holy Spirit, he will unfold his mysteries to any man who faithfully asks.
My garden bore a bounteous harvest this year. The fruit trees blessed us with an abundance of apples and apricots, almonds and walnuts. Now they get to rest for a season. Come spring, they will take up their work again. Seasons change. People change. And God will always be there. That will never change.