This past weekend (Easter weekend) we had an excellent General Conference.
I wanted to write a little on one talk in particular, that of Elder Dale Renlund, entitled Latter Day Saints Keep on Trying. He began by quoting Nelson Mandela, “I’m no saint – that is, unless you think a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying.”
He then went on to quote from Shakespeare’s play, As You Like It. “’twas I, but ‘tis not I” Meaning, that’s who I was but no longer am.
This touched me. When I spoke at New Beginnings in March, our theme ‘we are all under construction’, reminded me how different the 2015 Lildonbro is from 2011 Lildonbro. A lot of the struggles I went through in 2011 were self inflicted, the pain and sorrow I felt acted like a black hole sucking all the light and goodness from my life and I could not see the end, nor could I feel I deserved better than what I had. I made a lot of mistakes as I tried to handle life my way instead of the Lord’s way. I was obstinate to say the least. I thought I knew what would make me happy, what would make my life more complete and I went for it, despite the still small whisperings that I had chosen incorrectly. I couldn’t bear the thought of waiting any longer to move my life forward. So I made things worse for myself. That’s why it resonated with me when Elder Renlund said, “’Twas I, but ‘tis not I.”
Yes, I made mistakes. Yes, I thought I had it figured out who I should marry and what I should do with my life. And when that didn’t happen I let an irrepressible anger take control. I have since learned to hand things to the Lord, including my anger. I have learned that he can heal and sooth all the emotional hurts in this life. The ones caused by others and even (maybe especially) the ones caused by my own decisions and actions.
Elder Renlund says, “No failure ever need be final,” and I agree with him. We get up when we fall, we forgive when we’re wronged, we seek forgiveness when we’re wrong, we hand over all the pains and sorrow to the Lord and let Him have them. And then we do it all over again, slowly climbing our way to perfection. And it's all due to Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us. Elder Holland said it best in his talk on Sunday morning when he spoke of Easter and the Atonement, "Today we celebrate the gift of victory over every fall we've ever experienced, every sorrow we have ever known, every discouragement we have ever had, every fear we have ever faced."
So to all my blogger friends, Happy Belated Easter. May we always remember that it is possible to be better than we are today because of Jesus Christ, our Savior.