I have recently been trying to get myself out of a rut.
It’s all part of being an imperfect mortal. As I juggled the many responsibilities on my plate, I accused and belittled myself for not doing it all perfectly. And then, in walked guilt.
In a Rut
Every member of the church has had feelings like this at some point; the kind of feelings that make you want to give up and just drop everything. However, we keep trying. We may need to let some things go for a time, reduce our responsibilities and back off so that we can regroup and strengthen ourselves to pick it up again. Quitting entirely is not an option. With the knowledge of the gospel plan, we know and understand that these human experiences strengthen us and help us grow. We can’t just stop growing, no matter what we choose but we can choose to grow with happiness.
Full of Challenges
We knew that life would be full of challenges and perhaps, naively looked forward to our turn on earth where I am sure we were certain we were going to nail this mortality thing. However, realistically, we struggle against so many things like physical capacity, inadequacy, overwhelming responsibilities, fear and burn out that we often feel ourselves slipping from our lofty goal of sailing right through this experience.
The Savior gave us a great key to happiness and peace for this earthly trial. It was recorded in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
To be yoked with the Savior means that we turn to Him always and give him everything we have to give as we do our part. What we fail at, what we struggle with, what doesn’t turn out well becomes His responsibility and He makes up for our shortcomings and failures.
Too often we look at having failed at a task as an end all. For me, when I struggle with something, I too often just stop trying. It hurts too much to lose. But when I turn to the Savior in my weaknesses, He helps me find the strength to try over and over and over again.
Gift of the Atonement
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a beautiful message in conference that reached out and touched all the hearts of those who listened.
One thing he said in his talk was, “With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed.”1
We just have to try!
In another talk, he recalled a moment of his life that proved troublesome and he desired to speak out to his younger self and say, “Don’t give up, boy. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead.” 2
That is sound counsel for all of us. Though the days may be dark, the road bumpy and perhaps, from inside the storm, you don’t see your way out, know that the Father of all mankind and His Son, Jesus Christ walk the road beside us and they will not leave us comfortless. Keep walking. Keep trying. Help and happiness are most certainly ahead.
1 “Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders Among You”, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, April 2016
2 “An High Priest of Good Things to Come”, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, October 1999