Wednesday, September 09, 2009

September 2009: Making of it an Opportunity

It has been awhile since I have posted. I have so much catching up to do, but I have been very sick, on which I will expound on at a later time.

Something I reread this morning has brought me to write. This is unique for me to want to record my thoughts in this way, please forgive me. This journey over the past many months has definitely had a variety of twists and turns, with some ups, believe it or not, and some downs. I am not sure how I feel today but I am definitely in thought. I have been reading this book entitled "All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience" by Neal A. Maxwell. For those not of my faith I would like briefly explain the significance of this author and this title to me. Elder Neal A. Maxwell was a man who I believe to have been called as an apostle of Jesus Christ until is death in 2004 from leukemia. He was a man who stirred my soul with the way he had mastered the English language to describe things with such vibrant clarity. This title he chose comes from a scripture in the Doctrine & Covenants Section 122, Verse 7. The Doctrine & Covenants is a volume of scripture which includes modern day revelations given by God to the church through the Prophet Joseph Smith and other latter-day Presidents of the church. This particular verse was given to the Prophet Joseph Smith when he was wrongfully imprisioned in Liberty Jail. He had suffered a great many things in his short life and would endure more after being released from prison. God revealed to Joseph that if all these terrible and trying things shall happen, "know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."

I found it very interesting that Elder Maxwell had written this book prior to having cancer. Perhaps God was preparing him for what would come. This book is full of amazing thoughts and scriptures on life and how to navigate through "all these things" that come to each of us. I have gained so much comfort and enlightenment from reading it. Today I reread a few paragraphs on page 38 that really stood out to me in regards to Mike. He says, "There are some things allotted to us in life that have been divinely fashioned according to our ability and our capacity. When we see individuals coping with what seems to be a tragedy and making of it an opportunity, then we begin to partake of the deep wisdom in the Savior's response concerning the blind man." This blind man is the one spoken of in John 9:2-3. "A disciple of the Savior said, 'Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?' 'Neither, ' said the Savior, reassuringly, 'but that the works of God should be manifest in him.' "

As I think of my courageous and faithful husband I think of these words. Mike has truly created an opportunity out of what seems to be a tragedy. I would love for the words of this scripture "that the works of God should be manifest in him" to demonstrate in Mike's life a parallel to the life of this blind man who was healed of his blindness. Although he has not been healed completely, we have already seen miracles of healing such as him being able to eat again. But for me what has outshone the rest has been the way the works of God have been manifested in him in a different way. His faithfulness, his testimony that God's hand is over all, his optimism, his discipline, his courage, his humor, his love, ...all of these things are manifestations of how the works of God can heal our hearts, can lift our eyes, can grant us true direction and purpose. I am grateful that I have seen these works of God in Mike which gives me strength as we continue on our journey.


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I have a friend whose adult son had a head injury that has resulted in a severe headache (7 out of 10 on the pain scale) for 3.5 years. He has been told in blessings that many people will join the church because of his story. Isn't that interesting? He is so faithful, such a wonderful person, yet in constant pain. It's terrible to see him suffer, but inspiring to see how God works! Hang in there!

  2. Briana
    this is so touching. thank you for sharing such tender thoughts. we love you guys. I am learning from Mike and your example as well.

  3. thank you Briana.
    I am so inspired by you and your sweet little family. Im glad we're friends. Sick? me if ya ever need anything. :)

  4. Wow!
    I think you have a very old soul!!! I honestly learn so much from you. You are a blessing in my life and my family. I have so enjoyed our little chats lately, I always go away thinking what an amazing woman you are. Love you!

  5. I second Cheryl's thoughts Sweet Girl!!
    Neal A. Maxwell has always been our (NY & I) very favorite author. We love his inspring words!!



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