This is Rachel:

Her birth was a beautiful, oh-so-natural experience.  Much like a veteran marathoner would egg on a friend to give it a try, Jenny persuaded me to try giving birth naturally.  Results: I liked it.  Thanks, Jenny!

You know, babies are so helpless.  You set them down and they can’t even exert their will to crawl away.  If their face gets covered they don’t even know enough to pull it off so they can catch a good breath of air or see what is going on around them, the little darlings.  I think that in matters of importance, Heavenly Father is our rescuer, and He alone.  When He gives us a trial, honestly, we aren’t going anywhere until He deems us done with it–or until he comes back to where He placed us, removes the cloth from our eyes and picks us up for a cuddle.

A child learning to swim could be held at arm’s length, firmly around the waist by their father, yet feel horrified that their feet can’t feel the ground.  Calmly, their father tells them over and over, “It’s OK.  It’s OK.  Not only is the ground just inches under your feet, but I’ve got you!”  The father can’t make the child understand that they’re safe, nor understand the big picture while the child is feeling so much fear.  The child must start to trust and listen to his words.  The only reason we would trust in the Lord and give our burdens to Him is if we have had rewarding experiences with Him.  Now this part is up to us.  When we get to know our Savior and Redeemer will we ever feel lonely, snubbed, accused, manipulated, burdened, or brushed aside as we can in some of our earthly relationships?  Emphatically, NO!

Now this next example will sound like the story about giving up the plastic pearls so Daddy can give you the real pearls.  Rachel, the irrestible baby she is, was playing “dolly” and went to get the dolly blanket.  She pulled up on the corner, but it wouldn’t come!  Why wouldn’t it come?  Hmmm.  Try again.  She pulled again, but the fluffy blanket her dolly needed was no nearer to her than when she first tried!  Ah, the answer!  She was standing right in the middle of the blanket!

All things testify of Christ!  How many stories do we tell ourselves about how we’re justified in a troubled relationship that we have?  About how someone needs to learn a lesson, about how somebody is so defiant, or about how somebody doesn’t care?  Almost invariably, we are standing on that blanket.

Our ego, or natural man, is too strong and powerful to ever discount that we have it in our dealings.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5

It is a gift straight from the Lord to be able to understand, with mercy, why another behaved the way they did.  It’s another gift to mercifully see ourselves, when we tend to be self-condemning.  A joyful message!  Our relationships hurt partly because of us, but joy, this means the solution is in us also!


My neighbor right across the street has a 15-year old son and he has been coming to Young Men’s with Scott these last several weeks.  Since his family all leaves to go to Taekwondo together, he comes over at about 5:00, eats dinner with us, and then goes with Scott to Mutual at 7:00.  So our relationship has been getting a little better.  He relaxes more around us now and seems to enjoy himself.  (Who wouldn’t when you’re practically on lock-down terms with your mother, FYI)

Our friend likes the youth in our ward, and they welcome him very well.  For this reason, when he came to church with us for the first time this last week 🙂 he stood up at the end of all the testimonies, some of them youth testimonies, and spoke himself.

Wow, he had been feeling the spirit.  He shed tears right off the bat.  He confessed that he had done a lot of things he was not proud of…he had hurt people…especially his mother…and then he sat down again.  I wished his mother could have heard him…and maybe someday soon she will!

How true it is that Christ loved us first, and his love “sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of men,” and also is “the most joyous to the soul.”  BTW, thanks, Dad, for planting those words in my mind!