During April 2018 I will be blogging about my memories as MOM OF 6 from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Creation and Compassion http://marcyhowes.blogspot.com/

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Comfort in Failures

One of my favorite things about my current church calling is that I have the chance to attend all of the Ward Conferences in the stake and listen to all of the ward Bishops speak.  I also have the opportunity to listen to our Stake President speak at each of these ward conferences.  He is an excellent speaker, and I come away with some new goal or new perspective about the gospel every time he speaks.  Today the topic of his talk was the responsiblities and priviledges of being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ.  Towards the end of the talk he referred us to D&C 117 where revelation was given through the Prophet Joseph Smith to Oliver Granger, who had been assigned the difficult job of returning to Kirtland Ohio where the Saints had been driven out from their lands and their properties in an attempt to sell the property and receive some compensation for the Saints.  Needless to say, this assignment was an almost impossible task. 

12 And again, I say unto you, I remember my servant Oliver Granger; behold, verily I say unto him that his name shall be had in sacred remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever, saith the Lord.
 13 Therefore, let him contend earnestly for the redemption of the First Presidency of my Church, saith the Lord; and when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord.
 14 Therefore, let him come up hither speedily, unto the land of Zion; and in the due time he shall be made a merchant unto my name, saith the Lord, for the benefit of my people.
 15 Therefore let no man despise my servant Oliver Granger, but let the blessings of my people be on him forever and ever.

D&C 117:12-15

 Notice that even the Lord knew that Oliver Granger would fail in his attempts.  Yet, his name shall be had in sacred remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever, and blessings shall be on him forever and ever.    Why is Oliver Granger remembered forever and blessed forever?  Because he was willing to do what he was asked.  Because he did his best to do what he was asked.  Not because he succeeded in what he was asked, but because he sacrificed, he tried, and he did his best. 

So, why does the Lord allow us to fail?  Often it is so that we can learn from our mistakes and choices.   Maybe it is so we can learn empathy for others in similar situations.  Sometimes it may be that the success of our efforts also depends on the choices and free agency exercised by others.   Sometimes we just may never know.

I've received many callings in my lifetime so far.  I've felt prepared for some, and not so prepared for others.  I've also put forth varying amounts of effort at different times and in different callings.  Some I feel like I did well; that I was able to do good things.  Several years ago I had a calling where I struggled.  I struggled a lot.  But I also tried my very hardest and put forth my very best efforts almost every single day in an effort to fulfill my calling.  When I was released from the calling, I knew that I had done some good things, but overall I felt that I had in many ways been a failure, and now, several years later, it still hurts me to remember.   These verses in the talk today have been a comfort to me.  I know that I probably could have done better in many ways in that former calling, but maybe, just maybe, in some instances, no one else could have done any better? 

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