Monday, October 31

Tis a Gift to be Simple

Last night I had a conversation with a guy that made me think a lot about who I am and why I'm here in life. He and I have a lot in common, and the circumstances under which we met were incredibly serendipitous. In talking with him, I was hoping to see a mirror of myself, a pattern to learn from, a form of good and bad and better choices to apply in my life. I wanted answers to some of the questions I've had in life - an understanding of how he's learned to cope with the problems that I face. But, while I could see myself reflected in a few of the things he said, as the conversation progressed, I realized that our problems and trials have far less to do with each other than I had ever expected... and there would be no easy answer by the time we said goodbye.

In the hours since, I've wondered about who I am, what exactly I'm supposed to be doing here, and the destiny that I have waiting on the horizon. I've always had the feeling that life was going to get much, much harder for me in the future... from when I was little... and the feeling persists even today. This is only the tip of the iceberg. And so I wonder exactly what the Lord has in mind for me. My patriarchal blessing talks about sharing the gospel, and about being a father, healer, missionary, teacher, counselor, and leader. It doesn't talk about living with same-gender attraction, or fighting depression, or navigating the paths of learning to be a friend. It doesn't talk about abuse, or fear, or how to develop lasting friendships by becoming more vulnerable in relationships when I already wear my heart on my sleeve and put everything in my life on the table.

And it makes me wonder how some of the people in the scriptures felt during points of their lives. Don't misinterpret me. I'm not a prophet or an apostle or even anyone with authority in the Church. But I wonder how Moroni felt when he was alone, running from the Lamanites... how Paul felt on his missionary journeys, how John the Beloved feels as he serves among people who never truly become his friends. And how Christ felt when He alone understood what it was that He was called to do.

It makes me wonder if this is just part of my gift - if I was just supposed to learn sublime principles from feeling alone, or if it's supposed to inspire me to action, both of which have happened many times. If I had tons of friends, I would never have started this blog. I probably wouldn't have cared as much about people suffering in the world. I wouldn't have the time to respond to personal emails, text, chat, and meet people to help us come closer to Christ... But because I've been able to watch people change, it has been worth it. It will always be worth it.

I don't know what the future holds... whether someone will feel the call to be my friend, or I'll develop the abilities that elude me, or I'll go through life as a missionary - making intense, short-term connections with people all over the world. Thankfully, if I do my best, the Lord will take care of me - in the short and long term. He cares about me and is involved in my life. And that makes life a whole lot more simple.


  1. This is a beautiful post. Thank you!

  2. I love reading your posts. I haven't in awhile because life has gotten busy on my end, but when I come back, I always wonder why I'm not here every day. I'm a single mom and I have so many of the same feelings of loneliness and wondering what the Lord has in store for me. Because its clear my situation is not changing for a long time. I just want to thank you for giving me a new perspective as I catch up my reading of your blog. It really does help to read someone who also doesn't quit just because there are hard days.

  3. I think in the world it's so hard to be simple but at the end of the day we are not supposed to be of the world anyway!

  4. I have read your blog here and there and I'm really glad I saw this post today. You and I are different, and yet there were many emotional similarities I felt as I read this post. Today my mom sent me a song called "Mary did you know" and I wondered about the mother of the son of God and how life was probably WAY harder for her than I ever imagined before.

    I loved that thought, because it sheds some light to the truth - that even if I feel alone, I'm really not if I recognize that most of the 7 billion people on this planet feel alone at times. Or maybe they feel misunderstood. Judged. Unloved. Hurt. Incapable or not enough. It's the blessing and curse of being human.

    Sorry that was a random bunch of ramblings. I just wanted to say thank you! :)

  5. Just my 2 cents: I think these thoughts you have expressed spell out healer. There are many ways to heal and many more things to heal from. True principles work all the time, and they heal.

  6. I found your blog from a link on a follower of my blog. I love your post. The feelings you shared are universal. We've all been there, so thank you for sharing.

  7. Wendilynn:

    Hopefully the busy part of your life is a good thing. Sometimes I find myself making plans to be busy, just to be busy, instead of trying to find the best things to do. Welcome back, and thanks.

    Mrs. Pancakes:

    I think you're right on. It's only when I try to do both - be of the world and also give my life over to God - that I run into trouble.


    Yeah. It is a shared experience - and while perhaps no one has had exactly the same, at the same moment you are struggling or suffering, hundreds or thousands are feeling that same struggle... and they are choosing to have faith. It does make me feel better to know that people in the world understand what's happening - if only piecemeal and partially.

    OJT Mom:

    Lol. That's what people close to me would say. I can help others heal their own wounds, but haven't yet found all the ways to heal my own. But I think that's okay - the best healers are those who have felt the pain firsthand... and there's still a whole lot I don't understand.

    E. E. Wall:

    Welcome. And thanks for your comment.

  8. Just curious, but have you ever wondered how the existence of the 3 Nephites must be like for them? They don't have long term relationships with others to fill their emotional needs; instead they are filled with the love of Christ and His service. I wonder if in some way, their existence might be very similar to yours? Just an idea/impression I had....

  9. Anonymous:

    I have wondered about the three Nephites and John the Beloved. I actually wanted to grow up and be John the Beloved when I was little - anyone that Christ loved sounded like a good option to me, and the ability to change people's lives every day for eternity sounded amazing.

    I think that what I face isn't really representative though, of their lives. Their faith gives them a true, personal, one-on-one, in-real-life relationship with Christ, and my own faith is still in the infancy of its growing stages. I'm not sure if they have the opportunity to make lasting connections or not - that would be conjecture I'm not really good at doing anyway - but they do have the ability to touch people's lives all over the world, which is something that I can do. People from countries I've never heard of are now part of my prayers... and while I'd definitely like to find a wife and be married someday, I also want to always have the ability to bless people with faith somehow - to share the gospel no matter what the circumstance of my life.


Comment Rules:

(G)MG is how I write to you. Commenting is one way to write to me.

If you want your comment published: No swearing, graphic content, name-calling of any kind, or outbound links to anything but official Church sites.

In addition, comments must be 100% relevant, funny, uplifting, helpful, friendly... well-written, concise, and true. Disparaging comments often don't meet those standards. Comments on (G)MG are personal notes to me, not part of a comment war. You are not entitled to have your ideas hosted on my personal blog. There are a zillion places for that, and only one (G)MG.

And I'd suggest writing your comment in Word and pasting it. That way Blogger won't eat it if it's over the word limit.