Monday, November 7, 2011

Waiting Upon the Lord: Thy will be done

This is the title of Elder Hales talk from Conference this last month and I loved it when I listened to it over the TV but today I re-read it and I have found so many more wonderful insights than I ever imagined I could find when I was listening to it.  This was truly a talk prepared for me and I have a feeling for many of you as well:)  All of you should read the full version for yourselves and here is the link:
but I just wanted to share some of my favorite parts.
He started out by giving several examples from the life of our Savior.  He shares the 6 specific times when our He had to wait upon our Father whether it was for comfort, the time of his ministry, release of pain, or release from temptation.  Then Elder Hale's says this:
"I have often pondered, Why is it that the Son of God and His holy prophets and all the faithful Saints have trials and tribulations, even when they are trying to do Heavenly Father’s will? Why is it so hard, especially for them?"

He later gives this answer:
The scriptures give us an answer in one simple phrase: we “wait upon the Lord.”12 Tests and trials are given to all of us. These mortal challenges allow us and our Heavenly Father to see whether we will exercise our agency to follow His Son. He already knows, and we have the opportunity to learn, that no matter how difficult our circumstances, “all these things shall [be for our] experience, and … [our] good.”13
I especially was grateful for the understanding that he gives.  Saying that waiting on the Lord doesn't mean that we will always understand our challenges.  That there will be hard circumstances where we may fall on our knees and ask, "O God, where art thou?"  He then quotes Psalms and tells us that "yes, weeping may endure for a night, but that joy cometh in the morning." Then in the dawn of our increased faith and understanding, we arise and choose to wait upon the Lord saying, "Thy will be done."  This was exactly what happened to me after my second miscarriage.  That night I had no hope.  I really did not want to go back into work because I didn't want to have to tell close co-workers that I had already told I was pregnant.  And I just felt so sad I didn't think I could hold back the tears when thoughts of my loss suddenly hit me, which I knew they would. We were supposed to be moving a month from then anyways and I just wanted to leave right then and start over, not having to face anyone at work or church. But I went to sleep that night and it was amazing what a difference that night made.  The next day I had a new perspective and a new Hope.  I thought, well maybe I can go back to work and maybe I can get through this. Everything is going to be Ok.  I'm glad to know that we are aloud that night of weeping:)

This next part is my favorite part.  He gives us 7 meanings of "waiting upon the Lord."  What I loved about it is that it was a good check up on myself.  For many years now I have been waiting on the Lord for a very righteous desire.  All of these meanings that Elder Hale's gives are things that I have been taught line-upon-line already through whispering s of the Spirit or other people that Heavenly Father has put in my path and it was just really neat now seeing this all put together and my thoughts confirmed.
 One answer came over Labor Day weekend when Elder and Sister Ballard came to our ward that Sunday and sat down next to us on our bench. I had the chance to chat a little with Sister Ballard and after asking how long we had been married she asked about children.  I told her how much we wanted children but have not been able to have any yet.  She shared with me that it took her 3 years to get married and how hard that was on her.  The advise she gave me was that it takes a very mighty prayer, which is the 2nd meaning Elder Hales gives of "waiting on the Lord."

Here are all 7 meanings he gives:

"To wait upon the Lord means planting the seed of faith and nourishing it “with great diligence, and … patience.”17
It means praying as the Savior did—to God, our Heavenly Father—saying: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.”18 It is a prayer we offer with our whole souls in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Waiting upon the Lord means pondering in our hearts and “receiv[ing] the Holy Ghost” so that we can know “all things what [we] should do.”19 As we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we discover that “tribulation worketh patience”20 and we learn to “continue in patience until [we] are perfected.”21
Waiting upon the Lord means to “stand fast”22 and “press forward” in faith, “having a perfect brightness of hope.”23
It means “relying alone upon the merits of Christ”24 and “with [His] grace assisting [us, saying]: Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours.”25
As we wait upon the Lord, we are “immovable in keeping the commandments,”26 knowing that we will “one day rest from all [our] afflictions.”27
And we “cast not away … [our] confidence”28 that “all things wherewith [we] have been afflicted shall work together for [our] good."
And what a great reminder he later gives us, that when we are waiting we should be reminded that there are many other people in our lives who are waiting for us.  
He says, "In your daily Christlike ministry, you are waiting upon the Lord and doing your Heavenly Father's will."
I'm pretty sure that there are is a lot more that I should be doing as a servant of Christ and I hope that I will not leave many people waiting on me much longer. 

"Let us remember that as we wait upon the Lord, we are becoming “saint[s] through [His] atonement, … submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father.”36"

He concludes with this beautiful witness:
"I bear my special witness that our Savior’s promise is true, for He says, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”46 May we wait upon Him by pressing forward in faith, that we may say in our prayers, “Thy will be done,”47 and return to Him with honor." 

I am so grateful for all of our special witness' of Christ that are on the Earth today.  What a blessing we have  in having them to guide and direct us in such challenging, yet exciting times.