So, I don't watch the news-like ever. I don't know if its a good or a bad thing, but mainly I get my news from two places. Facebook updates from friends who DO watch the news...or my hubby. A lot of times it's sad or negative. No one really talks too much about the good stuff-there may be a segment or two here and there, but normally it's not talked about as much. I just went to the Sac Bee website to check out the latest headlines, just to even see if their was good news-and really didn't find ANY. I found unimportant neutral news-about Sports or upcoming events at the White House, etc., but nothing particularly happy or good. (However, there was something about a study being donw that has shown pot smoke to cause cancer...and while cancer is DEFINITELY not good news, maybe it will be an eye opener to stop people from smoking it...haha. Insert sarcasm.). Anyway, my point with this is that sometimes I feel like it's literally DOOMSDAY! Now, don't call me Chicken Little or anything. The sky is falling-but it's been falling for centuries...the problem is, I think WE are causing cracks in the foundation that gives the sky no other choice but to cave in on us.
I say 'we' because I include myself. I'm human and I make dumb decisions. Decisions that maybe don't effect the world now, but I think could potentially contribute to the downfall of society. Sometimes, I honk at people in traffic when I really didn't need to for an emergency purpose (which is actually what it is designed for--it's not designed as a car's voice box to cuss out a person who cuts you off, believe it or not). Sometimes I say things I shouldn't say. Sometimes I treat my loved ones in not so loving ways. Sometimes I feel like I show a bad example to my daughter by losing my temper. We ALL do dumb things. It's human nature to screw up. But, what I USED to think went a long with that human nature was a sense of remorse-a sense of feeling sorrow for the wrong doing. A desire to change-to progress-to be better. Slowly, maybe even as slowly as one by one, it seems it's changing. Remorse is being replaced by justification. Feelings of sorrow or grief are being replaced by a sense of entitlement. And now, instead of a world working towards progression, it seems like selfishness is running rampant and we are all out there doing what we can to "get ours" and step on whoever we have to, to get there without even a second thought as to how our actions affect others--or how their ultimately affecting who we are.
My husband told me the other day that Korea wants to bomb Hawaii on the 4th of July--how they are planning to test nuclear missiles against U.N. Regulation; basically an "I don't care what the world says, we are taking this into our own hands" attitude. I, naively asked him, "Why don't they like us?" Which led to him educating me on all the different countries and our relationships with them and so on and so forth (I love my history buff!). And again, I naively asked, "Don't they realize that killing people doesn't really solve anything?" Like, really, why CAN'T we just have world peace. The answer?? POWER/MONEY-which is essentially the exact same thing. People cause wars-not countries. Powerful people. Selfish people.
And the wars don't end there. There are wars waging all around us. Wars within the walls of homes. Within families. And to me, this is the scariest war of all, because THIS is where it all begins. This is where the very beginning of the war starts and people are molded into who they will become. If we are not teaching our children accountability, consequence, love, remorse, humility and right from wrong, no one will. Period.
I look around and I see things today that I never would have dreamed possible. I see things around me that are keeping me up worrying late at night. (Hence...this post.). And I'm scared...I'm scared that we are all so susceptible. One swift move and we are within the grasp of a darkness that we won't even know hit us until we're enveloped. And it seems no one is safe.
My husband and I went to the temple the other night and I felt safe and reminded. I felt reminded that there is a purpose to this life. There is a reason to live righteously. There is a reason that I have chosen the life I lead. That reason is to return to live eternally with God and with my family. Heaven.
I was reminded of all of this and I was also sad. I was sad that I couldn't just wrap us all up in that warm blanket of safety that I was feeling. I was sad that I had to leave the walls of that temple to face an unsafe world. I was sad to think that I felt more unsafe because of the light that I've seen burn out of some that have once illuminated my life and inspired me-than because of the impending nuclear bomb that had been threatened on our country.
And what made me feel strengthened within these fears is knowing that I have the power within me to choose where I stand. The only weapon I truly hold is my convictions-and if all else fails, I know what I stand for. I will not justify otherwise. Mistakes are made-but I am not entitled to my fair share just because others may have done me wrong or done worse than I. Life is uncertain-but I do not have to be.
I think of our Lord-I think of how He knows us all personally. We all have a personal relationship with him, whether we realize it or not. Some of us are closer in that relationship than with any other. Some of us are lost and the contact is infrequent or non existent. But, the relationship is there. And you and I-- or the leaders of Korea, or the Taliban, or Britney Spears, or your next door neighbor, or the child in Africa who has never been taught of His existence in the first place--we are all special to Him. He knows us all by name and is searching for us to be safely gathered in.
This is one of my favorite Greg Olsen pictures. It's called, "Lost and Found". I feel comforted in knowing that no matter how lost we have been, we can be found if we want to be. Because, He never stops searching.
"I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick’ (Ezek. 34:16)."
"The Savior’s example of going the extra mile to find His lost sheep is evident throughout the scriptures. “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine and go into the wilderness after that which is lost, until he find it?” (Joseph Smith Translation, Luke 15:4). The Good Shepard knew when one of His sheep was missing: “He numbereth his sheep, and they know him” (1 Ne. 22:25), “and he calleth his own sheep by name” (John 10:3).
He went “into the wilderness,” which at times has been defined as “a confusing multitude or mass” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. , “wilderness,” 1432), and He searched for that which was lost.We are not told how long it took the Good Shepherd to find the lost sheep or if others helped in the search, but we do know that they “[knew] his voice” (John 10:4) and that He loved them. We also know that He did not give up, that He did “go … after that which [was] lost, until he [did] find it,” and that when He returned, the lost sheep was safely on His shoulders. And then He exclaims, “Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:6–7)." Mervyn B. Arnold, “Strengthen Thy Brethren,” Liahona, May 2004, 46–48
I will not rest until I and my loved ones can be safely gathered in. I can't give up, for I know that the moment that I do, I will be lost. I feel strengthened and inspired by those who are looking everyday towards progression-to move forward in this life in goodness and faith.
For me, that faith is everything. For me, there is no other way to find everlasting peace and happiness than to be safely gathered in and numbered among the sheep of His fold.