Saturday, June 20, 2009

One of the Best Scriptural Phrases for the Little Life Challenges

I was reading a blog post on Segullah today and in one of them the author was lamenting her current difficulties. Her husband is away in Denmark, her son (who is her major helper at home) is away at scout camp, and she and the rest of her brood have been suffering from bad colds (sending the cranky factor off the charts no doubt), and it has been raining for 20 days straight where she is.

I know what it is like to have so many little things attack at the same time. Death by a thousand paper cuts, that’s what it is.. But it reminded me of a great scriptural insight I heard a number of years ago in Relief Society at BYU in that difficult studying-for-lots-of-crazy-finals-and-papers-at-the-end-of-the-semester time. It consists of one phrase, which just happens to be the most repeated phrase in the entire Book of Mormon, but which people hardly notice. Here it is (drum roll please):

And it came to pass

I remember when the counselor in the Relief Society announced this phrase, the whole room of women began giggling. I giggled right along with them, remembering all the times in family scripture study we had made fun of the endless repetition of “and it came to pass”. (It was probably the first phrase that new readers in our family learned to read.)

I really hoped that this wasn’t going to be some snappy little pseudo insight… But here’s what she said that I remember:

“It comes… to pass. Aren’t you glad it didn’t come to STAY?” (more giggles from the audience here)

The husband WILL return from Denmark. The son WILL return from scout camp. The colds WILL go away. The rain WILL stop. Everything will be wonderful for about…. oh… five seconds, and then some new difficulties will arise. But it comes, and then it passes, and with Heavenly Father’s help we get through it.

Occasionally I think of this phrase when I’m in the middle of some difficulty that is driving me mad. Hmmm.. like when the sprinkler system exploded on our house on a Saturday evening and our attempts to repair it were to no avail and we had to turn off the water to the entire house for a day.. and the time when I was substitute teaching the CTR 5 class and all my brilliant plans were all for nought in the face of their squirreliness.. and that one time I just could not figure out those last few steps of a particularly nasty Calculus problem that was due the next day… and the time my haircut turned out so not-what-I-wanted that I went home and cried… and the year I had difficult roommates (cringe)… I think of that “And it came to pass” phrase and I start trying to set my sights on that future when the problem is resolved. Seeing beyond the problem to the resolution stage seems to make it a little more worth it to buckle down and work just a little harder and be just a little more patient.

You WILL make it through this.


Chas Hathaway said...

Thanks so much for commenting on my blog!

You've got an incredible blog! I really like your approach, and how you bring attention to a lot of the things in the scriptures that are often overlooked.

I'll be visiting often!

- Chas

Michaela Stephens said...

Thanks for your kind words! I do the scripture reading and studying and pondering and mulling and banging-head-against-the-brick-wall, Heavenly Father sends me some little grains of ideas, and then I eat them up, and digest them, and regurgitate them, and swallow them again, and I slave over them to make them presentable. I can't take credit for the ideas.