“True conversion is a miracle that, in one way or another, needs to happen in all of us.”
The ark only happened because the rains came.
The Red Sea parted because the people had no choice but to become refugees fleeing from a destroying army.
Blind were healed, lepers cleansed, the dead raised only because they first had a trial.
That quote hit me in my chest hard tonight.
What would I agree to suffer through if the promise of true conversion forever was on the other side?
I pray every night for each of these people. My list is growing longer, please don’t let them ever struggle with addiction, please keep them free from harm, and on and on. I watch more friends and family suffering and I want to protect. And I won’t stop praying, but after tonight I’m changing my prayers, “but if they must, let it change them. Please let it create in them a strong and forever conversion. And if even that fairs that happen, let it happen to me. Let me hold on.”
What was the greater suffering; the pain of swelling coming up from under the skin, the ulcers and sores, the numbness and paralysis, the blindness and discoloration and peeling of their skin… OR
The isolation. The enormous loneliness and hopelessness.
And it was believed to be airborne so no one could risk going near them and fear spreads with great force as to make people behave inhumanely when they wouldn’t normally be so unkind.
It was going on for so long and had become so unbearable. Were they being forgotten by their family and friends? Would anyone ever even make eye contact again?
And then rumor began.
There was a way. It came from one person and one alone.
But this was not well accepted by the public. Did one choose to believe and possibly be ridiculed for trying or continue to suffer?
So a group decided they would go together to seek the cure. I don’t know how long the journey was. Did it take an hour or days? Were they discussing along the way? Was there a leader? Was there a quiet one who didn’t say much but was pondering everything in his heart?
And then there He was. And the miracle was performed.
An isolated, depressed, sick, hopeless group of lepers were miraculously healed from a sickness that the times could not find a cure for.
The excitement, the tears, and oh their families! They could not wait another moment, they had been separated for so long! And can you blame them for wanting to run and reunite?!!!
The One Turned Back
But then that one. The one you never noticed, he turned back and he saw, he knew, and he gave tearful gratitude. Miracles only occur when we truly see them.
We’ve been through something I never thought I’d live through in life or have to protect my children from. The isolation has been numbing and damaging on some. Pain and illness has grasped at others. And even death has taken her prize.
Then We Fasted
And then we fasted. Twice. As not just a nation, but the WORLD. We held hands and offered prayers United as an entire world.
Who is turning back? Kneeling in gratitude as the blessings are being received. I’ve seen my life become better and it’s up to me to be changed. And I see the sun, the miracles. I give thanks.
But it’s not over, not yet. And an end is often different than we expected…
I read this and held my breath last week. What will we do as mothers and fathers, as a people right now? What’s the next right step for each of us?
It is truth.
A Prophet Speaks
This from President Nelson, a leader of the church we belong to.
“As we are now many months into the COVID-19 pandemic, I thought I might share some of what I have learned. I have felt great sorrow about this pandemic. I have mourned with families who have lost loved ones. Many have lost jobs. Some have struggled to find adequate food and supplies. Graduation ceremonies, marriages, and funerals have been canceled or postponed or altered in some way. I feel great compassion for all who have suffered.
At the same time, Wendy and I have learned so much. Even through clouds of sorrow, we have found some silver linings. Many families have re-enthroned their homes as sanctuaries of faith. Many better understand how important the family is and that it really is ordained of God, with an eternal destiny.
We’ve also learned fear, isolation, and loss can be mitigated by immersing oneself in caring for other people. Countless healthcare professionals have risked their own lives to care for others. Farmers, pharmacists, truckers, grocers, and others have risked their own health to serve the urgent needs of others.
Dear friends, the road ahead may be bumpy, but our destination is serene and secure. So, fasten your seatbelt, hang on through the bumps, and do what’s right. Your reward will be eternal. In 1831 the Lord made a promise to his Saints. It still applies to each of us today:
“Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:6).”
8/5/20 – President Russell M Nelson.