On This World Today: Freewrite

What happened to the days when people loved their neighbor? When humor was not crude? When entertainment was not laced with profanities and improprieties? What happened to the days when the mom could stay home? When the dads were there to see the games or dance recitals? When the kids helped do the chores because it was their responsibility not because they got paid. What happened to looking out for “the other guy”?

I am not in my 80’s, looking back on society and cringing at what the world has become. I am a young woman, in my 20’s, looking at today and my future, cringing because I must live in a world of coarseness and chaos. I have heard of better things.

I’ve heard of starter homes and sanity, one income families that make it, marriages that last for life, and neighbors who know and love you.

I want a little home, a husband who loves me from now to forever, a family that doesn’t need computers and television to be happy. I want neighborhood parties and open hands. I want city parks I don’t need to be afraid of.

Some may say I live in a fantasy land, my day dreams are a waste of time, and I need to catch up to my age group.

People my age are sleeping around, high on anything, drunk on something. They live on caffeine and every energy drink available. Some still can’t read. Many need to be told how great they are. Depression runs rampant(1), self-worth sinks low, love lasts only a night, and happiness depends on objects. Their language is crude, their dreams are self-serving, their families are broken.We are “The Millennials.” The online gamers, concerned with work and sports but less concerned in religion and God (2).

I do not want to be part of that.

Are these the times foretold when the love of many will wax cold (3), when families shall be torn apart, brother against brother (4)?

I would be my brother’s keeper, I would love my neighbor.

What do you want from the world?

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This Roller Coaster Called Life

It never ceases to amaze me how opposite life seems. Just when I think I’m doing my best, I feel the worst. When I have the most important work to do, I’m too tired to want to do it. One minute I’m happy, the next I’m sad. What is up with this world?

Some of the greatest things of my mission have happened in the last few weeks. I have watched people change in miraculous ways only God could do. I have been so happy I’ve shouted for joy and smiled for days. I have wanted to hug everyone I meet because I love the world right now. Sounds like the best time of my life, doesn’t it.

But life includes its opposites. I’m not perfect. One example,  lately I’ve been really tired. Maybe it’s because I haven’t taken any time to catch-up on normal things. Maybe it’s because I run all day, everyday. Some people can do that, I cannot. Maybe it’s because I lie awake for about an hour each night. This mortality thing is hard. Just when I want to be energetic and excited about things, I’m still tired and I have to fight my brain and body to be happy. Sometimes all I want is sleep. I know why missionaries count-down to the end of their mission: they look forward to rest.

In this I find two great truths.

Opposition in all Things: I have come to expect great trial after feeling great joy or to find great joy when I feel great trial. It is a roller coaster effect. We are tried and blessings follow if we are faithful. This brings us joy. That bothers Satan because he does not want us to feel joy, so he tempts us. That is the opposition to life. There must be opposition in all things. Without the sad, we could not know the happy; without the pain we would not notice or appreciate comfort. Hard times and good times, then hard times and better times. There are always better things to come.

Mortality is Weakness: Some trials are simply from our mortality. The Lord taught “I give unto men weakness that they may be humble” (2). That weakness is the nature of mortality. We walk by faith and suffer the things of the flesh. We hunger and thirst, long for sleep and hope for comfort. If we followed only the desires of mortality, we would be “enemies to God” (3) because we would not consider the things of the Spirit.

The Lord is always preparing us for our future. The difficult times show that He is there and is waiting to bless us, not that He has forgotten us. Though I’m tired, sometimes sad, sometimes full of joy, occasionally lonely, often comforted, I know that this is His way of preparing me to move forward. As long as we keep moving forward, He will bless us.

What is He preparing for you?