Yesterday's Institute lesson was on the people of Limhi, and I mostly wasn't really listening to the middle of it because Kevin talks a LOT about history and sometimes that stuff doesn't stick in my head, and I also had a million things I needed to remember to do...
birthday cards for both grandmas
send thank you notes
put money in lunch accounts
pedicure with Amy
choir music for Sunday
GD lesson 12
pick up prescription
post Savannah's email
...you know, tons more important than the history of the people of Zarahemla.
And then at the very end of the lesson, he said this one little thing that totally caught my attention and was shockingly relevant to my life...and the slightest bit familiar, but I couldn't figure out why. He said the one distinguishing characteristic between the people of Alma vs the people of Limhi was that the people of Alma "submitted cheerfully and with patience to the will of the Lord" until they were delivered out of bondage. The people of Limhi focused entirely on getting out of bondage. They studied and planned and worked and eventually they also got out, but it was a totally different and much less joyous experience for them, and they did not know the Lord.
After the lesson, I called Craig in Birmingham and excitedly told him all about the enlightenment I had received in Institute and how I had figured out why we were still in "house selling bondage" and what we were to do about it, and I assured him that going forward, no matter how long it took to sell this house, I would be "cheerfully submitting to the will of the Lord" instead of complaining and crying about it.
Then today, I decided that I needed to somehow work that little epiphany into my GD lesson on Sunday, about magnifying not just our callings, but our current situations, and not looking so far off to whatever great reward lies beyond today that we forget to "submit cheerfully and with patience" when things seem to drag in the middle, or when they're just downright crappy or awful.
And I was just now sitting here at my desk thinking how awesome Heavenly Father is to have provided that whole Institute lesson with that one little scripture which was just exactly what I needed in so many ways. And I was sure I had heard it recently but I wasn't paying attention enough to the details of Institute to know for sure where we even were yesterday...somewhere in Mosiah...
And then when I opened my scriptures to try and find the part about "submitting cheerfully" guess what fell into my lap? Three little note cards that I had written 17 weeks ago with Mosiah 24:13-15 carefully printed on them so I could tape them to my refrigerator and see them everyday...because apparently that was a difficult week, too. It turns out, someone I love had pointed me toward that scripture a long time before Kevin Hinckley's Institute class. I had just missed the part about submitting cheerfully and focused more on the burdens being made light and the voice of the Lord coming in their afflictions and all the other great stuff in those three little verses.
"And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter; and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."
How grateful I am for the "cloud of witnesses" that is ever present in my days, for the people who see when I can't and who help me remember the things I already know; for the scriptures that are exactly the same, but remain relevant in new and different ways all the time; and for the constant reassurance that Heavenly Father is totally aware of exactly what I need.