It’s been a week of contemplation for me. You see two friends died this week, one young, one older, both from cancer, a thousand miles apart. It was also the fourth anniversary of the death of a best friend. I have been thinking and pondering my life as I’ve thought about all of their lives.
I had this mental picture of life as a ongoing timeline. We hop on when we are born, and others join us and leave as relationships wax and wane, and eventually you jump off the timeline when you pass away. For my younger friend, we spent our time on the line in high school. None of us know what life will bring or how we leave — of course she didn’t know that cancer would take her, when we were singing in choir and worrying about the problems of youth. We don’t know that when we join the timeline of life. That is the greatness of mortality though — we have people, opportunity, good, bad, all of it. Isn’t life wonderful?
My thoughts also have turned to how I spend my time, and the things I worry about. I see the madness we’re continually descending into as a society and I am tired of it. It doesn’t matter what goes on in the news, or who is offended about what. What matters is that we’re teaching our children the gospel, teaching them to keep the commandments, and preparing them to enter the temple. Everything else will either work out, or not matter. The night before I’d spent several hours at a City Council meeting listening to people quibbling over stupid, trivial things. I didn’t want to be there, but I had to make a statement. When I was done, I sat down and decided, I was going to remove myself from this local political issue. I just can’t waste my time on stupid things that have no bearing on eternity. I want to live my life better, and work on those things that matter most.
“And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” Acts 5: 38-39.
It was fitting that last night in our family Book of Mormon study we read Alma 32: 21, “And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.”
I asked my kids what do we hope for, what do we have faith in? My 2 year old just shouted out, “Dee-zus! (Jesus!)” Yes, we do. We hope for Jesus and the resurrection he made possible for us, and all of the other promised blessing we have access to as we live the gospel, keep the commandments, and really deeply let our covenants surround us and protect us and remake us into what God wants us to be.
This is what I know, I hope for, and have faith in the resurrection, for my friends, and my self. The Plan of Salvation is real, the gospel of Jesus Christ gives us hope in these things and helps us to make the right changes so that we work out to be with God.