This post is from John and Terri’s daughter Alicia. She is deeply spiritual and loves the Savior with all her heart.
Dear Unblog Family,
Lately, my family and I have been talking about what it means to “endure to the end”. This subject has come up often, as we have all felt the loss of our dear John. It has been since his passing, however, that we have been blessed with love, comfort and learning. I felt prompted to share a few thoughts with you, and I am so humbled to do so. You are such a beautiful example of love and righteousness, and I have learned much from the things you share. I will do my best to convey my thoughts.
John used to always tell me that here in this life; many of us try as hard as we can to avoid trials. He would chuckle, and add that trying to avoid trials in this life is like standing deep in turbulent waters, and trying not to let the waves move us to and fro! It is truly not possible in this life to avoid trials, as these trials are really opportunities that help us (if we will choose) to fully turn our hearts to our Savior. To allow Him through His grace and mercy to steady our shaking hands as we are here in mortality.
The beautiful experience that Peter the Apostle had of seeing the Lord walk upon the water, and then getting out of the boat himself is so instructive for us here in mortality. With his eyes steadily gazing at our Savior, Peter jumped out of the boat and began his journey to the Lord. We often do the same, leaving our safe and comfortable places, and for a moment feel the immeasurable strength of the Lord flowing through us. We humbly realize that we are doing the impossible…walking upon the waves, so to speak. It is usually around this time that reality sinks in and we say, “Wait a minute! I am walking upon water! This is impossible!” With these rational and logical realizations of our current mortal situation, our faith is shaken, and we plunge into the water just as Peter did. The miracle for all of us, as with Peter, is that Jesus Christ stands ready to lift us out of the swirling doubt and deadly fears that encompass us. His tender heart and hands are always there to pull us out from certain defeat and spiritual destruction just in the nick of time.
In thinking on these things, the Bible never says that Peter looked up at our Savior’s outstretched hand and exclaimed, “I can do this myself! I just have to get through this on my own and I’ll be fine!” No, no, the dear Apostle Peter knew that to rescue himself from his predicament would be impossible. Peter did what we all should do, and allowed Christ to succor him. Then our sweet Savior taught Peter a precious lesson when He said, “Oh, ye of little faith.”
We are all familiar with the scripture found in 2 Nephi 25:23 “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”
Brothers and sisters, do we sometimes let the “after all we can do” phrases discourage us from utilizing the faith our Father in Heaven has given to us? It is tempting to sometimes think that if we could do a little more, endure the pain of life by ourselves a little longer, then after a while, the Lord would finally step in. Part of doing “all that we can do” is utilizing our agency to ask for heaven’s help, believing that the Lord is ready and willing to come to our aid. The truth is that if we FULLY AND COMPLETELY turn our hearts and our lives over to the Savior, all the while relying upon Him for strength and mercy, then and only then, are we really doing “all that we can do”. If we submit to Christ in all things, then His grace is sufficient for us to make it through this life, and into our eternal lives with our Father in Heaven. Blessings and learning are always attached to our trials. Angels wait to attend us! Miracles can and do occur! I testify that I know our Savior lives to love and bless our lives.
May His grace be upon us all,