Disclaimer: I'm sorry that I've been seriously slacking on the Talk of the Week posts. And I know that I said back in the day that our next talk was President Eyring's talk
(which I will be posting about next week! pinky swear), but
from President Monson from the October 2013 General Conference was just what I needed this week, so I hope that this can help someone else too.
, President Thomas S. Monson, October 2013. You can read, watch, or listen to this talk
I first heard this talk while I was a missionary serving in Jacksonville, Illinois. At the time, it seemed so fitting for every one of my investigators and every other person. You see, at the time, I
God loves me. I
I was never alone. I
trials were for my good and that they would help me to help others. I
that prayers were answered. I
that reading the scriptures brought peace. And the words of the prophet just confirmed all of those things for me. My companion and I happily shared this talk and it's amazing quotes as often as we could.
Here I am nearly three years later, reading this talk with a completely different perspective. I still know the things above, but trials have a way of taking the things we thought we knew and understood and making it so we get to learn the basics and fundamentals even deeper.
As I reread President Monson's talk, I cried... Okay sobbed at the part where he talked of his beloved Francis, whom he missed so dearly, and how wonderful she was. But the part that stood out to me the most was how vulnerable President Monson made himself as he shared the personal struggle he had been through with the loss of his wife and the things he learned with all of us.
His iconic quote about God's love was one I desperately needed this week.
"My dear sisters, your Heavenly Father loves you-- each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, your possessions, or the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God's love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve that love. It is simply always there."
God's love is always there for us. But I've learned a little bit about love lately that I still don't fully understand-- sometimes God shows His love for us by making us wait for things. Not because we don't deserve the (let's call it a gift) gift or won't appreciate the gift, but because He has a different plan for us. His timetable is different than the one we have for ourselves. During our waiting period, He gives us opportunities to come closer to Him, to seek His presence more fully in our lives, and to learn and grow. He does this because He loves us. But one thing God has always promised us is that we will never have to walk alone. He provided us with a Savior, who, as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland stated, "walked a long, lonely path utterly alone so we do not have to do so." (
, April 2009) But not only has God provided us with a Savior, He has provided us with family members and friends, church leaders and the Holy Ghost. He has given us so much so that we will n
ot feel alone in our journey, because He
us with a love that we cannot even comprehend.
God lets us struggle because He loves us and wants us to learn. He blesses us along the way--despite our imperfections-- because He loves us. He provides us with people to walk with so that we may never walk alone because He loves us.
He loves us with a love that is more than love. He loves us to infinity and beyond, I'm sure of it.