This week in a conversation with a friend it came up that the blessings of the gospel applied fully to everyone else, but not to him. Or at least that was his perception. As we talked about why he would be the exception to the rule so many thoughts flooded my mind. I realized that many single adults in the church may feel, or have felt similar feelings.
Keep the commandments and you will be blessed. We’ve all heard it before, but what about the times when you are doing all that you can to live in harmony with God’s commandments and the blessings aren’t coming? Does that mean you are less important to God? Does that mean you have somehow been disinherited?
The answer is an unequivocal no! We are God’s children and he wants to bless us fully. This is illustrated well in the following bible passage from Matthew 7: 9-11
9. What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10. Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
I believe in a God who provides miracles and gives the best gifts. However, I admit that those same questions have flooded my own mind before. The truth is, I don’t have all of the answers to why bad things happen to good people, and why sometimes good things don’t happen to good people all at once. However, like Nephi, “I do know that God loveth His children”.
If God loves all of his children then why wouldn’t he love you? God is perfect. God loves perfectly. If we are not feeling His love it is not because His arms are not outstretched. Perhaps it may be a matter of learning to recognize His love in our lives. Gene R. Cook suggests a few ways in order to do so.
First he suggests that we “pray with all energy of heart for this gift”. Part of charity, is the ability to recognize and see God’s hand in our lives. So as we pray mightily to be filled with that love, we can also pray with all energy of heart that we have eyes to see that love.
Second he suggests that we ponder upon things such as the creation, the atonement, the heavens, and moments in our lives when we have felt joy and love. As we really analyze these important topics it will be easier to see how God shows us His love to us.
Third Elder Cook suggests that we receive His love. He said, “True gratitude is the ability to humbly see, feel, and even receive love.” When we take a moment stop and focus on our blessings our lacking areas seem to decrease in size. This is something I have tried before in my own life and I have come to feel that counting blessings can be compared to playing the slug bug game.
At first you may not even notice those little cars on the road. Then someone hits you to remind you they are there. Soon you are seeing them more and more often to return the hit, or pass it on to another person. Then suddenly it is as though you see at least 2 or 3 every time you drive down the road. If we ask God for reminders, it has been my experience, that He will grant them.
To my friend, I know I’m not the same as you and don’t face the same circumstances, but I know I also used to believe I was the exception to God’s blessings. If I can change my perspective really anyone can. I invite us all to take an inventory of the moments we have felt God’s love in our lives. Perhaps write them in a journal, or a share one with a friend. Most of all, let us unitedly pray that someone day each one of us on this earth can come to know that we are not the exception.
Ashley Dewey is extremely talented at being single. Hobbies include awkward conversations with members of the opposite sex, repelling third dates, talking to boys about their girl problems and to girls about their boy problems. In her spare time she also has a very fulfilling school life, work life, and social life. Besides being a professional single, Ashley is also a BYU graduate with a degree in linguistics (Aka word nerd). She enjoys studying other languages, particularly American Sign Language, and finds most all of them fascinating. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Ashley works most of the time and has often been accused of being a workaholic. Currently she works full time as a merchandiser and supervisor in a retail store, and part time doing social media work. On her day off she works (really it doesn't feel like work) in the Provo LDS temple. The only kind of work she finds difficulty focusing on is house work. Her favorite activities in her free time are reading, writing, creating social experiments, and spending time with great friends and family. Specific activities with those family and friends include: going to concerts, plays, dance recitals, BYU basketball and football games, and watching sports on television.