Several months ago, I prayed for greater understanding of some of King Benjamin’s speech to his people, specifically his words about how God immediately blesses us and how we’re forever in His debt.
I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?
I understood that I am forever in His debt, but I wanted to be more aware of His abundant blessings, if that makes sense. I wanted to see so I could be more grateful.
The Lord sent me a visual in the form of Roxy Kimokeo. Roxy is one of the most giving women I’ve ever met. She freely gives her time, energy, talents, and gifts. I don’t naturally think of gift-giving the way Roxy does. I’ve learned a lot from Roxy about showing love this way. But I still have a long ways to go to make it a part of my nature.
Once when we met for a temple session, Roxy gave me a warm loaf of homemade bread. I snacked on it on the way home and for the next couple of days. Her thoughtfulness was so delicious.
The next time we met at the temple, Roxy gave me another loaf of homemade bread. I took it with gratitude, but I also realized I should have remembered her genuine kindness and have been prepared with something for her. But I didn’t think of it.
The next time we met at the temple, I had a treat for her. But she had bread AND another fun thing. I laughed because I realized that even though I brought something, and was so happy to bring something, my gift totally paled in comparison to hers. She “immediately blessed me.”
This continued nearly every time we met. Her thoughtfulness was always present through various ways of expression while I mostly hadn’t thought of expressing love that way. I felt overwhelmed by her consistency and my inconsistency or even lack of thought altogether.
As I recently read Mosiah 2 again during President Nelson’s Book of Mormon reading challenge, I realized that Heavenly Father taught me through Roxy’s ever-present kindness how I am literally showing up before God every moment—completely unprepared and unthinking. I’m always grateful for His gifts, and I internally promise to do better, but continue to fail to complete even a basic “gift” to Him.
And yet, He continues to give me breath from moment to moment. He sustains my life so I can try again.
The Lord on every hand reminds me of His atoning grace, which redeems and enables. He repeatedly asks me to accept that gift, to believe that His gift is for me. I do not deserve that gift. I’ve never brought anything to our relationship to be worthy enough of that gift, nor can I ever. I’m ashamed that I haven’t done better in accepting and internalizing the gift in the limited capacity I do have.
But every time I meet with Him, Jesus offers that most precious gift again. Receive. Believe. Use. When I do, it’s as delicious and satisfying to my spirit as Roxy’s bread is to my taste buds. His fruit is delicious. His grace is eternal.
What a blessing to have a friend who teaches me so much about our Savior. I see His hand and love through her perpetual thoughtfulness. And I want to not only receive both of their gifts, but give in turn as they do.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.