What if? How many times have you pondered over those two words? Me? Lots of times, covering almost-countless topics and scenarios.
With the over-arching blessing of the eternal gospel principles in mind, here are a few “What if’s?”
- What if the Savior were to return tomorrow?
How does that make you feel? Is there anything else that needs doing or shifting? Any re-mapping, repenting, or repairing that needs doing?
I’ve considered, over and over, how I will act when I see my Savior again. I believe I’ll run to Him – full on. Wrap my arms around His legs and then spring up to hug Him with all the love I have in me.
This is my consideration. In reality, I may be less exuberant in action. But I doubt it.
Until He returns, I will continue on – in my own quiet path (which is much different than my old “louder, no holds barred” approach to life) – shifting thoughts here and there inside myself as revelation helps me better understand basic principles. I’ll continue working with my husband at being a 100 percent unified companionship, ready to do whatever the Lord wants us to do. I’ll keep trying to shake off the ‘natural man’, however it is manifest, and keep asking to better know, and better behave, as a true disciple of Christ.
- What if I lost everything?
I remember talking with a lovely lady one year while teaching at Education Week. She and her family had been displaced because of a fire that burned their house – and everything in it – to the ground. I was struck by this woman because of the light in her eyes and the lightness of her being. There was no ‘victimization’ in her eyes. She expressed gratitude for the wellbeing of her family members, and seemed to be solidly on the path of goodness.
That led me to examine the very question about ‘losing everything’.
When we have the gospel in us, it doesn’t seem possible to really lose ‘everything.’
Material stuff? Sure. And those events and trials can be harsh and weigh heavily. I know, because I have lived with little of nothing, literally relying on the Holy Spirit to inspire folks to help me. They did. It was hard. But I learned beautiful lessons about kindness and charity.
Health issues? Those who know me best know that … well, let’s just say that I have had many, many trials of the physical body. They continue. There have been lots of surgeries, unnerving diagnoses, and conditions that have re-shaped how I must live my life. With them have come amazing insights and better appreciation for what I still have. Sweeter relationships and more quiet notice of the things I can do. The ‘best’ of me in within my soul… in my spirit. That can’t be taken from me. I believe, in very deed, it has nicely tenderized me in ways that the Lord has seen fit to help me, and to (hopefully) help others as they have dealt with hard health trials.
A trial need not be a travesty. The Lord’s way of working, I believe, is that when one thing is taken from us, a compensation is given. At times, we need a little patience and a bit of guidance to find and appreciate it!
Studying the Book of Job, we learn of a man who ‘lost everything’ yet clung to that which we need never lose. And for it, all blessings eventually came. Though the way was hard, the blessings came. I love how President Gordon B. Hinckley put it: “Everything will work out all right.”
- What if everything I ever wanted came to me this very week?
This is an important thing to think about, because it helps us prioritize what we really want and what we really need. It bears contemplation because we may find we’re bothered over something that isn’t even, upon closer examination, worth it. It allows us to think in a circular fashion. How A affects B, how B affects C, and so on.
Life becomes simpler when we recognize that we don’t “need” as much as we might figure we do.
This line of questioning has remained in my mind, in one form or another, for a long, long time. The reason is the final question:
- What if these are the very, very last, last days?
I believe they are. We are seeing unprecedented signs of it all around. Maybe to the extent that ears begin to grow hard of hearing and eyes blind to the warnings.
It is the very last moments of the eleventh hour before the clock strikes midnight of a New Day, brothers and sisters. Because of it, we have a work to do. Our “What if’s” probably need to center around (and they probably DO center around) the thoughts that strengthen us to prepare for the Savior’s official return.
Because this is so, the adversary is digging in his heels deeper than ever. We need to do the same, don’t you think?
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland reminded us at General Conference, October 2011:
Do I need to hum a few bars of “We Are All Enlisted”? You know, the line about “We are waiting now for soldiers; who’ll volunteer?”2 Of course, the great thing about this call to arms is that we ask not for volunteers to fire a rifle or throw a hand grenade. No, we want battalions who will take as their weapons “every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4, Doctrine & Covenants 84:44)
What if we could, each of us, make a difference for good in one person’s life, every day? What if we could daily read scriptures/ write in our journal/ offer meaningful prayer throughout the day/ find a way to put a positive spin on a harsh situation? What if we would do anything required to follow Jesus Christ? What if we knew He loves us so much that, regardless of what may happen or where we’ve been or what others think, all is well? It is my testimony that this is the truth, and that our daily efforts at bettering ourselves are never, ever wasted. Not for an instant. What if our understanding of all this is much nearer and closer than we realize?!