Most of us live with a tiny fear in our hearts that someday we’re going to hit “send” before we proofread our messages. Hasty communicating with auto correct can turn “Are you coming over” to “Are you cowing over” or “Good job today” to “Good jab today.”
I use the microphone feature on my iPhone to dictate texts, and rarely are they ready to send without a fix or two. “Her knee” became a hernia one time, and my husband’s name, Bob Hilton, turned into Bubblegum.
As the New Year rolled around, I found myself dictating back and forth to a friend, ending one message with a wish for her to have “all God’s blessings.” But when I proofread it, the message said “all God’s lessons.” And that’s when it hit me: That’s actually the only way to get the blessings.
Churchill once said, “”I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.” And most of us feel the same way—having to be schooled usually means being instructed (often uncomfortably) rather than making delightful discoveries on our own. Worse yet is learning a lesson the hard way, and suffering the consequences of a bad choice. So, while we all want education, we don’t always want the accompanying pain it sometimes brings.
You’d never express a cheery wish for someone to receive “God’s lessons.” But when we think of ourselves, that’s what we need, isn’t it? Once we learn to develop those traits that make us more Christlike (and relinquish the ones that hold us back), then our obedience and faith have qualified us for the blessings we want. After all, blessings are predicated upon our keeping the laws attached to them. Here are just a few examples of commandments, or “lessons,” and the accompanying blessings, if we obey:
If we honor our parents, it will be well with us and we’ll live long.
If we keep the Word of Wisdom we will be healthy, wise, and “shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.” (D&C 9:18-21) The destroying angel will pass by us and not slay us.
If we pay our tithing, the windows of heaven will pour a blessing out to us, so much so that there won’t be room enough to receive it. And we won’t be burned at the second coming.
If we keep God’s commandments, he has promised to give us the mysteries of his kingdom, and even eternal life, “which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” (D&C 14:7)
The entire Sermon on the Mount delineates what blessings match up with which behaviors.
And so on. There are dozens of other “if-then” examples, most of which we know by heart.
And, of course, we don’t keep commandments just to get the prize attached; we obey because we love God and want to do his will. He often blesses us at unexpected moments, simply because he loves us. But he has also said he is bound when we keep his commandments (D&C 82:10), so when we pray for specific blessings, it might be good to pause and consider which commandments grant which blessings, then make sure we are doing our best to learn “all God’s lessons” for happiness in this life.
She is also the “YouTube Mom” and shares short videos about easy household tips and life skills at this channel.
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Hilton currently serves as a Relief Society President.