The Trust Issue
I recently received an e-mail from a friend telling me how hard it was for her to trust the Lord when she’d had her trust abused by the men in her life. She is also seriously depressed, and knows that her trust issues are keeping her from placing her fears on the altar and receiving the healing balm she needs from the Savior through His atonement.
I had the exact same problem. My abuse issues were different, but severe enough to keep me from trusting anyone, even the Savior and Heavenly Father. I felt somewhere inside of me that if I turned my life over to the Lord that I would be pelted with spiritual meteorites in the form of more trials. I needed peace and unconditional love, but I didn’t know where to find it.
We all have those same needs. And I have come to realize from all the mail I have received by people who are struggling, that all of us will have our trust abused at some time in our lives. That is really part of the mortal trial. Before we can put off the natural man and sanctify ourselves through the atonement of Jesus Christ (Mosiah 3:19), we must wholly trust the Lord. He must be FIRST in our lives, before our spouses and children, our Bishops, and our therapists and doctors. Deut. 6: 5 is merely one of the places in the scriptures where we are told this: “And thou shalta love the Lord thy God with all thineb heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thyc might .”
However, I understand my friend’s struggle. When it is abused, trust finds a place deep inside us and we build a lead shield around it so no one can hurt us again.
The Parent Issue
Any of us who are parents know that no matter how we try, we cannot be perfect in this calling. It is a learning experience for us, and hopefully we get better with time. The fact remains that it is with us that our children have their first experience with trust. This is an awesome responsibility. Sometime, somewhere we will fail despite our best efforts. And it is from us that our children learn about the Savior. I remember my sister-in-law telling me, “I have to be as perfect and prayerful as I can, because it is from me that my children are going to learn about Jesus.”
In homes where abuse exists, the whole notion of trusting parents is completely foreign. Children from homes like these are especially subject to peer pressure, experiments with sin, depression, and reliance on the arm of flesh.
The Perfect Home
At a time in my life when I was being buffeted in an unusually severe manner, I finally found the perfect home. It is plainly labeled: The House of the Lord. For a two or three month period I would drop my youngest child off at school and head straight for the temple everyday. It was as essential for me to feel the peace and tenderness there as it was for me to eat and breathe. For the almost two hours of the endowment session I felt as though I were being held in the Lord’s arms like a child. He took me lovingly through each of the steps I needed to take to come back to him. The Celestial Room was my new hallowed home. My heart, softened by the endowment, was tender and easy to entreat. My vision was extended from its preoccupation with present trials to that time when I could actually live minute by minute with the Savior and my Heavenly Father.
I learned that Heavenly Parents weren’t harsh and undependable, that they kept their word. I learned that they loved me enough to be there for me whenever I needed them. I learned, during hours in the Celestial Room, that theirs was the peace that surpasseth all understanding. The worms of distrust that had riddled my heart met their end. The tunnels they had wrought were filled with perfect love. I learned about the enabling power of the atonement, though I didn’t know that was what it was until I heard Elder Bednar explain it. I was able to place my complete trust in the Lord that he would change things that I could not change on my own.
Over the years, I have also seen that my faith was not misplaced. (One of the benefits of getting old) All of my concerns which so beset me at that time have been taken care of in the Lord’s due time. This is a major change in my mindset.
I know now that the Lord stripped me down to the place where my heartaches began, and reparented me step by step. The failures of others in my life no longer matter and I no longer suffer from those failures. I know that there is one love, one relationship that will never fail. And I learned that in my new home: The House of the Lord.