This is my daughter's newest favorite song. It has long been one of mine as well. I think it has one of the tenderest aspects of doctrine in the Gospel. This year, that same daughter is making the decision to be baptized. It is something filled with mixed emotions for me, most of which I don't want to get into. But on this day, when we celebrate love, I want to celebrate both loves which changed my life: the love of God and the love of my children.
I am far from perfect, especially right now. It has seemed, especially lately, that the church is leaving me behind. I don't feel a part of it. I don't feel a part of the Lord's Kingdom. And that hurts. If I could put my finger on one thing I want more than anything else, it is to feel like I belong, like I'm part of accomplishing something good. And I don't.
But as I wrote some time ago, I feel as if the Lord wants me here. Nearly four years later, I still don't know why. Not much has changed. I have a burning testimony that the Gospel is true, I just don't know how I fit into it. And I'm watching my precious child, with many of the same self-critical personality traits that I have, prepare to make this huge covenant. I'm proud of her, and terrified for her.
The Gospel can't be proven. It can only be trusted. You have to trust that there is God, that He is "mighty to save." You have to trust that He is a being capable of sending the person He loved most to suffer pain for a world that largely rejects Him. It is almost impossible to comprehend. But He did.
How does the Father show the world love, tenderness, sacrifice and death? He sends His Son to die for us, then rise, breaking the bands of death and pain. He is the only one who can truly hear your pain, whatever pain you might hold so close to your heart. The only one. And this is why, feeling cut off and alone, I will never leave this Church nor give up on doing the things I believe in to the best of my capacity. All that I have, all that I am, is His. Even my broken imperfection and doubts. Even my glorious zest for life and illogical concern for others. All that is ugly and beautiful I lay at His feet.
If I can teach my children to do the same, I will count myself richly blessed, even knowing that they will have to suffer for their discipleship. I would save my children as much suffering as I can, but suffering which God allows comes with unspeakable rewards. No one can walk that path for you. You have to "take up [your] cross" of your own will.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."