"...Whatever you do for the Lord, you do the very best that you know how." —H. Burke Peterson
A very good friend and I discussed recently what it meant that no other success can compensate for failure in the home. Like me, she is a survivor, divorced, and a single mother, experiencing the intensely personal frustration that is the lot of single LDS parents.
She said that she suddenly realized this meant that no matter who you are in the Church: a bishop, stake president, or even one of the Apostles, it means nothing if you abuse or neglect the souls in your family. It doesn't matter what people in the Church think of you, it makes no difference what privileges in the priesthood you are awarded. If you do not repent and make amends for how you have treated spouse or children, your successes are ash to the Lord.
There is much in Elder Peterson's talk that hurt. Things I don't want to get into today. This time, I want to focus on that. Because, as a single parent in my particular circumstances, there is often a feeling that failure is just around the corner. I can't be the mother I want to be, when I'm having to be the father, too.
I have learned by fire how to prioritize, how to shake off the disapproving glances when I don't sign up for things at church or at my kids' school. How to stave off the inner panic when I can't afford the classes my girls want to take, fail to teach them piano or bike riding as soon as I'd like, watch another month go by without visiting teaching, or simply dump my other responsibilities (like laundry) to schedule a day off for our family.
I know well the desperate feelings that grow so large, they finally spill in tearful, wracking entreaty to a silent Father in Heaven. I will never be able to hold back the floods that threaten my children.
But I have found that, as I do the best I know how, even if other people tell me my priorities are wrong, or I don't do enough, the Lord compensates in spades for all I cannot do.
My success does not compensate for my failures in my home, but my faith does. And it is so much more than enough.
"I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." —Alma 26:12