After my parents and brothers passed away in a carbon monoxide accident while I was gone away on a mission, life became A New Normal for me. As I go through life experiences, my eyes are continuously opened to a new perspective on life.
Perhaps in your life, you are figuring out your own "New Normal." Life is always changing, but that doesn't mean you have to be alone.
Subscribe to this blog
Follow by Email
Search This Blog
The Parable of the Mirror
*** A late night conversation between a 12 year old girl and her father*** "Daddy, I don't feel like I amount to anything. No matter what I do, it's not good enough. How can I possibly succeed?"
"You know those fun house mirrors at the fair or circus? You know how when you look at them, you're shorter, or skinnier, or fatter, or taller. But you're NEVER you. That is how the world will see you. But it's not fair. It's not right. It's not you."
...Points at a full length mirror across the room...
"Now, when you look at that mirror, you are EXACTLY who you are. It's your true reflection. And that is how your Heavenly Father sees you. And if he's sees you the way that you are, and you are doing all that you can for him, you WON'T fail."
Dad would say a lot of profound statements without realizing it. Who would have thought that a decade later, that conversation would still stand out in my mind? A conversation that applied to a little 12 year old insecure girl in middle school, can also apply to 22 year old return missionary, trying to figure out her life?
Life is unfigureoutable.
For some reason, when I woke up this morning, this particular memory slipped into my mind. I've been thinking about it all day.
I think Dad was trying to remind me something.
A question for you. Rhetorical, you don't have to answer. But think to yourself. Are you ready?
If you were given the opportunity to have just one minute to see yourself the way that Heavenly Father and the Savior sees you, to know everything that you were capable of, to see everything that you had the potential of achieving, everything you had the potential of becoming, would you do it?
Just a thought for you as you go throughout your day making your daily choices.
But, WHAT IF?
What if, for just a moment, we could see ourselves the way the Savior did? What if, for just a moment, we were able to understand exactly why we have the trials that we have, and how it is molding us? What if, for just a moment, we could understand things clearly? What if, for just a moment, we could love ourselves the way Jesus Christ loves us?
Would we do things differently?
Would we embrace the trials, knowing our strengths?
How would we treat others, if we truly understood our divine individual worth?
The conversation has become a parable for me. And what I love about parables, is that it can always change.
Today, it was a parable about us as children of God. How we have potential. We are beautiful. We just need the reminder.
In our imperfect natural man state, we view ourselves, as well as others, in a way that we probably shouldn't. We can't remember how we were before, and we don't know exactly what it will be in the future. We can always speculate, but we don't really KNOW. We only know the now. And now, times are hard. It's difficult. It's messy at times. It's not perfect.
Which leads to feeling like we failed.
But, here's the cool thing. We have a father and a brother, who have been through it all. They remember it all.
They remember YOU. They remember ME.
They knew how noble we were before. They know how magnificent we can become later. They will help us with the now.
This scripture came to me this morning when I was thinking about this. Alma 5:15:
"Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you LOOK FORWARD with an eye of faith, and VIEW this MORTAL body raised in IMMORTALITY, and this CORRUPTION raised in INCORRUPTION, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?"
MODERN DAY TRANSLATION: Can you view your potential? Do you have faith that you can reach that potential? Not just here on earth, but I'm talking about in the eternities? In the grand spectrum of things?
I have no doubts that the Savior would have done what he did, regardless. He loves us that much. But if you dig a little deeper... I personally think that the Savior didn't just do it for us for this time. I think he did it because he was thinking about our potential. That potential of being with our families forever. That potential of living with him and the father again.
That's what I'm looking forward to. What a great day that will be!
Right now, our minds may not be clear. We may have a skewed perceptions of things. We don't see ourselves the way that we TRULY ARE. Like a fun house mirror.
But, the Savior was thinking of our perfect selves. Our perfect potential. He knows. He's sees clearly.
That doesn't mean life will be easy. It's not suppose to be. That doesn't mean that we won't have our moments. That does mean that we, like Abraham, will be tried, where we will ask, "Why me? Why this? Why now, when I've done everything that you've asked of me?"
But, it does mean that it will all be worth it. Because in the eternal scheme of things, he knows what's better. And he knows what we are capable of. The puzzle come together.
"Look, sometimes things don't make sense in this life. They just don't. If you look at the events of your life from point A to point B and it's all birth to death, then most of it won't make sense. You won't understand the trials that you had, and you won't understand why you had to learn certain lessons. But if you look at it in the realms of eternity, it makes sense. Nothing is pointless." -Elder David A. Bednar
Whenever I look in a mirror, I think of a conversation shared between a 12 year old insecure girl and a loving father.
Life is unfigureoutable. One minute, it's going one way. And then the next, your life is forever changed.
My name is Jensen Parrish. And my life has been changed.
I was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in the Washington, Vancouver Mission, speaking American Sign Language. I had been out for a year.
My brother, Ian Parrish, was also a missionary for the church, serving in the South Dakota, Rapid City Mission.
Our missions meant EVERYTHING to us. The growth that we developed there has truly changed our lives. The principles that we taught became firmly rooted in us. Little did we know, that our testimonies of those very principles would be put to the test, in the most unexpected way.
On February 23, 2014, just three days after my year mark of being a missionary, I received the news from my mission president and his dear wife, that my mother, my father, and 2 younger brothers had peacefully passed on from this life into the next. The cause …
My home is a disaster. (Mom would not be happy with me right now...) Letters, cards and packages from a variety of caring people, wanting to do anything that they can to help. A basketball signed by the BYU Provo basketball team. Things that have been gathered, sitting in the living room, waiting for voyage to D.I. Things that I want to save. Chocolates. Clothes.
Chaos. A little bit how I feel about life.
These past two weeks have been the slowest and yet the fastest that I've ever experienced in my life.
There are 5 steps in the grief:
Simple. Yet complicated. Or, my favorite word... Unfigureoutable. Why? Because we all grieve differently. Some people take control of the situation. Some people handle things well. If you're like me, you go on "shut-down, don't talk to me" mode.
Which may not be the best way to handle a funeral. Because I wanted nothing more than to just run away from the world and hide.
The whistle was piercing as one of the boys accidentally pushed over other teammate in order to get the ball. Another foul shot. Of course, the crowd was not happy. Some fathers were standing and waving their arms, irritated and screaming down to the referee. Mothers were frustrated at the call, commenting to their friends or husbands. Highland against Madison high, and Madison was catching up.
But I wasn't focused on the game. No. Nor did I really care about the calls that the refs made.
I was focused on the Highland basketball team.
Those boys were growing up so fast. I recognized most of them. I recognized them because they have been in my home as elementary school boys, playing with Keegan.
Keegan was not playing basketball. He was not out there hustling. Heck, he wasn't even sitting on the bench, frustrated, planning on how he could be a better teammate and player.
That was a gift of his. Even if he wasn't the best, he worked harder than anyone else, because he trul…