I don't believe in coincidence.
I believe that when something sporadically comes into your head, you're meant to remember it, and ponder it. There is something that someone wants you to remember.
So, last night, when this memory came into my head at 3 in the morning, I knew it wasn't just a coincidence.
And when it was still there when I woke up at 8 in the morning, I knew there was something I was suppose to remember.
It's one that I hold dear and near to my heart, one that I've shared many times, and feel that I need to share again.
I very well possibly may have shared this before. But I hope to share something new. Something that can help someone out there, as it has helped me today.
June of 2009
I was 17. It was my last ward youth conference for my church.
We were at Scout Mountain, Camp Taylor. There were a lot of youth, and a few leaders. Whoever was in charge that day had planned an activity. The activity was suppose to be a representation of listening to the Spirit, even when life is crazy and loud.
Blindfold all the youth. Take them into the big field. Have the leaders play different noises: tambourines, whistles, and whatever else.
Have one leader ring the jingle bells.
Allow the youth to find the jingle bells, despite all the other noises.
We were all excited to participate! It was going to be fun, and probably really funny to watch.
I had disregarded the fact that I am hard of hearing. I had also not thought about my hearing aid, and how it would amplify ALL the noises that would be played.
But, that wasn't going to stop me anyways.
We were all blindfolded. (Check)
We were led to the field. (Check)
The leaders took out their instruments and started to play them. (Check)
And we started to listen for the bells.
Everything was black. I couldn't see anything. But, happily, I started listening as hard as I could.
And I listened some more...
I don't remember how long I was out in that field, but I was definitely out there longer than everyone else. My hearing aid caught all the sounds, so much so, that it drowned out the bells, which was exactly what my hearing aid was meant to catch anyways! I tried to play it cool though.
No big deal, I'll find them eventually...
I realized that I was taking a while though, when some people played less of their loud instruments and the person with the bells was trying to be louder.
Embarrassment started to rise within me. I was the only one out there now, and I was beginning to feel like a failure. But, I would never show it...
Although I knew that I wasn't getting anywhere.
So, I tried to play it cool.
Um, help?? *Sarcasm*
And the youth laughed. Not sneeringly. Not in a mocking manner. I think it was suppose to be encouraging in a way.
But, it wasn't helping.
I wasn't getting anywhere...
I should just stop now. They've been waiting long enough... It's time to move on.
As I was just about to take off my blindfold, I heard a voice. A voice that was the most familiar of all the teenagers in that group. It was coming towards me.
"Here, Jense, take my hand. I'll help you find the way."
And Ian did take my hand. He didn't take off the blindfold. But I knew that wasn't necessary.
He wouldn't lead me astray.
Most of those guys learned how to listen to the Spirit that day. They learned how to listen carefully, and to follow it.
I, on the other hand, learned that we can't do things on our own. We need a Savior. We need our older brother to guide us...
February 28, 2014
Ian and I sit side by side. The 4 caskets sat in front of us. Everyone was sitting behind us, listening to my dad's older sister speak.
She spoke about this story.
And she shared the part that came from my father's eyes.
*A conversation between a sister and a brother*
The Sister: "How could you stand not rushing out to help her? Wasn't it hard?"
The Brother: *Choked up* "I knew Ian would get her."
There was more that I was suppose to learn about that experience.
Perhaps, this can be a parable for a lot of things.
We are here. We are struggling. We ask for help. We do all that we can. And sometimes, we just don't feel like we are getting answers.
Does that mean that Heavenly Father doesn't love us?
Heavenly Father is a celestial, immortal being. We are imperfect, mortal beings. And when we came here, we lost that ability to physically speak to him. We lost the ability to physically hear him on a regular basis.
It's not that he doesn't want to. I truly believe that if he could, he would. I truly believe that he hates to see us this way with whatever we are struggling with, whether that's financially, whether that's not knowing what career path you need to take, whether that's high school drama, or whether that's losing a family.
Because of the Laws of Heaven, he is unable to do that.
But... because of the Mercy of the Atonement, we have an advocate.
Christ came down to suffer those pains, so that when we struggle, we can be helped and guided.
What if my dad came and rushed to my side and said, "Oh Jens, you shouldn't have to do this. You have limitations, so it's ok if you quit right now. You did enough."? Why didn't my dad come to me, take off the blindfold and let me just walk to everyone?
Because my dad understood that regardless of my hearing impairment, I can still do it.
And even more importantly, he knew that my brother knew.
In his eyes, I was able to finish it. He knew I wouldn't quit.
And he knew that my brother would be there to help me when he couldn't.
And now, he is physically gone. He can't physically come to me, take my hand and say, "Oh Jens, you shouldn't have to do this. You have limitations, so it's ok if you quite right now. You've done enough."
Even if he could, he wouldn't.
Because he knows that Ian and I are quite capable.
Even moreso, Heavenly Father knows it, too.
I've got 2 fathers who have my back.
As well as 4 brothers.