No Substitute

I talked to a good friend of mine today that I hadn’t talked to in ages. We’ve kept in touch here and there, and I’ve known pretty much what was going on in her life, but it’s been a long time since we talked. It was great to talk, but it was also interesting for me.

Talking to my friend opened up my mind to a lot of things I’ve been tempted to think lately.

To be blunt, this sweet girl has everything my little heart could possibly desire right now (except the finest man in the world and sweetest children there ever were…sorry everyone, those will always be mine :) ). I mean, she has it all! Yes, yes, her life is full of challenges like all of us. But everything that I am aching for, hoping for, praying for…all of those things that I would really like to be blessed with but at this moment, but am not. She’s got them.

And believe me, she deserves them! She’s wonderful!

But I’m trying to be so good, too.

Lately, it’s been so easy to be tempted by thoughts that I have done something wrong, or that I am not as loved as others I know and see, because though they do have struggles, they are SO blessed with things working out for them. They seem to have everything I am trying so hard to be worthy to receive, and there are a few who don’t even seem grateful for them. And things have been a great struggle for us, in the areas that others seem to be blessed with.

It would be so easy to be caught up in those thoughts, wouldn’t it? Feelings of injustice, unfairness, self-pity?

Yes, I can tell you that it would be very easy to get caught up in them. :)

But I have been truly blessed lately.

For one thing, I must say that I am so grateful, because I have been blessed more than ever in my life with eyes open to my blessings. My many, many blessings. And those are things for which I am eternally grateful. I do realize that I have so many wonderful blessings which so many others would give anything for. Others who deserve them as much or more than I do.

But also, I have been truly blessed with understanding lately. I have looked back lately on all of the things that I want so much. They aren’t vain things or silly things. They are things that would vastly help or impact us for the better, seemingly. They are such righteous desires. And then I look at who I am now because I have not received them.

My understanding is far greater. My compassion is tremendously deepened. My heart is softened and my whole person is changed.

If I had instantly been given these blessings that I seemingly “deserve,” would I have ever become who I am at this moment?


Not at all. I would still be who I was back then. And the littler things that now are so small would still be so big to me. And I’d still be missing the best things of all.

I find myself being so tremendously grateful tonight. Grateful that things haven’t always worked out how I would hope or seemingly deserve. Grateful for the experience and understanding gained. Grateful for having to wait on the Lord.

Things are so stretched, and we are waiting and waiting on so many things right now. But I have never been more content or more at peace in my life, really. Amazing.

I used to wonder why, if I was trying so hard to be good and righteous, I couldn’t gain knowledge by study and personal revelation rather than difficulty and painful experience. President Eyring said it best: “[Christ] could have known how to succor us simply by revelation, but He chose to learn by His own personal experience.

If I truly want to be like Him, which I dearly desire, I should gladly choose the same. As Truman Madsen said, “There is no substitute for experience.”

If I were instantly given the blessings I seek, I would never understand the things that I learn by waiting, by accepting, by trying to be patient. I would never deepen my compassion and understanding for the suffering of others. I would never grow. I am so grateful for a Father who understands me, and how I will best grow.

“The Lord always suits the relief to the person in need to best strengthen and purify him or her. Often it will come in the inspiration to do what might seem especially hard for the person who needs help… He set a course for each of us that can polish and perfect us to be with Him. I testify that the Savior lives. His Atonement makes possible our being purified as we keep His commandments and our sacred covenants. And I know from my own experience that He can and will give us strength to rise through every trial.”

President Henry B. Eyring

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