Lessons of the Plan, Part 2
We are taught the ideal, but life in reality is acceptable.
It took me a long time to learn and understand that there is nothing wrong with the “grow up, get married in the temple, have children, and live happily ever after” plan. It took me a long time to learn that this plan is the ideal. It took me a long time to learn that I am not a horrible person and my life is not a complete disaster if my life unfolds differently that this plan.
Elder Marlin K. Jensen said,
“Like all cultures, the culture arising from our efforts to live according to the gospel of Jesus Christ includes certain expectations and morally binding customs…the desired outcomes of a gospel-centered life are held up as ideals for which we are all encouraged to strive. Although such ideals are doctrinally based and represent desirable objectives in our quest for eternal life, they can sometimes become sources of disappointment and pain for those whose lives may vary from the ideal.
“Even when they are worthy, members whose lives don’t fit the ideal and thus are considered different often feel inferior and guilty.
“As we work to resolve these challenging situations, it is important to recognize that the solution isn’t to eliminate or even lower the level of the ideal,” (Marlin K. Jensen, “Those Who Are Different,” Ensign, Aug 2010, 44–46).
Heavenly Father wants us to “grow up, get married in the temple, have children, and live happily ever after” because He knows happiness can be found in all of those things. Additionally, He wants many other things to be a part of our lives because He knows that happiness can be found in other places as well.
He wants us to learn.
He wants us to become more like Him.
He wants us to be refined and perfected.
He wants us to be humble.
He wants us to learn what is truly valuable to us.
He wants us to learn where to devote our time and energy.
He wants us to learn things such as how to communicate to solve very difficult problems.
He wants us to incorporate the Spirit into the decisions set before us.
To name only a few.
Can you see that there are so many things He wants for us? But, do you suppose we could learn any of these things, accomplish these tasks, or even become something greater if we lived in the ideal world? I can honestly say that I believe that we could not.
Life in reality must happen so that we can learn, so we can extend ourselves, so we can go to the depths of our souls to find our strength, and so that we can receive all that the Father has prepared for each of us. He understands that disappointments will be part of this life. He also knows that our lives will take unexpected detours. The wonderful thing is that He has made lives filled with righteous choices and faith-filled living acceptable, no matter how they unfold.
We are taught the ideal, but life in reality can be acceptable.
This post is a follow up post to this one.