On My Mind: Lessons from the Plan

Yes, it is nearly the middle of October and I am finally posting my “On My Mind” for the month. Yes, I know that I can schedule posts to post automatically and I could have written something and had it ready on 12:00AM October 1st, but perhaps the reason I didn’t is because of what has been “on my mind” for the past several weeks. I was invited to the Southwest Regional Family Supporting Adoption Conference which took place this past weekend in Tempe, Arizona. My topic…Lessons from the Plan: What I Wish I Had Understood Sooner. The presentation went well…people laughed and people cried (the litmus test of success, you know), there was great attendance, and fabulous interaction. It was a humbling experience and I was honored to be part of it.

As I prepared for the event, I came up with a list of lessons I have learned over the past 12 years of my marriage as my husband and I have struggled with infertility and tried to make sense of life in the midst of trial and extreme adversity. As life unfolded very differently than I anticipated and planned, I wondered how the Great Plan of Happiness and the gospel could be applied in my situation. How could my life be “good enough” if I couldn’t be a mother and “fulfill the measure of my creation”? In many ways, I felt that all that I had learned in Young Women lessons had failed me. My life wasn’t the ideal: grow up, get married, have children, live happily ever after.

As time has gone by, I have learned that while I was focusing my energy and attention on what I thought the Plan of Happiness was all about, I was forgetting that the Plan actually encompasses more than being a mother; the plan involves Pre-Mortal life, agency, the creation, the atonement, adversity, learning, exaltation, and even joy. I had been focusing so long on the “this is what life is supposed to be” plan that I was forgetting the other things I was taught in Young Women…the things that can bring strength and increased capacity when things don’t go as planned.

I learned that if I could grasp onto these other things as strongly as I was holding on to the “this is what life is supposed to be” plan, I could be more successful and filled with joy as I made sense of the way my life was unfolding.

I am going to share this list with you and post for the next several weeks in detail about each one. I would love for your interaction, your comments, your ideas, your experiences. I look forward to learning with you!! Share with your friends…this is going to be good!

Lessons From the Plan: What I Wish I Had Understood Sooner

  • Agency is the gift of being able to choose.
  • A plan for me and a plan for you.
  • Compensatory blessings are exactly what we need.
  • We haven’t scratched the surface of the Holy Ghost’s power.
  • Adversity…that is what life is about, right?
  • We are taught the ideal, but life in reality can be acceptable.
  • Our lives are multi-purposed and multi-faceted.
  • The Atonement is deep, eternal, and all encompassing.
  • Satan is the author of all that is destructive.
  • Comparing helps no one.
  • The temple is a place of learning, understanding, and binding for eternity.
  • We can apply all teachings of the Gospel to us.
  • Faithfulness guarantees promises.
  • We sometimes forget where the family begins and ends.
  • The Savior sets the example for all things.
  • We started in Pre-Mortal Life, we are now in Mortality, and Exaltation is next.

Download the PDF of the handout from the Conference here.

Lessons of the Plan, Part 2
Lessons of the Plan, Part 3


11 october 2010


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