thoughts on easter // the lord has not forgotten you

A couple weeks ago, we had our annual RS Birthday Celebration.  In our church, I help organize all of our monthly women's activities.  To say I adore this calling is an understatement. :)

Our theme for that night was: The Lord Has Not Forgotten You.

White, gold and pink adorned our cultural hall, with our centerpieces being the dessert itself.

It was a fantastic evening that started with a Guess Who game about our ward's RS presidency, then each sister stated their name and a favorite something of theirs, and then we played a beautiful video by sister Linda S. Reeves. (Video clip at the end of this post.)

To wrap up our evening, I made a few closing remarks, and have been asked by a few people if they could have a copy.  So I thought I'd share those thoughts here:
"As we remain faithful during the fiery trial of our Faith, we are spiritually refined and strengthened." - Elder Neil L. Anderson.
 Sometimes life hits us full on, bringing the craziness of trials with it.  It's easy to blame God.  it's easy to ask, "Why me".  But we have to remember: a smooth see never made a skillful sailor.
How does a piece of coal turn into a diamond?  With lots of pressure and heat.
How does a block of ice become a beautiful sculpture?  With lots of chiseling, scraping and cutting away.
How does dough become bread?  Through kneading, punching down and being placed in a very hot oven.
The analogies are endless.  To make something better, there is a lot of beating, pressure and heat usually involved.
I want you to think of a loved one.  Someone who is close to you, that you care about very much.  Now let's say you knew a secret:  Something uncomfortable was going to happen  to this person, but then something SO GREAT would happen because of it.  Would you rush in and stop the bad from happening, or would you step back and let them go through it, because there is something great in store for them in the end?
Our Heavenly Father and Savior do not abandon us when the going gets tough.  They don't simply say, "Wow, that stinks.  Good luck with that trial". They have a bigger plan.
How many of you have made your own bread?  If you just throw the dough on the counter, all cuddly, warm and comfortable, and leave it be, will it become bread?
We are the dough.  We get punched down, folded, kneaded.  Then comes a little rest.  But after that, there is more punching, folding and kneading again.  Another little rest.  And then comes the fiery furnace.  But when we come out, we are perfect loaves.
"When things feel like they're falling apart, they may actually be falling into place."
"Sometimes bad things happen so better things can fall into place ... Things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they go right." - Marilyn Monroe
This Easter, I've been thinking a lot about the sacrifices Jesus made during His last days upon the earth.  But with this RS birthday theme, The Lord Has Not forgotten You, being constantly on my mind, my thoughts have drifted toward our Heavenly Father during that time.
How easy would it have been for Him to step in and stop the suffering of His Son in Gethsemane? Christ pleaded, "Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done".  Soldiers beat Him.  Tortured HIm.  Mocked Him.  And in the end, nailed Him to a cross.  At any time our Father in Heaven could have stepped in and said ENOUGH. No more.  You don't deserve this.  But He didn't.  He knew there was a bigger plan.  And to me, letting his perfect Son go through that so we can all return back to Him, proves that HE LOVES US.  If both of them love us enough to go through that, then why in the world would they abandon us here on earth?  They are so invested in our eternal happiness that they allow bad things to happen, so that we, in the end, can be the beautiful diamonds, ice sculptures, loaves of bread and royal daughters they want us to be. 
I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father allows bad things to happen - I wouldn't be able to live with Him again, with my family, if He hadn't allowed our Savior to die for us.
I'm also grateful that sometimes He doesn't answer my prayers the way I want.  If He did, and had stopped some pretty horrible things form happening, my family wouldn't have been lead to this area.  We wouldn't be in this amazing ward.  We wouldn't live next to a fantastic school that has been so amazing with my son's special needs.  My Heavenly Father let something bad happen so that my family could have something better.
I know my Savior lives.  He loves me.  He loves all of us.  If you're not sure, ask Him.  

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter, and hope you have a fantastic week! --xoxo

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