Wednesday, May 30, 2012

ponder anew

In April, my church held its biannual general conference, where our leaders share inspirational messages for members worldwide. Between talks, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang the hymn Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.

When they came to the following stanza, I had one of those moments where the spirit grabbed a hold of me and I stood rooted in place, very still, while revelation poured down from heaven and into the deepest, most tender core of my heart.

I love how music does that for me.

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy way and defend thee.
Surely his goodness and mercy shall ever attend thee.
Ponder anew
What the Almighty can do,
Who with his love doth befriend thee.

Ponder anew, what the Almighty can do. That thought just kept circling through my mind.

Have you ever felt despair? Like you were stuck in a bad situation that had no way out? Have you ever felt hopeless? Discouraged?

Of course you have! We all have, me included, and at that moment I was feeling all of it, plus a good amount of resentment that I couldn't see a solution to my problems.

And then. I pondered anew. I thought about and meditated afresh, again, the kind of things that our Savior can do in our lives, when he fights our battles for us. I thought about how he makes our burdens light. He doesn't take them away, and I'm so happy about this! Our trials and struggles are what help us grow and develop.

I thought about His ability to make weak things strong. How he loves us for trying, even when we still don't get it right. Especially when we haven't got it quite right. And how with His help we'll keep trying until we finally do get it right.

I thought about His ability to actually change hearts. And the miracle of the atonement. How darkness can be turned to light, scarlet into snow.

And just yesterday, I was reminded of all of this again as I set aside some time to ponder and pray and seek some spiritual enlightenment. And boy did I get it. In a torrential downpour of tender mercies.

Have a wonderful day, my dear friends!


  1. Wonderful post, Rachel. I've missed that a lot. While I still have a very strong testimony and I know Christ and HF are always there for us to help ease our burdens as we struggle through them, I've struggled with my part in it all. I've struggled with whether I'm relying on them too much and whether I'm doing my part, my whole part. Oh, and whether I'm putting MY responsibility on their shoulders.

    I've been taught so many wrong things. It's so hard to unlearn what I've learned (and done) my whole life. And, it's hard to incorporate this new knowledge of shame and responsibility I have in with a lot of the members ideas of our beliefs. I struggle to know what's doctrine and what's opinion and like I said where I fit in all of it.

    This reminded me that He's helping me through this as I continue to seek answers. I know that as I struggle through this, I'll gain a better, stronger understanding than I ever had before. I just need to keep struggling, keep enduring, keep going.


  2. Fabulous. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I always find strength in others good words.

  3. If I wrote more eloquently/beautifully/awesome, I think it'd become obvious that we share so many of the same thoughts.

  4. Gorgeous post- as always. Seriously, just what I needed to hear & written just how I needed to hear it. I am blessed to have you as a friend- thank you for all your love & support. And for posts like this that make me a better person.

  5. love this. and ditto to what anna said.