While discussing the purpose of suffering in the Relief Society, I made a dot in the center of the dry erase board and then drew a line all the way to the edge. I walked around the perimeter of the chapel, continuing an imaginary line, marker mid-air, until I came back to the dot on the board.
“Imagine this line as eternity,” I said. “And imagine this dot representing our mortal probation. As we agreed earlier in our discussion, we can only internalize many important lessons while on earth, through opposition, to prepare for all the rest.” I swept my hand around the room. “Is it any wonder then that with so much to learn in such a short time [pointing at the dot], that life is a crash course?”
They looked thoughtful.
“Yet we expect our ‘dot’ to be a smooth line in and of itself, with only occasional blips,” I continued the line metaphor, using the board to draw what looked like a healthy EKG; praying I was making sense to them.
Suddenly, a voice from the back rang out: “That may be YOUR life, Mona,” (referring to the smooth line with a couple of hiccups), “but it’s not mine!”
The room froze at the mockery in her voice. If we’d been in a Wild West saloon, everyone would have backed away, clearing the space between us.
“That’s not my point.” I answered carefully. “This little line is not MY life. This line is NOBODY’S LIFE.”
It got very quiet.
“Would you like to see MY life?” I raised the pen impulsively. “This is MY life.”
Then with emotion that startled everyone, including me, I drew an EKG that looked like a woman having a heart attack.
“That’s MY life!” I finished. They were stunned.
Soon after becoming RS President, a sister warned me: “I watch how happy you are, and I think, she is going to get hurt.”
Another sister had a different take: “I watch how happy you are, Mona, and I think, WOW – she can only be that happy because she's been through a lot.”
One sister assumed I was happy because of the ABSENCE of adversity in my life and the other thought I was happy BECAUSE of it!
The truth is, I’ve found my Little Dot goes haywire more often than not, and if I only smile when it sunshines, I could wait forever for a break in the clouds. Cheerfulness comes from accepting the fact that I’m usually “in a spot” because I’m “on the spot”: one blessedly “small moment” (D&C 121:7-8) to prepare for all the joy to come. (Isaiah 61:3)
Mona muses every Sunday at Mona's Gospel Musings and preaches romance in marriage at Mona's Musings with a Hint of Romance. She is the mother of four plus three and grandmother of two and the award-winning author or With Mine Own Hand: The Musical Account of Nephi. For a daily Hint of Romance, go to Mona's Musings on Facebook.