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My Faith Means More To Me Than My Heart

Today, I was thinking about a friend who passed away several years ago. Her name is Shelley. I met Shelley in my ward when I taught a Relief Society lesson on enduring to the end. I used to climb cliffs back before I had these last three children, and I still had all the climbing gear and the "pro" that I used to use. So, I brought it to class and used it as an object lesson while I was teaching.

Shelley came up to me after the class, and started talking to me about climbing. It turned out that she was a very good climber and we had both climbed several of the same places around the United States. We had a lot in common, and found out that we had even more in common than originally thought as she taught a couple of my girls in school, and she was my third cousin. It is always fun to find new relatives!

We had a nice conversation and made tentative plans to go climbing together "sometime". That never managed to come to pass because a few weeks later, Shelley was killed in a tragic climbing accident.
I made arrangements to go to the funeral and came from work (never an easy thing to do). I was slightly late, so slid into a back row. The service was at the stake center and it was completely packed. There were even people in the additional rooms. There were many people there that came to support her family at this most difficult time. It was amazing!

I sat down to listen and learned something that I have never forgotten. It touched my heart so much, that I remember it often and revisit what it has come to mean to me in my own life.

When the bishop had spoken to her family, her brother had shared parts of her journal. In her journal, she wrote about one of the most difficult experiences of her life. Shelley never married, but she always wanted to. She was an amazing young woman and had many friends. She had a friend that she spent a lot of time with. He was a wonderful young man. They ended up falling in love and he took the discussions, but never accepted the gospel in his life. Shelley always knew that she wanted a Temple Marriage and a family that was surrounded by gospel principles. So, she broke off the relationship, and heart-breakingly wrote about her feelings and her grief in her journal.
She ended her account with, "my faith means more to me than my heart".
Those are the words that burned within me and still do today. There are times in my life when I ask myself, what means more? Your faith, or your heart? I use this for my most difficult decisions now. It is so simple, and yet it makes perfect sense to me. Sometimes, the things that are the most important are not the things we want right now. Sometimes, we need to stop and think about what is most important in our lives and in our eternity.

Someday, I am going to see Shelley again and I am going to thank her for sharing those wonderful words of wisdom in her journal. I know, she probably never meant for me to read them or hear them, but I can't help feeling like they were written for me.

I pray that your faith may always mean more to you than the wants and needs of your heart.


Patty Ann is a busy mother, grandmother, and wife. She lives her life in the woods she loves up on the top of a beautiful mountain. She loves music, photography and writing. Most of all she loves her Heavenly Father and enjoys writing about his influence in her life. You can find her on her blog at Pitterle Postings

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