This past lesson was on Elder Cooks talk "Can You Feel So Now" and something happened during the lesson that has left me pondering deeply the personal relationships that we each have.
Rarely do I vary from my lesson outline. I might jump all over the place, but the basic outline is always present, harmonizing with what is taking place.
However that day? I had a random thought pop into my head and before I could engage my filter, it came rushing out like a broken fire hydrant:
"We should add a 51st question (referring to Alma 5 and the 50 questions he asks in that chapter) to what the Lord will ask us when we meet Him in our exit interview: Elder Holland’s ‘Did you love me?’ question. Because if we had loved him, then everything else would fall into place and we would be kinder to one another. We would be more forgiving of one another and we would be finding those that needed lifting and lift them -- Because we loved Him."
While I said this, I remembered a story one of my sisters had told me years earlier -- which I shared. She had heard Mark Mabry speak at a Time Out for Women event. As well as I can remember, she said that he was a photographer and a really good one at that. He was "in the industry" and quite successful but after a while, decided it wasn't the life for him. My sister relayed that when he decided to change his life, he realized there would be some things that he would need to disclose to his wife.
Think about it.
What are your deal breakers?
He knew that the stuff he needed to tell his wife very well could be her deal breaker but he also knew that in order to "feel so now" he needed to tell her. When he got the courage to tell her, he braced himself for the inevitable "we're done."
However, his wife merely looked at him and said "That's it? That's what you needed to tell me? We can fix that."
And then she rolled over and went to sleep.
SHE WENT TO SLEEP PEOPLE.
Mark (I can call him that cause we're close like that) said that he was totally baffled. She not only didn't view his worst part as a deal breaker, but she accepted him and she still loved him.
"That's it? We can fix that."
Never has a truer statement been uttered or a softer spot to land offered.
There is absolutely NOTHING that cannot be fixed, through the power of the Atonement, and this woman understood that.
Further, she was a Type of Christ.
When he told her the very worst thing about himself, she could have freaked out, rejected him, called him all sorts of names, screamed, yelled, ignored, tried to control him and been generally unpleasant.
And, she probably would have been greatly justified in doing so, too.
However, she didn't. She has a testimony of the power found in the Atonement and instead of reacting she offered him a soft place to land.
She could answer that 51st question of “Did you love me” with a resounding Yes. She took the deal breaker information, used the Atonement of Christ and then helped him "fixed it” so they both could “feel so now.”
How many times in my life have I had the opportunity to be a soft place to land – to answer that 51st question and show Him that I loved Him -- but instead reacted in a natural man, un-Christ like way?
More than I care to admit.
Life is a constant roller coaster full of up’s and down’s; Singing the song of redeeming love and then, because of circumstances in life, dreaming of the day when we can.
But we can fix that.
With the power found in the Atonement and a soft place to land, we can fix anything.