Friday, July 18, 2014

Spiritual First-Aid Kit

Marie K. Hafen, in her recent Women's Conference address, talked about a friend who shared a story with her out of her "Spiritual First-Aid Kit".  I love the idea of a Spiritual First-Aid Kit.  Stories, quotes, poems, scriptures, etc that you collect to read and remember when life gets hard, when you're spiritually not feeling well, when you're heart has been hurt, when you need a band-aid for your spirit.  It can be anything that inspires you or makes you feel good.

Clint's grandpa had one of these.  He loved to collect inspirational stories and then copy them and send them in letters, birthday cards, Christmas letters, etc to his children and grandchildren.  He always seemed to know just what we needed to hear when we needed to hear it. I too hope to be able to carry on this legacy with my children and grandchildren.

I've just started to gather "supplies" into my Spiritual First-Aid Kit, but let me give you some examples from it:

"Some of the most heart-wrenching, discouraging events in our lives—from which we long to be set free—are actually designed to prepare us with the very skills and understanding [God] needs us to have. As we draw closer to the Lord and put our total trust in Him, in His power, and in His timing, we can leave our fires of affliction more pure, more refined, and with more skills and understanding.” –Wendy W. Nelson

“He will guide you in what to do. He will open doors, remove roadblocks, and help you overcome obstacles" —Neil L. Andersen

"Live the gospel as conspicuously as you can. Moms and dads can do everything right and yet have children who stray. But even in such painful hours it will be comforting for you to know that your children knew of your abiding faith in Christ, in his true church...It will be comforting then for you to know that if your children choose to leave the straight and narrow way, they leave it very conscious that their parents were firmly in it." Elder Jeffry R. Holland, April 2003 Wayward children

Can one righteous young woman change the world? The answer is a resounding “yes!” You have the Holy Ghost as your guide, and He “will show unto you all things… [you] should do” (2 Nephi 32:5). It is the daily, consistent things you do that will strengthen you to be a leader and an example – daily prayer, daily scripture study, daily obedience, daily service to others. - Elaine S. Dalton

Severe Mercy
 (from Sister Hafen's friend's Spiritual First-Aid Kit)

Nine-year-old Agnes Caldwell had been wading through the wind-driven snow with the rest of 
the Willie Handcart Company for what must have felt like an eternity when relief wagons 
appeared on the trail ahead of them. Before the storm hit, Agnes had been taking each mile of the 
autumn trail in stride, even the one that had been strewn with rattlesnakes. For that mile, she and 
her friend Mary held hands and jumped again and again over the snakes until they were out of 
danger, mercifully unharmed. But after days of dragging her nearly frozen feet through the 
deepening snow, she wasn't skipping anymore. And she was literally starving. The death toll in 
her company was rising with every passing night. Yet of the arrival of the relief party, all Agnes 
records in her understated history is, “It certainly was a relief.” And then she describes her own 
rescue, and this is the point today: “The infirm and the aged were allowed to ride, all able-bodied 
continued to walk. When the wagons started out, a number of us children decided to see how 
long we could keep up with the wagons, in hopes of being asked to ride. One by one they all fell 
out, until I was the last one remaining, so determined was I that I should get a ride. After what 
seemed the longest run I [had] ever made before or since, the driver, [Brother] Kimball, called to 
me, ‘Say, sissy, would you like a ride?’ I answered in my very best manner, ‘Yes sir.’ 
“At this he reached over, [took] my hand, [then clucked] to his horses [which also made] me run 
[even faster] with legs that seemed to [be able to] run no farther. On we went [for what] seemed 
miles. [I thought at that moment] he was the meanest man that had ever lived or that I had ever 
heard of, and other things that would not be a credit coming from one so young. Just at what 
seemed the breaking point, he stopped. Taking a blanket, he wrapped me up and lay me in the 
bottom of the wagon, warm and comfortable. Here I had time to change my mind, as I surely did, 
knowing full well by doing this he saved me from freezing [to death].” 
Can you see why our friend calls this story “Severe Mercy”? “I thought he was the meanest man 
that ever lived”? Sitting here in our climate-controlled comfort, put yourself in Agnes’ 
“shoes.” If I had been Agnes, I would have expected a little compassion from this “angel of 
mercy.” Couldn't one look into my frostbitten face or at my bony, rag-wrapped hand have 
entitled me to a crumb of kindness? But no. This man took Agnes by that little hand and instead 
of swinging her up into his lap, in an act of tender mercy, he signaled his team to go faster, 
forcing her into a stronger, faster run, which increased her circulation. His severe mercy saved 
her life.

What's in your Spiritual First-Aid Kit? 
 I'd love for you to share either in a comment below or in an email (clintandrachael{at}gmail.com).

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