Tuesday, July 6, 2010

General Conference Online Bookclub: You Are My Hands - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Take a moment to read the following and then come back here.

You Are My Hands

There is so much in this beautiful talk that I don't know where to begin. I'd like to cut and paste the whole thing but there might be copyright issues with that.

I've always loved the story of the Christ statue without hands and the one President U. told of the two brothers was touching.

We are Christ's hands. People ask, especially atheists; How can there possibly be a god when so many bad things happen in the world? People are starving, why doesn't God fix it? People are oppressed, if He can do anything and loves us why doesn't He stop it?

But if God did fix it, if He came down each time and rescued the poor and destitute, the oppressed and suffering, then we wouldn't. We simply wouldn't help if we knew that He was going to just come along and fix everything. We would not learn how to care for others, how to sacrifice, how to work and solve problems and think for ourselves. And is that the kind of people that God wants to create? We are His hands, for if we always expected him to use His hands, we would cease to use ours.

I loved the following quote in this talk:

One woman who had been through years of trial and sorrow said through her tears, “I have come to realize that I am like an old 20-dollar bill—crumpled, torn, dirty, abused, and scarred. But I am still a 20-dollar bill. I am worth something. Even though I may not look like much and even though I have been battered and used, I am still worth the full 20 dollars.”

We are all battered and bruised, some more so than others. It irks me to no end when I hear "they are blessed because they follow the gospel" or something similar. It insinuates that those who struggle, who face hardships, often continual hardships are not righteous. That they create their own mess. And yes, some people do create their own mess. But many, try to live righteous lives and still face one difficulty after another. You can exercise and eat right and follow the word of wisdom and the law of chastity, and still get seriously sick. You can get an education and still not find a job. You can love your spouse with all your heart and treat them the right way, and they can still walk away from you. You can teach your children in righteousness and they can still go down wrong paths making unwise choices. You can take care of your home and earthly goods and have it all taken away in a moment by a fire or tornado. You can walk in safe places and be a victim of a crime. You can manage your finances wisely and a disaster can leave you bankrupt. You can even read your scriptures and pray every day and not hear God sometimes.
There's the story of how Jesus wept when his friend Lazarus died. I've often wondered why he wept when he knew that Lazarus was fine even if he did stay dead. But by example Christ taught: and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, - Mosiah 18:9. Christ wept not only because he had an earthly body and would miss his friend, but also because his friends mourned.

I read on someone's blog that they learn more from people who have struggled and suffered, and maybe that is why some seem to have the lives of Job. They struggle and suffer so that others may be His hands.
We don't know.

I know I don't know. But then God never promised that following Him would be easy. I can only cling to what I know. That He lives, that Jesus died for our sins and paid the price, all I have to do is accept.

General Conference Talks Bookclub was started by Diapers and Divinity. You can read and comment about what she says about this talk here. To join you can click the button on my sidebar or go here.