Saturday, March 12, 2016

God doesn't want to wrestle with us!

For I don't know how long, I had thought that the scripture in Enos (in the Book of Mormon) said that he wrestled WITH God.... It was brought to my attention this week that it was not the case.

Enos Chapter 1, verse 2, says "And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.

I suppose that at some point in my life it had been discussed before, in Seminary or Institute class, but for some reason this really just hit me this week.

Looking back, I was trying to think of when I had my own wrestle before God.  When I graduated from High School, I was fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend the University of Wyoming - tuition paid for four years.  My original plan had been to work to save money to attend Ricks College later, so I was grateful for the opportunity to go to UW.  I didn't totally have a plan of what I wanted to do with my life, but went off to college. My major was undeclared for awhile, and then I finally decided to study Home Economics, because that related to things that I liked to do - my mother had taught me how to cook and to sew, and I had hoped that I would meet someone at college and get married and start a family.

I met a young man in choir that first year, he was not a member of the church, but we sort of dated for awhile.  I brought him home with me on one of the school breaks, or for a weekend, and he sang in church with me.  That weekend my father said to me that he thought I would serve a mission.  I, of course, said , No Way!  That is not something I was interested in, and I was a little irritated that he would mention it when my friend was there.  That summer, I went to visit my friend for a week in his home town, and we had some good discussions (we were just friends at that point.)  At some point during that week, I mentioned something about my belief that families could be together forever.  I did not remember that being a significant moment, but later he told me that it was.   My friend joined the church about 9 months later, with some other friends playing a role in his conversion also.

School continued, I studied, still trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Dietetics & Nutrition was a possible major, but there was too much science for my liking.  I approached my 4 year of college, just a little behind schedule for graduation. I also had not met anyone to marry, so I was perhaps a little bewildered as to where my life was going.  That comment that my dad had made a couple years earlier still was being tossed around my mind.  I wanted to use the scholarship money that I had been blessed with, so I decided to bargain with the Lord.   Big mistake on my part.  I told Him that IF I did not meet anyone to marry during that fourth year... THEN I would go on a mission.  So there.. I had told Him.  Silly me.

That year I met a couple of returned sister missionaries at the Institute of Religion, where members of the church attending college gather. I became friends with them, and learned about their missions and the growth they had had as they served.  So, those thoughts of a mission were often in my mind.  But I didn't really want to serve.. I didn't think I would have the courage to open my mouth and share the Gospel!  I thought I had done my part in bringing that one soul (my friend) into the Gospel (D & C 18:15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days... and bring but one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy.) I figured I had done my part.. but I still kept thinking about it.

I suppose that my Heavenly Father finally got tired of watching me wrestle with myself.  One Sunday in the fall, October probably, I was sitting next to the Bishop's wife in church. I usually sat with my friends, but this particular Sunday I was not... so not checking out the cute guys or talking.  It apparently was the perfect time to receive personal revelation.  The impression came to me that I needed to serve a mission.  I felt as if I had been bonked on the head... I KNEW that I had to go. It was an answer that I needed.. I don't remember how much I had prayed about it, but Heavenly Father probably knew I couldn't make that decision on my own.  When I saw my friends after the meeting, they could see that I had been crying and asked what was the matter. I said I had to go on a mission.  I wasn't sad about it, but relieved that I was done worrying or wrestling with the decision.  Within a few weeks, I had everything ready, my papers submitted, and had my mission call by the end of November.  I packed up my things at the end of the semester and went home to Arizona, then entered the MTC on February 1, 1989 , to serve in the England Leeds mission.

I hadn't really thought about my wrestle before the Lord until this time reading in Enos. I am sure that my wrestle was not as great as was Enos's, but it surely was a significant time in my life. I am grateful that I was open and receptive to that revelation that I received to serve a mission. I have talked about it in the past as being bonked on the head...  but now I truly see what it was, personal revelation and an answer to my prayers.