feel, listen, hear, endure

I’ve just come from our Stake Conference in which I heard an amazing, encouraging and straightforward talk on the subject of enduring. We, us Mormons [members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints] usually automatically add ‘to the end’ each time we say/hear the word ‘endure.’

And it seems like such a long, long time.

I remember when my Grandpa Rollins was 103 and wondering if he could endure another moment. He had been sick for several months and even wanted to end his own life. I remember him not wanting to eat. He just wanted to go . . . to die. His wife, my Grandma Viola, had been gone twenty one years, since 1974, and he was plum lonely and worn out.

grandma pa rollins

I remember a talk I heard suggesting we don’t just endure, but that we strive to endure well!

I’m not doing well in that department. Sometimes I am so frustrated and almost bitter about where I am, the choices I’ve made [I’m not blaming anyone else!] to bring me to this point and the feeling of being overwhelmed, sad, disappointed and alone. Mostly it’s on Sunday when I spend another three hour block by myself at church . . . a church that is family oriented where people sit together as families, talk about their families, teach about being families, and strive to be Eternal Families.

Wait. I realize it’s my own doing.

I’m still sad, and hurt and a little bitter.

Growing up I took for granted I would have a husband by my side who sat beside me in church, come rain or shine. I assumed we would share callings and assignments, go to tithing settlement together, perhaps fill a mission in our retirement years. I took for granted that we would have the same dreams, and wants, desires and standards. I, we, are not there.

And I’ve given up in that department.

And Sundays remind me of that.

Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of things I appreciate about my husband. A few things I actually love about him. He has been a good, good father to Mikelle and Stephen. He would do anything for either of them. To a fault, sometimes. And they would do anything for their dad.

Back to the talk in Conference.

She said there are three things which keep us from enduring.

    1. afflictions
    2. deception
    3. sin

This hit me so hard [in a good way.] I recognized it as truth. And I could see myself in each one of these categories. I acknowledge to myself I have much work to do . . . my own soul’s work . . . in order to get back to where I need/want to be so that I can endure . . . w.e.l.l.

It was all I could do this morning to get up and get myself to church. I wanted to stay home. I knew since it was Conference no one would notice if I were there or not. But I’m so glad that something, someone, urged me to go and to get there an hour early so I could read the Ensign and sit quietly and peacefully on my second row seat and feel. and listen. and hear.

And endure.