Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Graigry's Favorite Scripture: 2 Nephi 2:25

     Over the course of my life I have learned a lot about the scriptures. I can say that I have read all 4 major books with my parents, and through seminary and institute I am familiar with all books of scripture.  From the time I was young, I always remember my parents insisting we had some sort of Gospel study every day.  If it was the end of a long day, and everyone wanted to go to bed, my dad would insist that we at least recite a scripture from memory.

     I can't remember when we first learned 2 Nephi 2:25 as a family, I just remember that this would usually be the scripture of choice when we were told we had to recite a scripture before going to bed.  This is definitely the first scripture I had memorized with the reference.  As I grew older, it because kind of a joke, whenever I was asked to recite a scripture, this was the first one to pop into my head.

     I don't know when I started thinking more deeply about this scripture.  It was probably a combination of several planned Family Home Evenings by my parents to encourage us to read the scriptures on our own, as well as a family.  I had always tried to be a good kid, but I know that I didn't always do what was right because of my own testimony, but more because I was afraid of my mom and dad.  When I started reading for myself, my perspective changed, and I began to change as a person.

     When I arrived at 2 Nephi 2:25, I nearly passed it, thinking because I already had it memorized that I had learned everything about it.  But I remembered something that I had heard many times, by several people, that everything in the Book of Mormon is there for a reason, that there is no extra fluff, that everything is there to help us progress.

     I looked again at this short two line scripture, looking for what I might have missed.  It seemed rather straightforward, Adam had to fall so that he and Eve could have kids, and God wanted them to be happy.  As the days went forward I kept thinking about it, wondering if there was something else.

     I finally decided, that it was a message to me that I needed to be happy.  I knew that life was difficult, and there is no one who is free of trials.  But as I looked to those who were my heroes: my Dad, my Mom, Samwise Gamgee.  I noticed a striking similarity in all of them.  No matter what was happening around them, they maintained a positive attitude.  Even if they were in a hopeless situation, with no clear light or direction, they were optimistic.

     I have always considered myself an optimist, but I felt like I was being an optimist because it seemed like those around me were as well.  Suddenly I started looking at why people were optimists, and why there were different levels of optimism.  It is a subject that still teases my mind today.  But as I thought, it became clear that while there are always people who believe that things will work out, there were only a few who knew that things would work out.  Especially observing the example of my parents, I noticed that whenever our family was faced with a major problem, my parents would take it to the Lord.  There was something about how when they prayed or went to the temple, they came back confident in a good outcome.

     I know that I have an analytical mind, I tend to think about things a lot, and I am espeacially prone to over thinking.  I know now that as long as I am on Earth, there will always be moments when God seems to be an intellectual impossibility. But there is one thing I do know, that people are happiest in any situation when they understand this basic principle: That God created the earth so that we would have the opportunity to progress and live with him again someday in a state of eternal happiness.  But he also wanted us to see that we are happiest when we obey his commandments, and that nothing can match the quiet reassurance of knowing that we are on good terms with the being who created us.