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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What Do You Expect?

Last night at the temple, a sister came who was quite obviously very near to delivering a child.  In fact, as I spoke with her, I found that she would be delivering twins today.  I thought about this expectant mother, and how she was preparing for her new family members by coming to the temple.  As she left, she mentioned how peaceful she felt. She was grateful for the peace, as these babies would be numbers 3 and 4 and she expected her life to be turned upside down for the next little bit as she adjusted to doubling her posterity.

It made me think of a Sister in our ward who had made a comment in Relief Society not too long ago.  She is growing a new family too in her own way.  Married for the second time, she is dealing with all that comes when you add a new member to the family dynamics.  She mentioned that sometimes she gets frustrated because husband number 2 does not respond in the same manner as husband number 1 would have in any given situation.  It was causing some contention as he did not behave as she expected.

So what is it about expectations that is both wonderful and frustrating?  Wonderful, because of the anticipation and excitement, frustrating when what we envision to be the results turn out to be something else.

The expectant mother at the temple cannot determine, force, demand or do anything else to make her babies look or behave as she has imagined.  The Sister in my ward can try to get her husband to behave as she wants in various scenarios, but in reality if you force someone to be a certain way, you limit their agency and agency is a gift from God that shouldn't be taken away. If a change needs to be made, then teaching and leading are effective ways to encourage and help one to understand the need for change.  Teaching correct principles and then letting the 'student' govern themselves is what I believe Joseph Smith taught. (or maybe it was Brigham Young)

So...What do you expect?

Expect that God will be there for you when you do as He asks.  Expect that He has provided tools for you to use to return to him.  Expect to be responsible for using those tools.  One of them is the temple.  Go there often, learn many great and wonderful things.  The plan of salvation is taught there.  A pattern for family life is shown.

Expect there to be challenges in life.  Expect that you can manage them.  Expect joy!

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