Thursday, December 11, 2014

Recognizing Tender Mercies

In the LDS faith, we often hear people talk about "Tender Mercies".  By this we mean the very specific, personal blessings we receive that show us that the Lord is aware of us personally and knows our needs.

In an address given in April 2005 by Elder David Bednar he said:

"Through personal study, observation, pondering, and prayer, I believe I have come to better understand that the Lord’s tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly, the Lord suits “his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men” (D&C 46:15)."

Our lives have been overflowing with tender mercies of late.   Sometimes they are big.  Sometimes they can come as such an ordinary part of life that they are easy to overlook.  I'm working hard to stay mindful, to recognize these blessings as they come, and to give thanks in prayer for every one I can.

Some of the easy to overlook blessings have been things like

having a train come just as we get to the stop so we don't have to wait in the wind.  Having the UTA Trax system available to get us around has been great.

Beyond that, the very mild weather we have had all this week is very unseasonable for this time of year in Salt Lake.  I had fully expected to be trudging back and forth in sleet or snow.   I have not done much trudging and there has been no snow!

Then today, as we were leaving our final training, we had several delays before we were able to get on an elevator.  The building we are training is is VERY busy this time of year because of all the high school choirs that are performing and lots of extra people coming and going.

However, because of those delays, when we finally did get into an elevator (which was VERY crowded with people), I looked up to see a familiar looking face smiling down at me.

Sam Quantz is the youngest son of a family we were dear friends with when we were members of the Paw Paw Branch in the Kalamazoo Stake back in Michigan from 1986 - 1997.  Elder Bennett used to play guitar in a band called "Looking Back" with Sam's father, Scott.

What are the chances that in a city this size, in a building this busy, we would "just happen" to run in to this old friend?   Then, what are the chances we would recognize him AND remember his name - after all it has been 17 yrs since we saw him last and he was just a little kid then.

But the minute I saw him all the warm feelings of our friendship with him family came rushing back to me. I DID recognized him and remember him right away.  It was a reminder to me as I am preparing to leave my home and country for two years in a far away land that the friendships I have now that are very dear to me will not diminish during our absence.  The people who truly love us will not forget us.  Yes, we will miss them, a lot.  But our friendship will remain when we return.

I could go on and on with blessing little and big that we have encountered during the past weeks and months as we have prepared for this mission.  Truly, we feel wrapped up in the caring embrace of a loving Heavenly Father who is aware of us personally.  We can't wait to see how the next chapter will unfold.

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