Sunday, November 28, 2010

Making a Difference

A while ago, I stood in a friend’s front yard and we chatted. My friend wanted to save the world. “It’s a good idea,” I said to her, but my simple affirmation was not enough—she really wanted to save the world—to make a difference in a big way.

“Is that wrong of me—I mean isn’t it rather pretentious?”

I paused as I reflected on her question, and answered, “No—if you seek to save the world for the world’s sake—and not your own.”

She heartily agreed, and I saw in her eyes that she meant it. But she was in despair that sunny morning because circumstances beyond her control prevented her from attaining her desire. Her health might be in serious jeopardy, and she wondered why the Lord would do that—the timing appeared to be off. Hadn’t she prepared herself sufficiently?—studied the right books?—took the right classes? And hadn’t she felt the whisperings of the Holy Spirit telling her that she was on the right track?—doing exactly what she was meant to do? Her eyes filled with tears and her face reflected intense anguish.

“Of course you are on the right track,” I said, “—but maybe the Lord wants you to take a longer route—learn more in order to be the best instrument in his hand when the time comes.”

She agreed, but her eyes said she was not completely convinced.

He wants all of us to take the longer route. We have the opportunity to grow in mortality in ways that no other place under the heavens can offer. With a veil placed over our memory of our former existence in heaven, where else but earth—‘the greatest reality game ever contrived, by the greatest mind that exists’—can we prove ourselves through experience?

God wants us to have the full effect of our trials, and he will stretch them out to their bitter end in order for us to receive the maximum benefit that only enduring and striving to overcome a trial can afford.

Fortunately, our sojourn on earth is short, so why not look at it that way. Eventually, we will all stand before our Maker, and account for our earthly choices, and either be the wiser from them, and blissfully overjoyed to be back in His presence; or miserably cower and grovel at His feet.

My friend sighed, “But I don’t want to be common—I want to be special!”

I looked up and down her street and asked, “Who on your street is common?”

She stared blankly at me, “No one—no one is common.”

“Oh,” I said back to her, “So, how many have saved the world?”

Her eyebrows furrowed, and then she broke into a smile.

I hugged her and whispered, “God doesn’t have any common children, does he?”

Whatever our purpose is, God will lead us to it—and nothing that we are supposed to do is ‘common’ or unimportant. We all make a difference in more than one way … find your purpose …


  1. Profound post, Theresa. Your wisdom and kindness shows through. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Nicely said. Years ago I looked around and saw so many people doing amazing things with their life, in the Ward etc... I wondered where my talent was, where is my contribution. I realized I was the 'gatekeeper' for my family. Being the only member of the church and being born with a LOVE of history and family (that always seemed out of proportion to anyone else I knew) I was the one who could unlock the gates of heaven through temple work. I may not be saving the world in a big grand gesture but I'm helping save one person at a time.

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