I was reading a book by Neal Maxwell yesterday (Not My Will, But Thine) and I came across something, a principle he highlights, that I find beneficial in explaining certain sequencing of events or experiences as we attempt to cleanse ourselves and right our lives to be worthy of His gift, His loving invitations, and His healing desires for us.
“So often in life, it seems, a blessing is quickly succeeded by a stretching. Spiritual exhilaration is often short lived, being soon followed by vexation, temptation, and even tribulation. Perhaps this is so because we cannot handle exhilaration for any length of time. … Or is it that experiencing the sharp, side-by-side contrast of the sweet and the bitter, almost continuously, is essential until the very end of this mortal experience? Or are we at risk if in extended spiritual reveries we quickly forget others in need?
“Whatever the reasons, the Lord hastens us forward – submissively on to the next work to be done. … We are to “seek … first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish His righteousness” (JST, Matt 6:38). But we cannot build up the kingdom if we are tearing ourselves down. Thus we must deny ourselves certain things, including lust and immorality, as part of taking up the cross daily.”
As I take this portion of my journey in my life, I cannot feel the witness of truths as I come across them, and not immediately think of my family, my children and fail to share such findings with you. Besides it being one of the most profound responsibilities of my life, it is from the deepest reaches of my heart and soul that I desire for each of you to feel what I feel…I can truly relate in a small measure to Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life. I can testify of the sweetness of the Love of our Heavenly Father as manifest in the sacrifice of His Son to save each of us. I can bear witness of the sweet tender personal nature of the Savior’s love for each of us.
My love for each of you is unconditional and without limits, but my desires for you are specific and because for so many years I was not the Patriarch I should have been, I feel a deepening of my desires for each of you and my need to stand strong and tall in these matters and bearing testimony to you now in hopes of undoing what damage I may have done to those i love and cherish the most.