What mother has not heard the words, "I can do it myself" from a toddler who simply wants independence? Sometimes our first thoughts are, "If she would just let me help her it would be so much quicker (or nicer, or easier, etc.) However, that's not the point, is it? Our children need to have those experiences themselves in order to learn and master those particular skills. It's vital to their own independence and growth. We didn't learn how to make our bed, brush our teeth or make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich by having someone else do it for us.
Our loving Father in Heaven knows this as well and has allowed each of us to come to earth, get a body and progress through life - - allowing us to make mistakes and learn from them.
"As premortal spirits, we had progressed as far as we could without a physical body. Regardless of how our bodies look or what they can or cannot do, or how susceptible they may be to temptation, they are the vehicle of mortal progress." (Dr. Kent Brooks, Professor of Church History and Doctrine)
Challenges and trials are a recurring part of our lives. At age 13, I very unexpectedly lost my father. His death was the first signficant loss I had experienced in my life. I missed him terribly and I lost my focus for quite a while.
Elder Russell M. Ballard has said, "Everyone loses their way at some point, to some degree. It is through the promptings of the Holy Ghost that we can be brought safely back onto the right path; and it is the atoning sacrifice of the Savior that can return us home."
But where is home and how do I get there? My mom will be the first to tell you that I am terrible at directions. I get lost easily and often need help. Prior to GPS's being the norm, if I became lost I would be on the phone with my mom getting directions to my desired location (my poor mom). When a GPS is used properly, it will lead us the right way as long as we are diligent in following its directions. It's conditional upon our obedience. Heavenly Father is no different. He has given each of us has a spiritual GPS that helps us know when something is right or wrong. We then have the agency to make choices that will either keep us on our path to our ultimate destination or we can ignore the directions completely and have to "recalculate".
When I was little, my mom would say, "You can be whatever you want to be when you grown up." I'm sure you've all heard that same phrase at some point in time....and it's true. When we decide for ourselves what and where we want to be, we'll work towards that goal. Heavenly Father's goal for us is to have us return and live with Him and our families forever. Each of our earthly experiences (what ever they are or will be) help prepare us to progress toward perfection and eternal life.
I am so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who has provided a Savior to help us all achieve eternal life. The miracle of the Atonement is that we can all be transformed. We can all change. However, as always, it is our choice.
Melanie is the mother to four beautiful children, two girls and two boys. She married her prince charming thirteen years ago, which all started because a mutual friend's persistence to set her up on a blind date.
She served a mission in Barcelona, Spain and fell in love with the people/culture. She had amazing companions who are still good friends today.
She enjoys reading, keeping a family blog, cooking (especially with her children), volunteering at her children's schools and going on bike rides with her family. She currently serves as the Primary pianist of her ward and loves being with the children each week. (She is also the creator of Sugardoodle...Check out her new General Conference Packets!)