We lived before we were born on earth, and we will live on after we die.  God is the father of our spirits, and He has a plan for each of us.  There is nothing that brings me greater comfort than the knowledge that there is a master plan.  It is a divine, eternal plan designed by God in which my life and the life of every person who has ever lived or will live has a part.  Our loving Heavenly Father knows each of us intimately.  He knows our strengths and weaknesses; our talents and capacities; and because He knows us, He has placed us in a specific time and place on earth where we can live, learn and serve according to His will.  Here we gain a physical body and an earthy family.  We learn to choose between good and evil, to trust God and to walk by faith.

Our ultimate goal is to return to live with God, our Heavenly Father- something that would be impossible without the example and atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  He not only paid the price for our sins, but He suffered the pains of mortality in order to succor us in our times of trial.  Everything we suffer He understands completely, and knowing us perfectly, He will provide needed help in very specific, individual ways if we open ourselves to Him. I have experienced the miracle of His love in my life, both as I have struggled through life’s challenges and as He has allowed me to assist Him in helping others.

As I reflect on my past, I think of talents and opportunities I sought after that were good and well intentioned, and yet denied me.  I also see talents and opportunities afforded me, some of which I did not directly pursue.  But both led me to who I am and what I do today, and I see the wisdom and purpose in it.

As human beings, the closest thing we have to God’s perspective is hindsight.  I know that humbly yielding to the spirit in times of adversity not only provides added peace and strength, but essential, sanctifying lessons that prepare us to serve in ways we never imagined.  When we submit to the Father’s will with total trust, His love and wisdom will be revealed, and pieces fall into place as we are magnified in the service of our families, communities and his kingdom.

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