It’s hard sometimes to see people we love make choices that we know will cause themselves harm and hurt others around them. Who the stink thought that agency — self-determination, was a good idea anyway? Oh. Yeah. God. The Big Guy Upstairs. He said, “All y’all get to go to earth and have a body and show that you will choose to follow me, ’cause I won’t force anyone into Heaven if they don’t want to be here. Oh, by the way, you are going to forget all this pre-mortal-heaven stuff ever existed. No cheat-sheets. Well, you can have the scriptures – words of my prophets – to help you along. And you can have the Holy Spirit if you actually listen to him, but that’s totally your call. Most importantly, you get my Son, who will atone for all your screw-ups.” And we all said, “Sign me up!”
Well, the conversation may not have gone exactly like that, but it’s a good paraphrase of the situation. (Yes, that is some uniquely Mormon doctrine. Based on my personal interactions with God in the way He answers my prayers, I absolutely believe that’s the way it went down. There are a bunch of bible references to back it up here, as well as some further explanations from other scripture, including The Book of Mormon.)
Today, I got angry about something someone did, who I care about so much. It hurts my heart when someone caves to the temptation of a terrible choice. Do they not see the pain it causes others who love them? I suppose they don’t, or the Tempter shouting in their head is so much louder that it makes them forget all the consequences until it’s too late.
I was so angry. SO ANGRY. I didn’t know what to do with all of that overwhelming feeling. Then I thought of my mom and I remembered one time when I was little and she sang Mr. Rogers’s song, “What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel?” to help me. I don’t remember what I was mad about that day, but I remembered about the song and I went and looked it up on YouTube.
You know what? It helped. My heart still hurts about the situation, but I have calmed down enough to remember my own flaws and poor choices and know that God loves us all, and He’ll help us through these challenges.
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV