On Blessings

Hello friends!

This week I taught the young women at church. (I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) I had so much fun teaching this short lesson that I had to share it. The lesson came from this talk by Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, one of our apostles. And the fun part came from this quote:

"Part of our challenge is, I think, that we imagine that God has all of His blessings locked in a huge cloud up in heaven, refusing to give them to us unless we comply with some strict, paternalistic requirements He has set up. But the commandments aren’t like that at all. In reality, Heavenly Father is constantly raining blessings upon us. It is our fear, doubt, and sin that, like an umbrella, block these blessings from reaching us.
His commandments are the loving instructions and the divine help for us to close the umbrella so we can receive the shower of heavenly blessings."
Before class I made a lot of tissue paper heart confetti (because Valentine's Day, and blessings, and because I have a heart punch). So we took turns throwing it on one another, with and without an umbrella. Let me just tell you, it is kind of disappointing to know that your friends are throwing confetti at you, but to not have it come down on you. It makes you say things like "Aww, it's kind of sad." And, after putting the umbrella down, it's so much fun to be showered with love. It makes you smile and laugh, and gladly pick up lots of confetti off of the carpet.  
I really think that the sentiment of this quote is true. I once went with some missionaries to visit a woman named Liz. I heard her wish that a particular subject would be brought up at church. When we left, she assured us she would be at church the next day. When I arrived in the chapel, she wasn't there. But what do you know? The desire of her heart was answered. Someone who wasn't at Liz's house, and hadn't heard about it, testified boldly of exactly what she wanted to hear. She missed it.  
I think God is good. I think he's trying his best to bless us and puts plans in motion to benefit us. And I think sometimes we miss out on blessings. Liz's story is the most memorable example to me, because I was so stunned by it. I was shouting "Where are you, Liz!?" in my mind, and looking all over the chapel for her, wondering if maybe she was there and I just hadn't spotted her yet. But I know it's happened in my own life, too, that fear or doubt or sin has blocked a blessing. I've definitely said to myself, "What was I thinking!?"
And I'm really glad that Christ makes it possible for me to repent and to close my umbrella. 

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