Hymns and stories

Today’s sacrament hymn was As Now We Take the Sacrament (lyrics by our own Elder Perry!). The third verse was particularly meaningful to me today. I want to tell two stories about why that is so; forgive me if the words get in the way of the stories.

The first few lines speak of the day’s blessings “linger[ing] in our thankful hearts,” reminding us of what we know but sometimes forget. The spirit that I feel during the administration of the sacrament is, for me, the best part about going to church, and the main reason I go every week. This feeling may not linger for the entire week, but I can remember, and look forward to its rekindling.

The second story began a week or so ago – you’ll pardon me if I’m fuzzy about the (somewhat personal) details. I was thinking about a thing that I wished could be a different way than it is, and how happy I would be if it was this other way. I got up from my desk and walked around, and suddenly I realized exactly why the thing is the way that it is, and what I personally stood to lose if it was the other way. Suddenly, with this increased understanding, it was okay that this thing is the way that it is, even if I sometimes wish it was not so.

The tension between the foregoing “okay” and “even if” is nontrivial. I think it has something to do with the sentiment expressed by the father of a stricken child in the New Testament: “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” For the past week or so, then, I’ve been trying to find the best way to resolve this tension. That’s not entirely accurate; really, I know what the best way is, but I’m trying to find out what it looks like in my life. So, the next line in the hymn was particularly meaningful for me today: “silently we pray for courage to accept Thy will.” This sort of courage, more than anything, is what I think will help me resolve this tension. And I don’t think this tension is unique to me – it seems to me that lots of people will experience this sort of tension, this pull between a thing they want and another thing they want more.

Today, I felt like I gained a little bit of courage – enough, anyway, to say with Elder Perry:
“We love Thee, Lord; our hearts are full.
We’ll walk Thy chosen way” – even in our faithful unbelief.


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