It seems like there have been a lot of things happening around me lately reminding me that life is hard. Life is really, really, really, really hard. Not mine, mind you, but there are tragedies occurring in the lives of those I love. There is sickness and disease. There are hard decisions being faced. There is sadness and regret and uncertainty. There are bad things happening to some really, truly good people.
But this one little phrase keeps coming back to me--one that I heard in LDS General Conference way back in October of 2008. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin spoke about overcoming adversity. He gave four very specific suggestions for dealing with difficult situations: learn to laugh, seek an eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation, and trust in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. His talk has stuck with me, though--and will continue to stick with me my whole life--simply because of one phrase. When life becomes difficult and you have to "[drink] deeply from the cup of disappointment, sorrow, and loss" he said: come what may, and love it.
It was a phrase his mother taught him, and he explains it a little further:
"How can we love days that are filled with sorrow? We can’t—at least not in the moment. I don’t think my mother was suggesting that we suppress discouragement or deny the reality of pain. I don’t think she was suggesting that we smother unpleasant truths beneath a cloak of pretended happiness. But I do believe that the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life."
I just really love that. I love that he teaches us that we don't have to deny the reality of pain, but that we also don't have to wallow in it. I love the hope implied in that phrase. That whatever may come, you can eventually learn to love and cherish the times of pain because of what they helped you become. Elder Wirthlin, again:
"These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others."
And again, possibly my favorite part:
"That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."
And I don't think that means only members of the Church. I think it means everyone who is living the best way they know how in this confusing, heart-wrenching world. I think it means every child of God who is, in his or her own way, trying to be like Him. Even if they don't believe in Him. I know that Heavenly Father will compensate for the hardships we have to face in this life. That he will turn every sorrow into an even greater joy.
Wow, this post got way heavier than I ever meant it to be. I really just wanted to share with you guys this little piece of, ahem, art I created for my own home. But when I started writing, I realized I couldn't share it without telling you why it is so important to me.
Anyway, I used this tutorial from Cheri over at I Am Momma: Hear Me Roar to make a printable of the phrase Come What May and Love It. It's been on my mind to do for a while, and lately, I just realized how much I want this reminder up in my home. So here it is:
If you're noticing that it looks a bit like this print that has been so popular lately, well, yes, it was definitely inspired by these WWII posters:
I always loved these posters, but I felt like Elder Wirthlin's phrase held more meaning for me. So, you want it? All you have to do is click on the picture, which should take you to the full-size version, which you can then download and print, using your favorite method. It can be printed as large as 8 x 10, but larger that that it will not look so nice.
I was actually going to make you guys leave me a comment if you wanted the printable, and then I'd email it to you, but that seemed like more work than it was worth. Plus it seemed a little, um, beggary? But if you'd like to leave me a comment, anyway, I'm telling you, it would totally make my day.