Broad enough and strong enough

This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey. This week covers the Priesthood Session of the October 1988 Conference.
Awhile ago, I got some counsel from the Lord (through a priesthood blessing) that was something like this: "Sometimes lately your ability to love is challenged, but that is helping galvanize it into something better. When others don't see or appreciate or return your love, know that this experience is helping you grow, and helping your love become more like the Savior's."

I'm still trying to take that counsel in, and to be grateful for the challenging experiences that prompted it. I DO want to learn to love like the Savior does, so I ought to welcome anything that gets me closer to that goal! I thought about this again when I read the following section of President Hinckley's talk, "To the Bishops of the Church":
You must be their counselor, their comforter, their anchor and strength in times of sorrow and distress. You must be strong with that strength which comes from the Lord. You must be wise with that wisdom which comes from the Lord. Your door must be open to hear their cries and your back strong to carry their burdens, your heart sensitive to judge their needs, your godly love broad enough and strong enough to encompass even the wrongdoer and the critic. You must be a man of patience, willing to listen though it takes hours to do so.…You must be there when every other source has failed.
He was talking to bishops, but in my heart it resonated as a charge to mothers—and I knew God was saying this to me. It's both inspiring and terrifying to think of my role that way! But President Hinckley, bless him, doesn't give us any room to shrink back. "You must be strong! You must be wise! Your love must be broad enough and strong enough!" It doesn't matter if it's hard. We just have to do it (but the Lord helps us do it).

I don't feel like I'm really living up to all these things, but I suppose neither do most bishops. Heavenly Father helps us anyway! And most comforting of all, this is a charge with a promise:
You may on occasion be inclined to complain about the burdens of your office. But you also know the joys of your service. Heavy as the load may be, you know this is the sweetest, the most rewarding, the most important thing you have ever done.… 
Though your days be long and wearisome, may your rest be sweet and in your hearts may you know that peace which comes alone from God to those who serve Him through service to His children.… 
I invoke the blessings of the Lord upon you…that you may be possessed of strength and vitality to carry the burdens of the day, that you may have wisdom given of God in the delicate and sensitive situations with which you must deal, that you may have generous hearts in meeting the needs of [others]…and that as the years pass there may come into your hearts the sweet satisfaction of knowing that you have served your Father well through service to His children.

Other posts in this series:

Punching above our weight—by Nathaniel Givens


  1. Well this is funny (I mean not FUNNY funny ... because things do not sound to be funny at all). But I had three posts on my Feedly app. And I didn’t realize the first one was yours and I just started reading. And I thought, “Oh! This seems perfect for Marilyn. I should text her a link to it.” Hahah. I wish I had. But clearly I was right. THIS was perfect for you.

    It does comfort me so so much — when I am facing some hard thing or some weakness or frustration when the spirit tells me that it isn’t just a miserable thing. There is purpose in it. And in my struggling. And it’s expanding me in ways that fluff and easy never could.

    All of this was so good.

  2. I read a similar (though not apostolic) message to this one some time ago on a mom blog. The mom was frustrated with her 11yo son, and she was talking to her own mom about it. The grandmother said, "Your ability to take it far outweighs his ability to control himself."

    Even when I haven't felt like I have enough strength or ability to take it, I've repeated this mantra and asked Heavenly Father to make it true many, many, many times over the years.

    I pretty much never feel broad enough or strong enough, but I guess I am.

    I'll bet you are, too. :)


Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top