In my personal experience, scripture study is kind of like exercising in that the more you put into it the more you get out of it. Lately, I am sorry to say that I haven't put much into it. I have been horrible at setting time aside to study. Yesterday morning, I was kneeling at my bedside to say my prayers before rushing off to try to get ahead of the day before the boys got ahead of me. I tried to fulfill the letter-of-the-law by grabbing the scriptures, flipping them open, reading a single verse and calling it good. I read Alma 38:5 which reads, "And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day." As is usual with this type of scripture "study", I thought, "Oh, that's nice." I went about on my merry way and had practically forgotten what I had read by the time I got to the bottom step.
A couple of hours later, I was getting ready to leave for work. I knelt down to give LJ a hug and he jumped towards me, allowing his head to land a direct upward hit to my nose. It was an instant-tears kind of blow and I doubled over on the ground. As the tears started to flow, I realized I've been just too busy to cry and/or have had to be strong for everyone else for so long. It dawned on me how long it had been since I'd had a good cry. I wasn't sure if the tears were going to stop soon and I didn't want LJ to feel too bad about it so I quickly finished my goodbyes and went out to my car. I knew I was going to have to pull it together before I got to work but told myself that I was allowed to cry and not feel I had to choke things back for anyone else's sake. I decided that the 25-30 minutes once I got on the freeway would be time enough to hopefully get recomposed (and if not, I could blame my red nose on LJ). That meant I had a good 5-10 minutes of "cry time" before I got to the freeway. I remember distinctly having the thought, "I have a lot to smile about but I do have a couple of things to cry about." I've had a few health issues as of late that have been a bit concerning but have yet to find a definitive diagnosis and it has scared me a lot. (I had another doctor's appointment today which did include a nose exam after the blow yesterday. However, again there were not any answers to the other issues and so I guess I will chalk it up to a bunch of fluke symptoms that will hopefully resolve themselves.) Doug has to go out of town in a week and that scares me. Turns out that I love my husband and I really hate when he is gone. (See, I told you - if those are my biggest reasons to cry, life is pretty good.)
In the middle of my little pity party, I had my morning scripture come to my mind and thought about the phrase, "as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions..." What comfort those words brought me as I finally stopped thinking, "I'm scared" and started thinking, "I trust in God". The tears stopped before I even got to the freeway and throughout the rest of the day, I was given little promptings and thoughts that helped me to have that eternal perspective that increases faith and trust in God. I was reminded that sometimes life isn't fair but eternity is most definitely in our favor when we do what is right.
I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who helps me remember what my eternal destiny is. I am grateful for the Holy Ghost working to help me remember a quick scripture read that morning. I am grateful for my Savior who, through the atonement, has felt every insecurity and fear that I have felt and therefore, can comfort me in my tribulations and afflictions.
While looking a bit more into those verses, I came across this talk by Elder Ringwood. I would just end up quoting it verbatim if I went into his subject and so I will just leave it to you. It is short and sweet and to the point. Give it a read if you have a minute.