This journal entry was written by Randall and Nicola at the beginning of their third week studying Act in Doctrine, a new book written by Elder David Bednar.
This week, I was really concerned for one of our daughters who had been overlooked to participate in something that she had really wanted to do. She was so well prepared and capable and yet others were chosen instead of her – others who did not seem to demonstrate the same desire, aptitude or attitude. She was so upset and hurt and I wondered how she would cope with this. It seemed so unfair, and had the capacity to give her self-esteem and focus a real beating. My heart ached for her and I complained to Randall about how unfair it was. He tried to calm me, the good man that he is, but I wasn’t feeling comforted or happy when I left the house that morning. After all, she is one of my children and no one hurts a mother’s child.
During my lunch break, I read the last few pages of the chapter “Moral Agency” and out of the pages jumped the answer I had been looking for. It made me smile and cry at the same time as I read these words; “You and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation. We cannot control the intentions or behaviour of other people. However, we do determine how we will act.” Then, a few paragraphs later, Elder Bednar talked about the story of Captain Moroni and Pahoran and the 3 little words that were so powerful to me that day: ”it mattereth not.”
The situation had not changed but I was able to feel differently about it. I began to sense that I had allowed the hurt I was feeling to overshadow the actual events. However, after reading this section my testimony was strengthened as, once again, I witnessed Heavenly Father’s love for and patience with me. This event and others like it are definitely in my control for me to choose how I will act, and to help my daughter to make wise choices as she too chooses how she will act. Coming to the understanding that “it mattereth not” may not be easy but it is up to us. I feel so blessed to have had my prayers answered right when I needed some help and comfort. My reading that day gave my heart some peace and the right tools to share with my daughter. Elder Bednar also said, “It can take a tremendous amount of faith and courage to recognize and accept the will of God in our lives.” This is only a little example but I do believe that as we accept the challenges graciously and allow that this is in God’s hands, there will be an understanding and comfort that blesses our lives.