I have a shirt that I wear all the time that says Be Kind. I love the shirt. I like the color a lot and it reminds me of Cinderella. You know, the live version, where Ella’s mother who is dying tells Ella to have courage and be kind. I love that part of the movie because I know for myself that it’s true that those two things combined are very powerful.
On Friday I was driving to Muncie Indiana to bring Maggie home for the weekend so I had about 3.5 hours alone in the car. I started the trip with listening to the scriptures. I’m amazed at how often, when you are reading, studying or listening to scriptures there are new things that pop out. I love how there is so much packed in there that there is always something new to learn or some way that there is comfort to be found.
So imagine my unsurprising surprise when I heard 3 Nephi 22:7 – 17
7 For a small moment have I aforsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee.
8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting akindness will I have bmercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.
9 For athis, the bwaters of Noah unto me, for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee.
10 For the amountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my bkindness shall not cdepart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.
11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted! Behold, I will lay thy astones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
13 And aall thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the bpeace of thy children.
14 In arighteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppression for thou shalt not fear, and from terror for it shall not come near thee.
15 Behold, they shall surely gather together aagainst thee, not by me; whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the aservants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
That really hit me. God really does love us so much. He wants us to be comforted and safe and free from fear. It made me think about some other things I know but that are still sinking in. Let me explain it in the way I thought about it and hopefully it will make sense.
I have 4 children and sometimes they refuse to do things that I ask or they make choices in their lives that I know will lead to unhappiness. When this happens I get frustrated, sad and sometimes angry. Here is what came to my mind when I heard those scriptures the other day. God has infinite patience, infinite love and infinite care. When we make choices that are contrary to what He asks of us he is not ever angry. He is patient and waits and hopes that we will come back to him. There are 586 scriptures that contain the word return and most of them are talking about us returning to Him. There are 377 scriptures with the word repent which means the same thing.
Sometimes when we think of the word repent it feels like a negative thing or that we are in trouble in some way but instead repentance is really about turning toward God. It is about making a course correction.
The most beautiful think is that it is never too late to make that course correction. I think about the mistakes I made in my younger years and how when I decided to come back I was welcomed with open arms. Why else would we be reminded so many times to return or to repent?
I love that this scripture passage that says “my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed” stood out to me so much that even days later I am still thinking about it and loving the feelings I am having.
Perhaps I should print this out and post it to my wall for a while.