My favorite comma

Matt tried to give me a pep talk this morning in our bathroom before he left for work.  (I think I looked as tired as I felt.)  “You can do it.  Be a laundry demon!  You’re a super mom.  You’re awesome.”  I looked at him out of the side of my eyes and said, “Go walk from here to the kitchen and look all around you the whole way.  Imagine everything you see is your job to take care of today, and then tell me how awesome it feels.”  He smiled.  He knows.

I started thinking about Sister Beck’s recent talk (I already blogged about it some) about the doctrine of the family, and her expressed concern that the youth are not confident about forming families.  I thought about how mornings like mine, and kitchens like mine, might be the reason for some of their apprehension.  I get it.  It’s daunting.  It’s certainly not convenient or easy.  But my mind kept reflecting on Sister Beck’s affirmation that the business of family is a “faith-based work” and that Heavenly Father helps us to do it.  We can’t do family, or anything that really matters, without his help.  We need faith; We have to believe it matters and we have to believe He’ll help us.  And He does.  I’ve marveled recently that despite my February funk (my lazy eye), He has not left me comfortless.  I can think of times that I know He stepped in and saved the day as an answer to weak, mumbled, random prayers.  He has blessed me when I have not endeavored to deserve His blessings.  I think this is why:

Faith is a gift, you know.  And like all spiritual gifts, we have access to it when we want it and seek it, or even simply hope for it.  There’s a scripture that I love in the Doctrine and Covenants section 46 because it uses my favorite comma in the scriptures— a comma that brings blessings within my reach by qualifying a statement that seems otherwise impossible.  In this section, the Lord encourages us to develop spiritual gifts.  He mentions many of them (such as testimony, Spirit, faith, wisdom and miracles), and then He says about these gifts— I’ll highlight the part with my favorite comma—

For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me . . .

Even when we are in a funk, even when we know there is more we should be doing but just can’t quite get it all together, God knows our hearts, our desires, knows that we seek to love Him and keep all his commandments, and He blesses us with gifts we feel we don’t deserve.  He gives us faith to continue doing the important work we do.  Whether we recognize those gifts or not, they are still gifts and they keep us going.  We do the faith-based work of family because God blesses us with the faith we need when he knows we want to do what’s right.

So I’m off to see what the “laundry demon” in me can do, with a little help of course.  Maybe God will give me the gift to not notice the kitchen while I’m on my way.