Alma 8:14 "And it came to pass that while he was journeying thither, being weighed down with sorrow, wading through much tribulation and anguish of soul, because of the wickedness of the people who were in the city of Ammonihah, it came to pass while Alma was thus weighed down with sorrow, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto him, saying:" End quote.
Well, my name isn't Alma, it's Merilee. Yet sometimes I do feel a little sad. I pray and read the scriptures and think about my blessings. And yet sometimes it lingers. In those lingering times, sometimes you just need help.
There are many times when I have asked for help. Sometimes it has just been given to me. And asking for help is ok, even if it's hard to do. Here are a couple of examples of those times, since it can't always be milk and roses over here. Especially since the milk is always getting drunk and the flowers are always dying- except the birthday flowers Charles gave me. Those are still going strong. Somehow. Or maybe they are just wilting inside and putting up a strong face. That happens.
Canute was always the sensitive one. I remember he would cry and cry. I made a conscious note to tell him when he grew up about how sensitive he was. He and I were mission buddies. He would answer my questions as I asked. He would answer my questions I didn't ask. He is my artsy friend who is really good. He is in plays and applied for the art program at BYU. Sometimes we need an example of following passions we nurture. We are not all good at following our dreams.
Sarah told me she would plan my wedding when I didn't think I could manage it. I didn't even ask her to plan it, she just offered and sent me ring pictures to pick from. Sometimes we need a nudge. We are not all excellent decision makers.
Neal told me he could lend me some money for college. I had cried in my Russian bathroom for 5 minutes before the roomies made me let them in and consoled me. They said I should consider my options and maybe email my family for ideas. That week as I checked my email, I found one from Neal saying he had thought about my Russian plight and offered to loan me money so I could go straight back to school when I got back instead of working at home. Sometimes we need an offer to accept. We are not all bold enough to ask for that kind of help.
Cookie told me I'd make a great hairdresser. She said if it was interesting to me and I could be passionate about it, I should do it. I didn't do it, but it was touching that she had such abounding confidence in me. Sometimes we need others to believe we can do hard things. We are not all of us good at acting upon our dreams.
America found me during a bout of Trigonomecan't. I had wondered what the point was of life if it didn't get any better after high school. She told me it would. She said college was a trillion times better than high school. And it was. Look how happy I am. Sometimes we need someone to hand us hope. We are not all good at stepping into the clouded unknown.
Dad found me at the kitchen table a couple times. He would help me with those projects I put off. He would tell me the importance of overcoming procrastination. I learned the value of planning and finishing assignments before crunch time. He saved me from having many college all nighters. That's good, because despite that, I could barely stay awake in my classes. Sometimes we need the answers to unasked questions. We are not all-knowing (well, unless you happen to be between the ages of 11 and 20).
Mom lent me to others. She showed me what to do with my free time. Why should I sit at home when there are houses to be cleaned and people to be helped? She taught me to look for opportunities to serve others. Sometimes we need to understand our own need to help others. We are not always good at looking past our own problems.
Bonnie talked me through a couple strange boy choices. She would offer me book titles and wisdom from her years. She told me I was wonderful and worth a gem and she gave me loyalty that I couldn't possibly have deserved. Sometimes you need those loyal friends to encourage you through your faults. We are not all perfectly content with ourselves.
Grant wrote me every single week of my mission. Minus one. I remember being confused that week. He had just served and still remembered the importance of email support from home. He's the other one who got sent from the table and clapped his hands like a crazy all over the house as we all grew up. Sometimes we need someone to understand our crazy. We are not all perfectly sane.
Joshy told me I was funny, smart, interesting, and wonderful. He gave me positive reinforcement without expecting anything in return. He was the baby who got teased. Sorry Joshy. We know how that goes. Sometimes selflessness is complimenting another person because we recognize their merits. We are not always aware of others.
Christian made me hang up on the call he made to me, before he left for his mission. He said he would be ok, because he was serving the Lord. He said, "Merilee, I have been thinking..you should just marry Charles. He seems like a cool guy and he would treat you really well. You need someone like that. Just do it." He will tell you to look at him, give you some wisdom, and then tell you he loves you. He is a good person. Sometimes we help others but do not see how to help ourselves. We are not always aware of our own needs.
We are imperfect people with big problems. It is hard to ask for help. For me, it has been necessary to accept the answers I never asked for. Do you need an answer from me? Do you have a question I cannot see? Do you need a friend? Do you fall asleep in all of your classes? Do they make you stand in your classes because you fall asleep? I am praying for you.
We are here to be tested. Do you not know you are a child of God who loves you into infinity and through the blinders we set for ourselves? I am not perfect. I have many questions. Do I ask them? Do you?
Alma 8:15 "Blessed art thou, Alma; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God from the time which thou receivedst thy first message from him. Behold, I am he that delivered it unto you." Book of Mormon