I used to think the Lord never answered the question, "Why me?" But I've begun to understand why He lets us suffer heartbreak.
If I had to pick the most universal and painful human experience, I’d probably say heartbreak. It’s something all of us understand, as it comes in many forms and degrees throughout our lives. There’s the heartbreak of divorce or a hard breakup, the heartbreak of losing a loved one or watching a loved one make wrong choices, the heartbreak of seeing our families hurting, or the heartbreak of our lives going in a direction we never wanted them to.
Sometimes, heartbreak is a bearable experience that we can move past fairly quickly. Too often, however, it leaves us burdened by deep despair and hurt that can last for weeks, months, or even years and cause us to wonder, “Why, Lord? Why?”
I used to think that the Lord never answered that question when I asked it, that He just left me hanging and struggling on my own. But over the past few months, I've begun to recognize what, to me, is the answer to my plea: in spite of the aching pain and the surge of insecurity that comes with it, having our hearts broken can be a blessing, and it can be a rare opportunity for personal growth.
Heartbreak gives us a greater appreciation for and understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Several weeks ago, I was talking with a good friend about a difficult break up. I was angry, because even months later, it brought me to tears and made me question my worth as a person. The pain I inflicted on myself was almost unbearable, and I felt so alone, even when talking to someone else. In the middle of this particular conversation, however, I found myself suddenly thinking of the Savior. I was humbled by a thought that came quietly, but powerfully to my mind: He gets this. He knows how this feels. And I knew it was true.
Sometimes genealogy can be comical as well as informative. But who knew it could be this hilarious! Check out these 10 #genealogyproblems from Twitter!
The romance isn't dead for this long-distance couple.
Jackson Casimiro and his missionary. Photo from imgur.
When one young woman left on an 18-month mission, she left behind more than her boyfriend: she also left 16 letters for her sweetheart to open during their time apart.
Jackson Casimiro, who is not yet a member of the Church, posted a thread online showcasing the letters, which each have specific "open when" instructions. Some are for specific times, like "Open on your 18th birthday" and "Open when you start college," while others are for specific trials, such as "Open when you feel like crying" and "Open when you need peace."
Bustle.com writer Lucia Peters calls this "one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen." She adds, "A lot of thought, effort, and time clearly went into the project, and almost more important than the letters themselves is what they represent: They’re a way to be there during the big moments when you can’t actually be there. And that? That’s a lesson we could all take to heart."
The Christus statue in the North Visitors’ Center is seen by millions of people every year. This iconic representation of the Savior is well-known to Mormons, but it wasn’t always that way. Check out how this statue came about and how it eventually earned its fame in the LDS world.
1. There are five known sketches/models of the Christus : three plaster models and two pencil drawings.
The inspiration for Bertel Thorvaldsen's Christus statue is unknown and could have come from his study of classical Greek sculptures, especially the work of Raphael. There are other potential inspirations, but because Thorvaldsen rarely kept drawings or models, we shall probably never know the precise evolution of the statue.
All five models are in Thorvaldsen's Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark.
2. Early sketches and models of the Christus show the arms of Christ raised above his head.
There are several theories of how the statue ended up with the lower extended arms it has today:
- According to J.M. Thiele, Thorvaldsen's biographer, Herman Ernst Freund listened to Thorvaldsen's complaints with his arms crossed upon his chest and questioned what Thorvaldsen wanted to communicate with the position of Christ's arms. As Thorvaldsen contemplated an answer, he suddenly exclaimed, "I have it now! It shall be so!" Thus, according to Thiele, the conception of the Christus was nothing short of divine inspiration.
- Another version claims that while Freund, standing with arms folded across his chest, was listening sympathetically to the discouraged Thorvaldsen, he tried to cheer him up, unfolded his arms, and half-opened them, dropping them slightly downward, palms upward. Thorvaldsen saw his friend pose the posture he desired for his statue of Christ and quickly sketched the idea in his notes.
Pioneers in wagons and handcarts were not the only Latter-day Saints who made the difficult journey to Zion. Australian Saints aboard the Julia Ann faced their own unique test of faith when they were shipwrecked—an experience of tragedy and testimony that the survivors would never forget nor regret.
Several days before embarking on the ship Julia Ann, Australian Latter-day Saint John Perkins wrote in his diary: “Monday 3rd September 1855: The brethren and sisters are beginning to come in to go by the Julia Ann or the port of San Francisco.” This ill-fated adventure would be a singular event in Mormon history because it would be the only known shipwreck that claimed the lives of multiple Mormon pioneers on their way to Zion.
At the time of departure, there were a total of 56 aboard the Julia Ann, half of whom were Latter-day Saints, including three Mormon crewmembers. Augustus Farnham had appointed Elder John Penfold Sr. to be in charge of the company. As the Saints left the Sydney docks, they were singing “The Gallant Ship Is Under Weigh,” a hymn written by the famous LDS poet and hymn writer W. W. Phelps.
Captain Benjamin F. Pond recalled, “The first two weeks at sea were altogether exceedingly unpleasant; head winds, accompanied with much rain. We however entered the south-east trades, and everything again brightened, promising a speedy and pleasant voyage.” Indeed, the voyage began pleasantly enough, but on October 4th, nearly a month into their travels, the ship began picking up speed while passing between Mopea and the Scilly Isles.