Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Currant Bush

In his talk entitled, "The Currant Bush", the former apostle, elder Hugh B. Brown spoke of the plan the Lord had for his life and the ensuing person he was to become.  I proceed to attach a number of excerpts taken from his talk.  May we all learn from the lesson of the Currant Bush.

"You sometimes wonder whether the Lord really knows what he ought to do with you. You sometimes wonder if you know better than he does about what you ought to do and ought to become."

"I was living up in Canada. I had purchased a farm. It was run-down. I went out one morning and saw a currant bush. It had grown up over six feet high. It was going all to wood. There were no blossoms and no currants...I got some pruning shears and went after it, and I cut it down, and pruned it, and clipped it back until there was nothing left but a little clump of stumps. It was just coming daylight, and I thought I saw on top of each of these little stumps what appeared to be a tear, and I thought the currant bush was crying...I looked at it, and smiled, and said, “What are you crying about?” You know, I thought I heard that currant bush talk. And I thought I heard it say this: “How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. I was almost as big as the shade tree and the fruit tree that are inside the fence, and now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me, because I didn’t make what I should have made. How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.” That’s what I thought I heard the currant bush say, and I thought it so much that I answered. I said, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and some day, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down, for caring enough about me to hurt me. Thank you, Mr. Gardener.’”

Later, Elder Brown recounts his denial of being promoted to the position of General in the British Canadian Army.  At that time he was serving in England and, through great effort, came to realize that the appointment to general was to be rightfully his after the death of the former head of rank.  Upon entering the office of the General in charge of all forces, Elder Brown was notified that he would not be appointed general after all.  He was devastated and these are his words following this experience:

"I was so bitter that I threw my cap and my saddle brown belt on the cot. I clinched my fists and I shook them at heaven. I said, “How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?” I was as bitter as gall...
And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, “I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.” The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness and my bitterness. While kneeling there I heard a song being sung in an adjoining tent. A number of Mormon boys met regularly every Tuesday night. I usually met with them. We would sit on the floor and have a Mutual Improvement Association. As I was kneeling there, praying for forgiveness, I heard their voices singing:
“It may not be on the mountain height
Or over the stormy sea;
It may not be at the battle’s front
My Lord will have need of me;
But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I’ll go where you want me to go.”
"I arose from my knees a humble man. And now, almost fifty years later, I look up to him and say, “Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

“Even though our journey may be fraught with tribulation, the destination is truly glorious.”

—Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year, A New You

     "Some of you may wonder: Is there any future for me? What does a new year hold for me?  Will I be safe? Will life be sound? Can I trust in the Lord and in the future? Or would it be better to look back, to go back, to stay in the past?  Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come.”
                                       - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

"He turns not back who is bound to a star"

- Leonardo Da Vinci

The poet Robert Browning wrote:
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in his hand
Who saith, “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Song in the Night

               I LOVE this representation of Christlike love and charity.  May we all think of our blessings a little bit longer this year, love a little bit deeper and give a little more as we come to know the King of Kings, the Christ child.  Enjoy this beautiful composition as The Mormon Tabernacle Choir presents, My Song in the Night.  May we each raise our song to Him as we search for His love this most blessed time of year and always.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Give Your Heart!

During this most wonderful time of year, we each seek for what we might give to those we love.  With varying account balances, some with much more monetary means than others, we search for items that would represent our true devotion and thanks for family and friends.  We appreciate the kindness and love we receive from others and we desire to show that gratitude in a tangible way.  When Christ was born, the wise men came bearing gifts from the East.  They presented various and costly oils.  The shepherds appeared with their living to offer.  If we had the funds I suspect some of the people in our lives would receive some pretty ornate and valuble gifts from us.  Think of it this way:  We try to pay others thanks for all of the wonderful things they have done for us.  If we ponder a moment we realize that Christ has done more for us than the efforts made by any one person or collective group.  Then let us truly give thanks unto Him this year, no, not in purchased items or personal belongings but with the gift of our hearts!  

What can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,

If I were a wise man

I would do my part,

Yet what I can I give Him —

Give my heart.

English poet Christina Rossetti

If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb...

If I were a wise man
I would do my part...
Yet what can I give Him-
give my heart.