Greetings, Gentle Reader,

This earth life will never mete out much fairness, so things work out better if we just stop whining and go to work. Each of us will get a raw deal from time to time, as does every other person on this planet. Whiners not only make themselves miserable, but everyone who has to live around them.

Heavenly Father has put us on a fallen planet. He would not have done that to us, unless He knew it would be good for us. When we whimper and whine, complain and bellyache, we are telling Him that He just does not measure up to our idea of a loving father. We want smooth sailing, and He has given us storms and wild tempests.

So, who is right, Heavenly Father or us? If we are right in our desire to have a life of ease, then Heavenly Father has to be wrong. If He is right, and what He has put us into is best for us, then we are just being ungrateful brats. Neither of these scenarios is pleasant, but one of them has to be right.

Most of us know better than to rant and rail at Heavenly Father, but do we feel the same about endless whining? We should. It doesn’t help, and it always hurts.

Remember the young mother whose husband came in, unexpectedly, from the fields and was dead within hours? We read of it in the Church News. She was not prepared to support her two small sons. She hadn’t the schooling to do so. But she had no choice. She could have whined her life away, but she buckled down, got her degree and supported her two boys through childhood and into adulthood. Then she went on missions and, finally, did endless work for others in the temple. She worked her way through life, rather than whining her way through life. What a difference attitude makes!

Once upon a time, when one of my sons was playing basketball, I remember sitting on the sidelines, shouting, "Fight harder! Fight harder!"

His team was not winning, and it was obvious the boys were simply not fighting with all their hearts. They were going through the motions, but they were not paying the full price, and as a result, they were losing. Life is like that. We have to play it with all our heart, otherwise, the vicissitudes of life, some of them downright gruesome, will roll right over the top of us, grinding our face into the dirt in the process.

After a game like that, some teams sit around and assure each other that the loss was not their fault. The referee wasn’t fair, the court wasn’t properly maintained, the coach did a lousy job. No! The kids didn’t fight hard enough. They failed themselves.

That’s the story of many people’s lives. They have failed and are continuing to fail themselves. This is human nature at its most irresponsible. It doesn’t matter what my problem is, it isn’t my fault. If all else fails, I’ll blame it on my ancestors for giving me lousy genes.

In modern America, one of the worst instances of our failing ourselves, our mate and our children, and even our grandchildren, is the overwhelming divorce rate. It is too easy to throw in the towel, so to speak, and sue for divorce. The wife isn’t as pretty as she used to be. He is going bald, and besides, he’s a grouch, an overweight grouch. He has an overhanging gut he didn’t used to have.

Okay. So he no longer looks like a movie hero. She no longer looks like a movie queen. So what? Get used to it!

A dear friend’s oldest daughter began to have trouble with her marriage. Her husband of many years became verbally abusive, and openly let her know that he really didn’t like her anymore. My friend had reached the point of advising her daughter to end her temple marriage, but she approached me about the subject before she did so. She was surprised when I told her the statistics concerning unhappy marriages turning around within approximately a five year period, about 80% of the time, IF the couple determinedly sticks it out.

A short time ago, I asked her how her daughter’s marriage was coming along. She happily stated that her son-in-law had ceased to be abusive and once again had become a loving husband.

There is no way to know what had happened in that marriage, but the wife had refused to end it, though her husband seemed to be attempting to push her to do so. Her determination to honor and continue to value her temple marriage had paid off. More than anything else, she knew the Lord would not want her to walk away from her eternal vows and commitments, so she had simply chosen to be obedient. She didn’t whine and blame anyone else. She didn’t really know what was wrong, so she just buckled down and stuck it out. We LDS must try to follow her lead.

Sometimes a mate simply walks out and no one can stop him or her. Sometimes an offspring walks away from the church, from his or her vows and from all responsibilities. We can’t win them all, all of the time, but we can always determine within ourselves to fight to the very end. The Prophet Joseph did that. He was the best of the best, and we can and should follow his lead. We simply need to put our head down, like any good work horse, and pull our load. We can do it, and it will be eternally worth it.

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    Cindy Beck said...

    I loved your first line where you said:
    "This earth life will never mete out much fairness, so things work out better if we just stop whining and go to work."

    What great advice! Think how much better the world would be if people would quit whining and get to work. Good job on this entire article!

  1. ... on July 22, 2008 at 9:08 AM