The Refiner's Fire

Yesterday was a long day. I mean, I'm no stranger to statements like that--but seriously. Yesterday was a mess that it'll take me some time to sort through in my head.

 We showed up to my father's funeral just before it started. In all honesty, it was something I wanted to get through as quickly as possible because I was extremely uncomfortable. Celebrating my father is something I've never been good about, and the fact that I was expected to in that setting was simply more than I could handle. I sat there silently, rigidly, trying to find some good in what I was doing, or at least for the end of whatever it was that was in store for me.

Just as in life, and the management of his affairs in death, his funeral was a tribute to the one fact about my father that I cannot escape, not even in my own behavior--he could never do anything half way. Just when you think what you planned will go smoothly, completely uninterrupted by the more unpredictable and toxic aspects of the full reality in which you actually live, memories enter, a constant reminder of the ghosts that may not take you down, but will be lurking in doorways until the day you die. Anger rises instantly, your back seizes with stress, and while you may forget to breathe, the desire to pray and live is stronger than your demons anymore.

Heavenly Father, please help mine unbelief. Protect me from these memories, that anger that threatens to destroy me at every moment. Help me to find unshakable faith in thy Son's Atonement. Lord, PLEASE save me. Forsake not thy handmaid. Lord, please help mine unbelief.

Over and over again, no matter how many times it takes. Do not open your eyes until you feel human again, or you will be taken under again.

The pastor, a confused, quivering man that--if he isn't in his eighties, looks as if he could be--bears a message to your deaf ears; he seems to know things that you ought to. But revelation never promised wisdom, and it's time you took some from the people who offer it--the fact that your father "wanted to do good." Let those words sink in deeply, as hard as it will be for you to trust them.

Lord, please help mine unbelief...

A memorial service, a circus, a refiner's fire... for me, it was all of these things--maybe more. One thing is certain: I'm no longer the believer I thought I was. I will either remain the grandest hypocrite of a fraud of them all, or I will become that sincere believer I always hoped, imagined, and promised--nay, even covenanted--I would be. I will either be the impurity that rises to the surface, or the purified silver right next to the heat.

I just began reading the Book of Mormon again, and I'm rapidly returning to the chapters about the liahona--that "ball of curious workmanship."

Curious? Curious, indeed...

Truth Eternal Tells Me I've a Mother There

Without further ado, let's do a scriptural deep-dive on Heavenly Mother. I've put a lot of thought into the best way to create a lon...