Today we had a wonderful lesson in Relief Society and Priesthood separately on a talk called, "Where is the Pavilion?" by President Henry B. Eyring.
Before R.S. started I was feeling a little down and a little nervous because pretty much my only friend in the ward had moved out and this would be my first Sunday having to "brave" making new friends. I had a prompting that I should sit by a girl that was sitting alone in the front row. I felt like if I were her I would want someone to come sit by me. I immediately joined into a conversation between her and another sister and felt comfortable.
I said the opening prayer in R.S. and was again prompted to ask Heavenly Father to help us all feel welcome and included as sisters and that we could all make friends.
As the lesson started I volunteered to read the first paragraph of the talk.
"In the depths of his anguish in Liberty Jail, the Prophet Joseph Smith cried out: “O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?”1
Many of us, in moments of personal anguish, feel that God is far from
us. The pavilion that seems to intercept divine aid does not cover God
but occasionally covers us. God is never hidden, yet sometimes we are,
covered by a pavilion of motivations that draw us away from God and make
Him seem distant and inaccessible. Our own desires, rather than a
feeling of “Thy will be done,”2
create the feeling of a pavilion blocking God. God is not unable to see
us or communicate with us, but we may be unwilling to listen or submit
to His will and His time."
This was an "aha" moment for me as I realized that especially now, I have been wondering, "Where is God, when will our blessings come?" When in reality it is me that is being unwilling to submit to His will and put my complete trust and faith in His plan for me.
I shared a few of my feelings and texted Jer during the lesson (bad I know) some of the quotes I really liked. Turned out they were having the same lesson and Jer was going through the same thought process as I was.
The girl next to me shared a personal story about herself that brought her to tears and was very near to her heart. What she struggled with was something that we have in common. It was then that I knew that however small, it really was a little tender mercy to both of us that I was prompted to sit next to her at church.
There are many other trials in my life much less trivial than feeling lonely at church, but I felt like these little promptings and blessings given to me today were a reminder to me of how mindful my Heavenly Father is of me and my righteous desires, and the struggles I have. It is not that He has abandoned me, it is that I often abandon Him as my own motivations bring me farther from God.
"God is close to us and aware of us and never hides from His faithful children."
I'm grateful for the reminder today that the Lord's hand is in everything, we just need to be willing to let Him in.
You can find the full version of the talk here.