Monday, August 6, 2012

Viva la Vida

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. It´s a fairly simple saying and we´ve all heard it before but how exactly do we turn lemons into lemonade? How do we take the "sour" experiences of life and turn them into something good? And once we do that and have our lemonade are we drinking it too? Making Lemonade Sometimes life gives us a sour batch of lemons. But as we understand why we get lemons, we can turn them into lemonade. Lehi explains why sometimes life isn´t always the easiest thing, "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so...righteousness could not be brought to pass...neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad" (2 Nephi 2:11). Later he explains that if we never have opposition we would live "having no joy, for [we know] no misery; doing no good, for [we know] no sin" (2 Nephi 2:23). Without knowing misery, we can´t have any joy. Without the sour we can´t have the sweet. Although it´s easier to understand this concept than to live it, it´ll help us turn those lemons into lemonade. Although lemons are a part of life, they don´t need to last forever. We can turn lemons into lemonade by understanding the nature of our hard times. Jesus explained to his disciples, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament...and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy" (John 16:20). Isn´t that great? Even though sorrows will come we can look forward to when they´ll be turned into lemonade--err, joy. Then he gives us an example, "A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world" (John 16:21). And finally these words of comfort, "And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you" (John 16:22). Alma after his life changing experience comments, "and oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain" (Alma 36:20). Drinking Lemonade Whether life gives us lemonade or we make it ourselves, if we´re not drinking it we´re not getting everything out of life. Often we might dwell on how great our lemonade used to be or how great our lemonade will be some day and we don´t realize how great our lemonade is now. Being grateful for the now is how we have our lemonade and drink it too. For the Strength of the Youth says, "Live with a spirit of thanksgiving and you will have greater happiness and satisfaction in life." How great is that? I don´t think it could get much clearer than that. Gratefulness = happiness and satisfaction. What a great little formula! By being grateful we give value to the present tense. Whether we´re getting hit in the face with sour lemons or someone´s serving us cold lemonade, by being grateful we enjoy life more fully. "If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving. If thou art sorrowful, call on the Lord thy God with supplication, that your souls may be joyful" (D&C 136:28-29). Too many times we take for granted what we have or we don´t realize what we have until we don´t have it anymore. James notes, "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14). Jacob makes a similiar observation, "the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream" (Jacob 7:26). We don´t know how long life will be giving us lemons or lemonade, so let´s squeeze out all of the flavor while we can! With all the love of a sour lemon, Elder Lounsbury

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