January 6



By Tresta Neil

Called to Learn, Character Development, Personal Change, Word Study

What is your lot in life?

Have you ever wondered why things happen the way they do? Why you? I do.

I have a friend suffering with stage 4 cancer and fighting for her life. I keep asking myself why her, why now, why does she have to suffer so much? Is it really her lot in life?

I decided I’d look up the word ‘lot‘ and find out what that meant. Of course, I turned to the 1828 dictionary and read “that which is the determination of providence; the part…that falls to one by divine determination.” What is providence then? Providence is “the care and superintendence which God exercises over his creatures.” I actually find comfort in that. My friends cancer is providence, a lesson God is teaching her and all the rest of us a lesson that will bring us closer to him. Our job is to find that lesson and grow from it even though it is painful.

I’ve noticed that there are not many movies, books or music that refers to providence as there use to be in the early 1900’s. My daughter and I just watched all the Anne of Green Gable movies over the Christmas vacation. They are filled with the belief in God, that his hand of providence is guiding them. Why doesn’t the world acknowledge and trust in God any more?

I am reminded of the two examples from the Book of Mormon about 200 B.C. One, Amulon is given permission to teach the Lamanites how to read and write in the Nephite language (see Mosiah 24:1). Alma taught the new converts how to read and write too, but he added the reverence of God within his teachings. The consequences are drastically different! They both began to flourish, opportunities were opened up, both increased in riches and wisdom.  The Nephites “did multiply and prosper exceedingly in the land” and “they built a city” (Mosiah 23:20) and “Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.” (Mosiah 24:15) On the other hand, the Lamanites delighted in wickedness and plundering (Mosiah 24:7).

So, back to my other question. Why don’t I teach, write, acknowledge and trust more in providence? Why don’t I only entrust teachers of my children who teach providence? Do I not want the results of my children bearing their burden with ease? Be cheerful? Have patience? To prosper and build cities?

I know you are the choir and that you teach about God’s hand throughout all of history, literature, time, music, etc.  I am re-committing myself to do better at finding, pointing out and seeking for Providence, evidence of God’s hand in all the details of learning so that my ‘lot’ in life will be one filled with the awareness of Christ’s hand in the little things, in all things.


You miss a lot when you don’t believe
little things mean a lot.

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