Today, while watching my two younger boys play on a playground on one side of the park and my daughter play in a soccer game on the other side of the park - with me parked in the middle on a folding chair - I randomly opened my scriptures and found this:
"...but the law of Moses did serve to strengthen their faith in Christ; and thus they did retain a hope through faith unto eternal salvation, relying upon the spirit of prophecy, which spake of those things to come..." (Alma 25:16)
It is a packed scripture, but my mind kept repeating the phrase, "they did retain a hope through faith," over and over. As I'm sure you can tell, I have felt unusually low lately. My confidence in my parenting style, grant-writing abilities, friendship-making skills, (and yes) cooking skills have all pretty much hit rock bottom. (I baked a peach pie - yes, all out! - on Sunday, and it was utterly inedible. Previously I was not aware that it was even possible to mess up a peach pie recipe.) My hope has been wavering on many fronts. I was reminded powerfully of what I need to do to "retain" a greater hope.
The words reminded me of why we are asked to do all that we are, and why we often choose to do it. All that we do leads us to have greater faith in Christ. Sometimes I forget this. I was completely and particularly overwhelmed last Sunday. I felt like temporarily becoming inactive in my church because the expectations and responsibilities I faced felt so great. I had been up all night with a sick child, alternating between soothing him and cleaning up after him, (yep, he threw up four times before arriving at his destination). I was in charge of our ward's primary program that day. My husband worked that day. The relative coming to watch my sick child while I was at church couldn't get to the house in time for me to leave. I made a choice that upset my husband greatly. Plus, I don't handle things quite as well when I am sleep-deprived. It was a day that I would like to forget.
The words also reminded me of the power that comes into my life when I read the scriptures. There is an immediate and tangible flux of energy and hope that I feel. It directly affects my inner peace and ability to feel good inside despite my world crashing around me. (Okay, I may be reading too much into this peach pie ordeal, but it was a big blow to my ego.) But, in reality, the hope and faith that we feel as we read the scriptures, words written by the spirit of prophecy, truly strengthen our faith in Christ, our determination to press forward, our desire and ability to continually seek for opportunities to serve and love those around us, and ultimately, our inner level of happiness and general contentment.
Yes, there is a reason for those "primary answers" - it is because they are the most powerful and result-proven activities that really can be answers to every question there is.