What do you see when you look at this picture?
I see different colors: red, yellow, brown, light green, dark green.
There's a beautiful river, pine trees, bushes, plants, and more.
I also see life that has passed on. There are dead trees strewn across the way, covering the river.
To me, this picture represents us each as individuals. The dead trees represent sin and weaknesses.
Sometimes, we forget the beauty that we possess within ourselves.
President Uchtdorf spoke to the women of the Church yesterday ((9.24.11) but equally applicable to men).
He used the metaphor of the flower: Forget Me Nots. There are five petals on a forget me not. He reminds us that there are five things that we should "forget not".
1. Be patient with yourself. We are NOT perfect. Do not compare your weaknesses with another's strengths. Recognize that they are not perfect either. Stop punishing yourself.
2. Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a not so good sacrifice. Do we sacrifice our sleep to socialize or stay on the computer for hours at a time when we very well know that it will effect our studies the following day. Am I committing my time and energies to things that are worthwhile?
3. Forget not to be happy NOW. Many wonderful things await you. You may not have it at this moment, but it WILL come. Yearn for righteous things--> The problems come when we expect a "golden ticket" to appear with every "chocolate bar". Do not fail to recognize what we have here and now. Run with it, don't swim against the current.
4. Forget not the WHY of the gospel. Sometimes we look at the gospel as a long to-do list (Visiting Teaching, Home Teachings, baking cookies or meals for others in need, etc.). The gospel of Jesus Christ is not an obligation. IT IS A PATHWAY. It is a joy and a delight to be a part of this gospel. Seek out the majesty, the beauty, the exhilarating joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The "why" of the gospel will transform you.
5. Forget not that the Lord loves you. We are NEVER forgotten. You are NOT forgotten. No matter ow insignificant you may feel, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. The creator of all things has not forgotten even you. He loves you. You are His child, His creation. Allow His divine love into your life. You are closer to heaven than you suppose. You are destined for more than you can imagine.
The beginning picture reminds me that we have our weaknesses and our faults, but these things that President Uchtdorf reminds us of helps me to see the beauty that surrounds the weaknesses and trials that we face each day of our lives.