Chieko N. Okazaki Quotes

Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism.Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize. On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion. His last recorded words to his disciples were, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He's been there. He's been lower than all that. He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief.You know that people who live above a certain latitude and experience very long winter nights can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day. Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him.
When we lose a righteous person who is dear to us, we have the wonderful opportunity to honor that person by incorporating the best principles from his or her life into ours. What were his gifts? What were her talents? A desire to serve, a happy outlook on life, generosity with material possessions, an even greater generosity in having a heart that included everyone? Following the example of a loved one, we can love the Lord, make covenants with the Lord, and keep them faithfully. We too can seek to understand the Savior's great mission of atonement, redemption, and salvation. We too can seek to become worthy followers of the Son of God. And we too can anticipate that when the time comes for us to step through the veil of mortality, leaving our failing and pain-filled bodies behind, we will see the loving smile and feel the welcoming embrace, not only of our Heavenly Parents and of the Savior, but also of our loved ones who will greet us in full vigor, full remembrance, and full love. When we are in the valley of the shadow, it is a time of questions without answers. We ask, "How can I bear this? Why did such a good woman have to die? Why aren't my prayers being answered?" In this life, we will not receive answers to many questions of "why"—partly because the limitations of mortality prevent us from understanding the full plan. But I testify to you that the answer of faith is a powerful one, even in the most difficult of circumstances, because it does not depend on us—on our strength to endure, on our willpower, on the depth of our intellectual understanding, or on the resources we can accumulate. No, it depends on God, whose strength is omnipotence, whose understanding is that of eternity, and who has the will to walk beside us in love, sharing our burden. He could part the Red Sea before us or calm the angry storm that besets us, but these would be small miracles for the God of nature. Instead, he chooses to do something harder: He wants to transform human nature into divine nature. And thus, when our Red Sea blocks our way and when the storm threatens to overwhelm us, he enters the water with us, holding us in the hands of love, supporting us with the arms of mercy. When we emerge from the valley of the shadow, we will see that he was there with us all the time.
sparrows" (Luke 12:7). When we lose a righteous person who is dear to us, we have the wonderful opportunity to honor that person by incorporating the best principles from his or her life into ours. What were his gifts? What were her talents? A desire to serve, a happy outlook on life, generosity with material possessions, an even greater generosity in having a heart that included everyone? Following the example of a loved one, we can love the Lord, make covenants with the Lord, and keep them faithfully. We too can seek to understand the Savior's great mission of atonement, redemption, and salvation. We too can seek to become worthy followers of the Son of God. And we too can anticipate that when the time comes for us to step through the veil of mortality, leaving our failing and pain-filled bodies behind, we will see the loving smile and feel the welcoming embrace, not only of our Heavenly Parents and of the Savior, but also of our loved ones who will greet us in full vigor, full remembrance, and full love. When we are in the valley of the shadow, it is a time of questions without answers. We ask, "How can I bear this? Why did such a good woman have to die? Why aren't my prayers being answered?" In this life, we will not receive answers to many questions of "why"—partly because the limitations of mortality prevent us from understanding the full plan. But I testify to you that the answer of faith is a powerful one, even in the most difficult of circumstances, because it does not depend on us—on our strength to endure, on our willpower, on the depth of our intellectual understanding, or on the resources we can accumulate. No, it depends on God, whose strength is omnipotence, whose understanding is that of eternity, and who has the will to walk beside us in love, sharing our burden. He could part the Red Sea before us or calm the angry storm that besets us, but these would be small miracles for the God of nature. Instead, he chooses to do something harder: He wants to transform human nature into divine nature. And thus, when our Red Sea blocks our way and when the storm threatens to overwhelm us, he enters the water with us, holding us in the hands of love, supporting us with the arms of mercy. When we emerge from the valley of the shadow, we will see that he was there with us all the time.