CRUCIBLE: "a furnace-like vessel that endures intense heat that refines and transfigures raw materials into a new, stronger substance...[It] purges away impurities and unifies elements into an entirely new final product" (Hawkins et al 237).
We can think of a crucible as a "metaphor for life-changing challenges, adversities, and losses that have a refining effect on a person or an entire family" (Hawkins et al 237).
There have been many crucibles in my life and I'm sure there will be many more, but for today I want to focus on one that affected our entire family.
"The [Family] proclamation teaches that the cumulative purpose of all experiences in this life is to help us 'progress toward perfection' (para 3) and realize our 'destiny as heirs of eternal life'. Having faith in God and in His 'divine plan of happiness' (para 3) is the first principle of a perspective that recognizes meaning and growth as coming from life's crucibles" (Hawkins et al 238).
It took being diagnosed with cancer to really find my testimony of God's divine plan of happiness. I was terrified that the cancer would win and that I would have to leave my young family for a season. I believed that we would see each other again because of the Savior and the temple covenants that Mark and I had made together in His name, but this was an opportunity for me to come to know that plan and recognize the power that comes from keeping covenants.
I remember pleading with my Heavenly Father to please allow me to stay here with my kids and not let the cancer win. This was my prayer for most of the beginning stages of treatment. Then, the Lord blessed me with a few sacred, personal experiences in which I learned that it did not matter if I lived or died after fighting that cancer. What mattered is that I needed to let go of my will and align it with His. I needed to recognize that there was a bigger picture. Bigger than being here for birthdays, graduations, weddings, and grand kids. It was about trusting in the Savior and believing that His sacrifice and suffering meant something.
"Our understanding of the Atonement is hardly a shield against sorrow; rather, it is a rich source of strength to deal productively with the disappointments and heartbreaks that form the deliberate fabric of mortal life. The gospel helps us to heal our pain, not necessarily to prevent it" -Elder Bruce C. Hafen (Hawkins et al 239).
The Savior is the Key
As this semester is drawing to an end and I write this concluding post for my project, I hope that you have enjoyed being on this journey with me.
I have learned so much about the Eternal Family over the last 13 weeks. There have been things that I have questioned, things I have not understood, and things that have left me feeling sorrow for those who do not have the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives because the ONE thing that has stood out above all the rest is that He is the key to EVERYTHING.
"Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities" (Family para 7).
I don't know where my family would be without the Savior and His everlasting gospel in our lives. Having His gospel in our lives helps us to forgive one another, to be patient with one another, and to remember that it is through Him that we will be able to live together forever.
"Family: A Proclamation to the World." (1995, November). Ensign, 25, p. 102.
Hawkins, A. J., Dollahite, D. C., & Draper, T. (2012). Successful marriages and families: Proclamation principles and research perspectives. Provo, UT: BYU Studies and School of Family Life, Brigham Young University.