Sunday, February 28, 2010

Patience and Faith

At church today I listened to a very good talk.  The lady spoke about how we can rely on God for help with our burdens.  I especially liked the quotes she shared by Elder Maxwell about how patience and help have a unique relationship.

Here was one that I liked, "the Lord simultaneously tries the patience of his people even as he tries their faith (see Mosiah 23:21). One is not only to endure—but to endure well and gracefully those things which the Lord “seeth fit to inflict upon [us]” (Mosiah 3:19), just as did a group of ancient American Saints who were beating unusual burdens but who submitted “cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord” (Mosiah 24:15)."

This is a link to the whole talk: - Ensign Article - Patience

This evening I was still reflecting on that quote and wanted to read the whole talk.  The whole talk was so great.  Elder Maxwell was a master of the English language.  I just love reading his talks.  This was another quote I liked:
"Sometimes that which we are doing is correct enough but simply needs to be persisted in—patiently—not for a minute or a moment but sometimes for years. Paul speaks of the marathon of life and how we must “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1). Paul did not select the hundred-yard dash for his analogy!"

This struck home.  As much as I wish this infertile race was a 100 yard dash.  It sure isn't.  I don't know how long I will have to run this infertile race, but for as long as it lasts, I  need to try to run it more patiently.  As I thought about how much I wished this race could be over I just how far sperm needed to travel to reach the egg.  It is clearly not 100 yards, so you would think they could reach their destination easily.  

According to wiki answers:
"The sperm have to travel about 10 cms only. But this is a difficult task for it to ovecome all the hurdles. Half of the sperm would be dead and remaining would be not able to travel properly.  The remaining sperm have to overcome the unfaconditions of the vagina. Even under the most favorable conditions, the sperm have a daunting distance to travel. Although only about 4 inches (10 cm) lie between the sperm and egg, the extreme itti-bittiness of the sperm make this distance a marathon. The sperm's whiplike tail, 10 times the length of its head, can propel it at about 3mm per hour."  

If my math is correct, that means it would take about 33 hrs for the sperm to reach the egg.  I guess they do have a long, tough road to travel as well.  I will try not judge them so harshly anymore. 

Here are some other quotes by Elder Maxwell that I liked: 

"There is also a dimension of patience which links it to a special reverence for life. Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe—rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance.

Too much anxious opening of the oven door and the cake falls instead of rising! So it is with us. If we are always selfishly taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we won’t be.

When we are impatient, we are neither reverential nor reflective because we are too self-centered. Whereas faith and patience are companions, so are selfishness and impatience."
That is what I am doing right now--constantly, "opening the oven door" hoping to see a "little bun in the oven", and when I don't see one I am reminding myself that I am not happy about my current infertile situation.  No amount of thinking, "it's not fair", or being upset at God has helped me feel any better.  

I think it is a tricky balance.  Because you have to think about your current situation to figure out how to fix it, but you need to make sure it doesn't become all consuming or too depressing that you can't think straight.  
I have still been struggling with prayer, but this talk and a few others I have been listening to on my iPod lately have been helping.  This talk has helped to see the connection between patience and faith, and realize that I am in short supply of both.  
"Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best—better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than his. Either way we are questioning the reality of God’s omniscience, as if, as some seem to believe, God were on some sort of postdoctoral fellowship." Elder Maxwell
This was the "wake up call" I needed.  Who am I to think that I know more than God?  I realize how much more I need to learn and grow.  I hope to have more patience in this trial.  
I am grateful I was able to go to church today and receive this guidance and direction that I desperately needed.  Now to put it into practice--that's always the tricky part.  


  1. I am LDS too and I just found out that I may have a tough road ahead of me getting pregnant. It is really comforting to read your blog and realize that I too will need to make the best of this journey.

  2. In this land of IF abbreviations you may be racking your brain to figure out what LDS stands for. It is a Mormon abbreviation that stands for Latter-day Saint. The real name for the Mormon church is: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There you have it.

  3. Howdy from another infertile Mormon blogger. There seem to be quite a lot of us. Found your blog through Show-and-Tell. Best wishes on your journey.