Today's lesson in Church was wonderful. It was based off of THIS talk. You should really read this talk, because it has so many gems in it, but the part that stood out to me was a story told about President Hugh B. Brown who is a former member of the twelve apostles and a counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. I will summarize the story a lot, but basically he was gardening on some land he had bought and came across a currant bush that had grown over 6 feet high, but yielded no berries. He realized the bush needed to be pruned so he cut it back all the way to it's stumps. On each of the little stumps was a drop (like a tear) and he imagined the tree telling him, "How could you do this to me" and him saying, "Look little Currant bush, I am the gardener here , and I know what I want you to be". Years later he served in the military and got turned down for a promotion that he had been working on for a decade. He was told he deserved the promotion, but would not receive it because he was Mormon. President Brown felt angry and bitter at the Lord and his heart was broken. But then he heard his own voice say, "I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do". He was touched and fell on his knees asking for forgiveness. The article says, "and now almost 50 years later I look up to God and say, "thank you Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enought to hurt me." God knew what Hugh B. Brown was to become and what was needed for that to happen, and He redirected his course to prepare him for the holy apostleship".
When we went over this story in class I felt chills and knew the Spirit was testifying to me that the same has been true in my own life as it is in all of our lives. We are often pruned, sometimes left heartbroken in order to be redirected down the path that is right for us. The Lord knows the desires of my heart. He knows I want to follow in his path and it hit me today that sometimes the trials I face are just an answer to my prayers. They are shaping me, pruning me and helping me become what the Lord needs me to be and ultimately what I want to be.