- By Elder Thatcher

A Thematic Blog - -By Elder Thatcher
"By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 28, 2011

Subtle Realities - Fruits of the Spirit

Recently, I visited a good friend in the hospital.  She is elderly and having numerous health problems.  As my companion and I came into the room, she was awake and sitting up and we began to talk.  She is the type of person who, in her earlier life, was outspoken and powerful, but at the same time has very tender feelings and has suffered much.  She is kind-hearted and thoughtful and she trusts God. 

While laying on her hospital bed, she was connected to a miriad of wires and tubes and the like--electronic pads and interveinous whatnot.  A screen above her and to her right showed her blood pressure, temperature, heart-rate, and a number of other things that I don't understand.  All I know is that when graph shows a consistent pattern of troughs and peaks, things are good.  I also know that a good resting heart-rate is somewhere around 70 beats per minute.  Hers read in the mid 90's. 

We took two seats a few feet from the foot of her bed.  She was very willing to talk.  She seemed exhausted but capable--pained but driven. 
She had been there for about a week. 

After talking for a few minutes, I opened up my scriptures and shared with her several of my favorite passages from the Book of Mormon in an attempt to bring her comfort.  I assured her that I know that her Savior knows the pain that she was dealing with, that He knows her sickness and He knows her desires, diligence, and dedication.  She nodded quietly in gratitude. 

I had glanced at the heart monitor several times since sitting down.  Her pulse had normalized and was reading between 75-80 bpm.  She had been seated normally before we got there.  Her level of physical exertion hadn't really changed.  But I could physically see the peace that came over her.  I felt it, but it struck me that I was able to see it. 

Paul taught that "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." (Gal. 5:22-23)

Or, in others' words,

"[The Holy Spirit] quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use.  It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections of our nature.  It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity.  It develops beauty of person, form and features.  It tends to health, vigor, animation and social feeling.  It develops and invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man.  It strengthens, invigorates, and gives tone to the nerves.  In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being." 
-Parly P. Pratt

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