Everyone wants the fairytale right? “Isn’t that what we all desire: to be the heroes and heroines of our own stories; to triumph over adversity; to experience life in all its beauty; and, in the end, to live happily ever after?” (Elder Uchtdorf) Once I even had a client tell me he wanted the “Pretty Women” story. Personally I think that man is an idiot…you want to find a hooker, buy her love, transform her into what you want, never get too emotionally attached, and have your messed up happily ever after?! Again…that man’s an idiot. (PS: I also hate myself for loving when that movie comes on tv!)
Perhaps I should be mentioning something from last weekends conference…but I’m rewinding a bit to 2010. Elder Uchtdorf tells us in his talk, “Your Happily Ever After” that we can have our happy ending but, “It comes only through understanding who you are and what you must become in order to be worthy of such a gift.” Obviously the gift he speaks of is “the greatest gift of all – eternal life – and the opportunity and infinite blessing of your own “happily ever after.””
He speaks of trials being a part of the journey. Every main character in a fairytale has to overcome adversity. Whether the struggle lies in the company of two evil step-sisters, or a beast holding you captive – the main character has to overcome something for their desired result to come into fruition.
Here are my favorite bits of the talk:
…In stories, as in life, adversity teaches us things we cannot learn otherwise. Adversity helps to develop a depth of character that comes in no other way.
…It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop.
…Enduring adversity is not the only thing you must do to experience a happy life. Let me repeat: how you react to adversity and temptation is a critical factor in whether or not you arrive at your own “happily ever after.”
I was counseled by a Patriarch a few years back to find someone to marry that had been through some hard things and still chose to be faithful. He said that difficulties, heartbreak, and even tragedies will occur in various forms throughout a marriage. He observed that couples ended up in 2 separate categories after trials. Hardships in marriage either made them stronger or tore them apart. He counseled to find someone that would turn to God in times of need rather than turn away.
Since that time I have observed many people in regards to this philosophy. Once on a first date I learned of the recent loss of my date’s mother. The story was sad, and perhaps a little heavy for a first night out. However, I was incredibly impressed with the way it appeared that my date was handling that tragedy. I questioned if I myself would be able to stay strong and faithful after such a loss.
Another friend shared with me the divorce his parents went through while he was in his 20’s. It was an event that was overwhelming for him. He struggled to have life continue on as normal for a while. He eventually figured it out and dealt properly with that heartbreak. He hasn’t turned away from the Lord, and now has a happy growing family of his own.
There is something to be said of someone that’s been through some hardship and still comes out on top. That’s true character! I respect and really appreciate someone that’s had some hardship and worked through it. I give credit to that kind of devotion and dedication to what is right and true. I value those that act and are not acted upon. That’s the kind of person that’s going to stick with you when it’s hard and work for your own little version of ‘happily ever after!’