I sat stunned as Maggie said, "my friend told me about a bad man who killed all the kids." She said it in a way that made me think she had no idea how very real it was. Still, I was not ready for this. My eyes watered, and my heart broke even more than it already has over the last few days.
As the shock wore off, I realized how very real parenting just became for me. Changing diapers, potty training, and cleaning up a million messes could not be any less insignificant when using an eternal perspective.
Over the last few days I've turned to the words of our church leaders for peace and comfort, and these are a couple of my favorites:
"Perhaps each of us should consider building structures for our spiritual security that are free from the influences of the world—places where we can protect and teach family members how to meet the challenges of a world that is always threatening core gospel values. I prefer to be optimistic, so I continue to hope for positive change in the world. But I’m also a realist, so I form a contingency plan in case positive changes don’t come. My contingency plan for spiritual security must account for all the content—both good and evil—that is being pushed through various media."
Elder L. Tom Perry
The Tradition of Light and Testimony. Dec. 2012 Ensign
full text here.
"It would be easy to become discouraged and cynical about the future—or even fearful of what might come—if we allowed ourselves to dwell only on that which is wrong in the world and in our lives. Today, however, I’d like us to turn our thoughts and our attitudes away from the troubles around us and to focus instead on our blessings as members of the Church. The Apostle Paul declared, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
President Thomas S. Monson,
Be of Good Cheer. April 2009 General Conference
full text here.
I am so very sad for those in Newtown, Connecticut, whose loss I can't even begin to comprehend. The horror is more than my mind can fathom. But, what I do know, is that it makes what I am doing to raise my children righteously all the more important. I have courage. I have hope. I have faith. I can do it.