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Looking at Clouds from Both Sides

By Jes Scoville

I’ve written this blog post a few times. Every time it’s come out a little whiny, a little self-indulgent. Maybe it’s because I’m tired and weary and spread pretty thin right now. But we all are, aren’t we? We’re all stumbling across overdue field trip forms as we rush everyone out the door in the morning or picking up blankets that smell oddly of pee or staring at a computer screen until our contacts scrape against our lids. We’re all doing something that is pushing us to our limit. (And God bless and protect those who are beyond the limit — who are standing there watching something they love burn to the ground.)

So I just want to tell you what happened to me Saturday morning and then I’ll let you get back to whatever is pressing on your mind today.

When President Nelson asked us to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year, I resisted. I was deep into a study of the New Testament that was filling my soul in ways that scripture study hadn’t in a long time. I felt like I was connecting with the Savior. I felt like I was becoming part of the broader contingent of Christianity. I felt like I was making spiritual progress. But I just kept getting this itch at the back of my head and I knew that I needed to change course, just for a couple of months.

So I started listening to the Book of Mormon constantly. I’ve been carrying my phone in my pocket with that calm voice crying out “Behold!” every few minutes.

Which brings me back to Saturday. I was doing chores, as one does. And I had the Book of Mormon playing in my pocket. I got to the top of the stairs with my basket of laundry and that voice, just for moment, didn’t sound like it was in my pocket. It sounded like it was all around me, like it was reaching to me from heaven. It sounded like the tenderest moment. It sounded like the answers to all the questions I’ve been asking. It sounded like my Father and Mother talking to me. And here’s what they said,

Doth [the Lord] cry unto any, saying: Depart from me?
Behold, I say unto you, Nay.

Hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the houses of worship?
Behold, I say unto you, Nay.

Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation?
Behold I say unto you, Nay.

Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness?
Behold, I say unto you, Nay.

He inviteth all his children to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and all are alike unto God.

And what I didn’t tell you is that Friday night I had been on my knees and said a tiny prayer: just wondering, Father, do you love me, do you love me even though my temple marriage didn’t last and I’m not a stay at home mom and I turned down a calling and I just keep messing up?

Standing at the top of those stairs, I knew that I am just as precious to my Heavenly Parents as I was five years ago and ten years ago and eighteen years ago and even a millenia ago when They held me in Their arms. And you are too. No matter what you’ve done or survived or thought or wished, They say, Come, partake of Our goodness.

So when there are clouds that seem to be covering you, remember the other side. Remember that above the clouds there is sun and light and eternal love that is deeper and broader and more comprehensive than you can imagine right now. And do They deny anyone (anyone at all) that love?

No. They don’t.

About Jes Scoville

Jes grew up in the mountains. After many years living all over the US, she is happy to finally be back west. Most days are filled with work and kids and writing and reading.
She is certain the future is bright.

8 thoughts on “Looking at Clouds from Both Sides”

  1. If only we could all understand this all the time. We all need reminders from time to time that we're good enough and loved just the way we are! Thanks for the reminder!

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  2. The descendant of many Mormons, I understand your piece. It's beautiful and while I don't practice the same religion, I treasure your experience with the divine. (I'm a humanist/cultural relativist.) This moved me deeply, as so many of your writings do.

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  3. Wow. This is so real. so breathtaking. so prosaic yet everlasting. so intimate. I just love this. Thanks, Jes! And that passage! How I wish I could hear that from the pulpit (or my pocket) all the time!

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  4. I love this. I've been having a great time listening to the scriptures at well – my first time trying that approach. I think the frequency is what makes a difference. Can I read this in my relief society lesson at the end of the month?

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  5. Thank you, everyone, for your kindness. (WordPress isn't letting me respond individually, likely an operator error.) I love you all. (And Holly, I really want to talk to you about what it means to be a cultural relativist because it sounds so cool and because I like talking to you.)

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