I am taking a Doctrine and Covenants class right now and was thinking a lot about Zion's Camp and the journey that the early Mormon saints were asked to travel on (This is a very watered down version of the story). They traveled 800 miles because of people struggling in Missouri and a revelation from God to assemble the camp and leave. The original plan was for the state militia to reinstate Mormons into Jackson County lands and for Zion's camp to defend the saints when they had their property returned. In the end the Missouri governor did not call out the militia. Instead of attacking the Missourians, the Lord told Joseph to disband the camp and turn around and come home. There were so many difficult situations on this journey and I can't imagine how frustrating that would have been. I am sure they were thinking, "soooo....what was the point of this again? We came all this way for nothing."
However, when they were able to look back, they could see how much they had grown, and how ultimately it had prepared Brigham Young and many other saints for the future, much larger, journey they would have to make to come to Utah.
In one of the journals I read it said, "Upon arriving in Kirtland, many heckled Brigham Young for going west with the camp. 'Who has it benefited?' he remembered them asking. 'If the Lord did command it to be done, what object had he in view in doing so?' But Brigham knew of the valuable experiences he had learned. 'I told those brethren that I was well paid - paid with heavy interest - yea that my cup was filled to overflowing with the knowledge that I had received by traveling...'".
So many experiences in my life have not worked out how I thought it should. Often times I have prayed for support and inspiration and have gone with what I felt the Lord had asked me to do. I did it, and it did not work out...even though I had made the journey, I had to turn around and come home. It really is a frustrating experience and can sometimes make you question your faith. This has happened in my dating life, my mission (especially), my health, school, jobs...etc. However, not a single time have I looked back after I have gone further in my journey and not seen a purpose, or felt gratitude that things didn't work out how I thought was best.
I am just so grateful that I am not the one in charge. I'm so grateful that I don't always get the things I ask for in the timing I think is best. I know in order for me to really accomplish the things I have set out to do with my full potential, I needed more experience and growth before I was ready for the good intentions of my heart.
After I thought about this further, I came across these scriptures is D&C 105:9-10 that summed up what I was feeling perfectly:
"...it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season for the redemption of Zion- That they themselves may be prepared, and that my people may be taught more perfectly, and have experience, and know more perfectly concerning their duty and the things which I require at their hands."
My health problems have taught me so many principles, especially patience and compassion, with more depth than could have possibly taken place any other way for me. I know that it is preparing me for much bigger things. I need to continue to have the faith that even though things have not worked out as I want them to for all these years, that it is for a very good purpose.
Our journeys are never, ever in vain.
Never give up. Keep going. Trust God. Stay faithful.
If you are struggling, and need a good boost.....I promise you, this is one of the most powerful talks I have ever heard. Pretty sure he wrote it for me.