I have to give an unadulterated shout-out for my Uncle Dave. He's a vet here in the Boise area and he's been taking care of our cats for as long as we've had them. He does a great job -- all the shots they need, none they don't, and he COMES TO YOUR HOUSE. That's right, no more loading the cats in the carrier and taking them to the vet! He has a completely renovated RV that he does the work in. And right now they have a new special where you can pay just $15 a month ($10 more per month for extra pets) and get a slew of benefits, including 2 exams per year and basic shots, plus lots of other benefits. Our cats hate him but we LOVE him. He keeps our babies healthy. If you want to check him out go to his website.
I was in a panic this week. Anxiety attacks, worry, worry, worry. I had a linguistics test, 100 questions, and the material is HARD. Oh, how I worried. I also studied though. You can't JUST worry, that's not productive. So I studied, and made flash cards, and highlighted, and read, and studied. Finally test day came. I took my pencil to class and took the test. Just taking it was a relief, but it was an extra relief to see it wasn't as hard as my often-psychotic mind was telling me that it was. The studying helped. A lot. And the praying helped. A lot. And the next day the test results came in and guess what. I had a 94%, the highest grade in the class. In both classes, even. And the professor gave us our ranking for the semester thus far, and guess who's number one? Me! Which means that not only am I a nerd, but I am also a worrywart, and no matter how much circumstances and God try to prove to me that I am smart, I still don't believe it. I would much rather believe the idiots who try to tell me that I am stupid.
Now the challenge is to believe it enough to be at peace with myself, but not so much that I get all cocky and think that I can skate by without hard work. Which I keep getting tempted to do in my other class, which is also very hard. Why is everything so hard? I think it's because I'm lazy and I'm afraid to try. It takes 90% of my effort just to TRY, and then I'm exhausted. Dumb.
A discussion on the forum I frequent has reminded me of the fact that there are basically three types of Mormons/Christians.
What non-believers often focus on are the "hellfire and damnation" type. Nothing and no one is ever good enough, so you should constantly feel really guilty, or hopeless, or both. While it is true that no one is perfect, the important thing is that we are trying, and repenting. To focus on shortcomings is to deny the Atonement of Christ. The biggest way I've seen this destroy lives is through children who grow up feeling hopeless and/or unloved because the love they are shown is conditional on their obedience, so they feel that God's love for them is conditional as well and they will never 'earn' it.
What I see increasingly, though, is the "feel good" type. As 2nd Nephi 28:8 says, "And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beatuswith a fewstripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God." I see this attitude way too much lately. "oh that commandment is too hard to keep, so I won't be held accountable for it,"or "we'll just do the work for Uncle Jim after he dies, then all will be well." God will not be mocked. We are supposed to keep the commandments, that's why they are there. God's love for us cannot be changed -- He ALWAYS loves us -- but there are laws in place that must be kept before we can live with Him again. That's why the atonement is there...but we have to USE it. It doesn't just magically take care of everything by itself. We have to repent.
Then there is the third type -- those few who battle on to keep the commandments, repent, and have faith and hope in the Savior and His redeeming sacrifice for us. I think most of us struggle and slip into the first or second categories on occasion. I know I do. Boy howdy. But the Lord is always there for us, waiting for us to repent and come unto Him. He even helps us do it.