The teachers approach was different from the beginning.
Instead of doing an overview of the pre-mortal existence, where we chose to follow Gods plan, she started talking about preparation. Ironic since I had just been thinking about how to prepare, what my ultimate goals were and where my focus should be.
When we are preparing for something we take into consideration what we need, who will be there, and how much time things will take.
She contrasted this with the fact that God is a God of order, that we were preparing to meet the challenges that we would face while here on the earth and that God gave us the circumstances that we would need in order to grow. That if we make the right choices in this life we will be able to return to him, and all have opportunities to make choices, no matter the circumstance.
She then talked about probation, that when we hear this word we might identify it with someone who is under probation after committing a crime but the true meaning of the word involves a period of time where we are given a chance to prove ourselves whether we will meet the conditions for being there.
pro·ba·tion (prō bā′s̸hən)
- a testing or trial, as of a person's character, ability to meet requirements, etc.
- the suspension of sentence of a person convicted but not yet imprisoned, on condition of continued good behavior and regular reporting to a probation officer
- the status of a person being tested or on trial: a student on probation because of low grades
- the period of testing or trial
So if this earth life is a probation then what are we proving, what is the test for?
Here a distinction was made which I think is definitive, at least for me. We are not here to prove to God what we will do we are here to prove to ourselves what we will do, where we fit ourselves to be, what standards we will meet...
Another thing that is interesting to me is that God is sure of his plans, he knows he is doing the right thing and we can have assurance of that.
There have been so many times that I have made plans and then I doubt them, from my own failures I pick up a sense of doubt about whether or not I can complete the plans that I have made. So I am going to make it a point to believe in the plans that I make, in fact post a statement to that effect on my mirror if I have to.
It was also pointed out during the lesson that we all come to earth with different circumstances, that we make choices and others make choices that affect us and that God is the perfect judge. Jesus Christ knows us, he knows our grief and sorrows because he has borne them for our sake and that all of our lives will be taken into account, not just the things that you see on the surface.
Here is where comes in the "Bitter Gall." At some point I lost the way, again, about my purpose here on earth. I forgot my relationship with my Heavenly Father and with all of his children and thought that life is about "making it," "being successful." In reality, the only thing that really matters is how well I raise my children and what kind of a person I am at the end of my life.
Making enough money to support myself would be nice though. Plus being able to follow through on a couple of interests... but the ultimate goal is raising my children well and returning to him knowing that I have given my best effort at life, at being a good person, and loving those that I meet.
Finally I realized, again, that it is possible to love others despite their imperfections and that is one other goal to strive for.