I work in the hospitality business. It isn’t my first choice, but it pays the bills. Not long ago, a choir stayed with us and wanted to have the chance to perform for the other guests. My boss found it to be an odd request, but she thought that it would be fun for the guests. So we did our best to make it work.
What happened? Everything went wrong. Everything. They showed up and the keys weren’t ready. Their luggage was taken to the wrong rooms. Dinner got delayed. Two other huge travel groups that were there were either early or late for this or that and just made people more and more frustrated. My boss was upset, but mostly embarrassed. I was in the performance space helping set up for the choir and missed a lot of the drama. As the choir came in to get ready, my boss came in and explained to me all the stuff that went wrong and why she was upset. She told me that this was one of the worst days she had ever had at this job and she was going to go home and just sleep and wasn’t sure that she was going to come to work the next day.
And then the choir started to sing. They were a Southern Baptist Choir and were naturally singing religious songs. “Gimme That Old Time Religion” and “Deep River”…stuff like that. They were songs that I was familiar with but didn’t know well, so it was good to listen to the words and hear the message of them. I looked over at my boss and realized that she was doing the same, because she was crying. She said, “You know? This just makes it all worth it. Everything is ok. It’s all ok.”
This poor woman was overworked and upset and just needed a little boost. She needed something to tell her that her efforts were not in vain and that someone noticed and cared. Heavenly Father gave her that comfort. She felt the spirit of the songs and it softened her heart, helped her let go of her anger and gave her peace. It was a very sweet moment.
I reflected on that for a bit and began to see more of those tender mercies in my own life. My calling has been very trying for me. I was called to be Elders Quorum President a while ago and I struggle to feel worthy of it. I still feel guilty for (and seem to often be reminded of) past indiscretions. I worry that I am not pleasing Heavenly Father. I feel like I am not doing enough for the brothers in the quorum or not doing all that I can to keep the spirit with me.
But as I have reflected on the other night with my boss, I realize that I am being pleasing to the Lord and he has made that clear. Elder Bednar mentions some of the following in the video below:
I have been given strength. I have been able to do hard things even when I was tired. I have had the will to resist temptation and have been able to say no to things that had often in the past been hard to say no to.
I have been given assurances. Several times I have had some very personal experiences with brothers in the ward or members of the bishopric or stake presidency that remind me that the Lord loves me and that I am pleasing unto him.
I have been given guidance. I have been led to do and say things that I would never have known to do or say otherwise. I have been able to have good healthy relationships with the men in the quorum without it feeling awkward or inappropriate for me. The guidance of the Lord has definitely been involved in that process.
I have been given protection, consolation, support, spiritual gifts…the list goes on. They are a direct gift given to me as a result of my faith and willingness to live the gospel. But the adversary knows this and has been working hard on me to keep me feeling unworthy or unloved.
This experience at work reminded me that God is aware of me. I think we all tend to overlook the tender mercies of our Heavenly Father sometimes. But we would do well to remember them. They are here for our benefit. We should seek to find them and be grateful for them. The Lord loves us even though we are imperfect. As we strive to be like him He blesses us. I thank God for his mercy and loving kindness. And like my boss I can say, “Everything is ok. It’s all ok.”