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Summer Knight
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by Jim Butcher (Goodreads Author)
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“Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism.

Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize. On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion. His last recorded words to his disciples were, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He's been there. He's been lower than all that. He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief.

You know that people who live above a certain latitude and experience very long winter nights can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day. Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him.”
Chieko N. Okazaki

Terryl L. Givens
“As an inmate of a concentration camp, Corrie Ten Boom heard a commotion, and saw a short distance away a prison guard mercilessly beating a female prisoner. “What can we do for these people?” Corrie whispered. “Show them that love is greater,” Betsie replied. In that moment, Corrie realized her sister’s focus was on the prison guard, not the victim she was watching. Betsie saw the world through a different lens. She considered the actions of greatest moral gravity to be the ones we originate, not the ones we suffer.”
Terryl L. Givens, The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life

“Hooray for differences! Without them, there would be no harmony. In principles, great clarity. In practices, great charity.”
Chieko N. Okazaki, Lighten Up

Terryl L. Givens
“The first time the word worship appears in the King James Version of the Old Testament, it appears with appalling import. 'Abide ye here,' Abraham tells his servant, while 'I and the lad go yonder and worship.' The terrible offering of his son's life is what the Bible's first instance of 'worship' portends. In the New Testament, the word worship first appears again in conjunction with a costly offering. It is used in reference to the wise men, who 'worshipped' the Christ child by 'open[ing] their treasure' and 'present[ing] unto him gifts.' Worship, then, is about what we are prepared to relinquish--what we give up at personal cost.”
Terryl L. Givens, The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections On the Quest for Faith

“Only you know your circumstances, your energy level, the needs of your children, and the emotional demands of your other obligations. Be wise during intensive seasons of your life. Cherish your agency, and don’t give it away casually. Don’t compare yourself to others — nearly always this will make you despondent. Don’t accept somebody else’s interpretation of how you should be spending your time. Make the best decision you can and then evaluate it to see how it works.”
Chieko N. Okazaki, Lighten Up

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