"We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention."
- - Gordon B. Hinckley
November 13, 2012
To Everything There is a Season
by Vickey Pahnke Taylor

“To everything there is a season.” This scripture from Ecclesiastes is one of my favorites. The amazing thing about this scripture is that my heart’s connection to it has changed and grown through the years, as my perspective has improved.

Here’s a story that beautifully illustrates the importance of a deeper perspective:

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go & look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in winter, the second in spring, the third in summer, and the youngest in the fall. When they had all gone and returned, he called to together to describe what they had seen.

  • The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent and twisted.
  • The second son said it was covered with green buds and full of promise.
  • The third son said, no, it was laden with blossoms that smelled sweet and looked so beautiful and full of promise.
  • The fourth son disagreed, saying it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The man explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had seen only one season in the life of the tree. He told them you cannot judge a tree- or a person- by only one season, and that the essence of who they are, and the pleasure, joy and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.

If you give up when it’s winter, you miss the promise of your springs, the beauty of your summers, and the fulfillment of your falls.

on’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don’t judge life by one difficult time. Persevere through the hard patches and better times are sure to come.

I appreciate that story. The concept has helped me when I’m in a funk, when I’m embarrassed beyond all reason, when I am weary and unable to catch much of a vision at all, or when I mistake a current joyous high of life as a norm. Nope. Life is about all the seasons and the perspective that comes with them.

I think it’s safe to assume that I’m in the “fall” of my life at this point. I’ve seen a lot of yearly seasons come and go. With them, there have been tender “springs,” blossoming “summers,” harvests of “autumn,” and cold, dark “winters.”

God is with us in all the seasons of our life. He tenderly, lovingly watches over, and grants us opportunities to see things in an ever-increasingly full way.

For certain, I understand that when I’ve seen things from only one season’s perspective, the view is very limited. Sometimes I view myself from only one season’s perspective. That is harsh and silly — and not at all correct.

Gratefully, our Father in Heaven sees all the seasons as He sees us in our complete state. Little wonder He is so patient, and loved us enough to send his Only Begotten Son. We’re beloved. We are much more than our present season, or the previous ones in our mortal journey.

To everything there is a season. There’s a lot to think about in these words. A lot to ponder over. A great deal to be thankful for. It allows us a good perspective.

And goodness matters.

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About Vickey Pahnke Taylor

Vickey Pahnke Taylor is a wife, mom, grandmother, teacher, author, and songwriter. Her undergraduate study at BYU was musical theater. She has a Masters degree in interpersonal communications.

A Billboard award-winning songwriter with hundreds of songs to her credit, she uses music as a teaching tool. But her favorite way to use music has been to sing to her children. You should hear the family's rousing versions of "Happy Birthday"!

In addition to three solo albums in the LDS market, she co-wrote "Women at the Well" with Kenneth Cope and "My Beloved Christ: with Randy Kartchner. She is co-writer of the theme song for Utah's Make-A-Wish foundation, the song for the Special Olympics program, and EFY's theme song.

She writes for several online magazines and columns, and has authored several books. Her website, www.goodnessmatters.com, is her way of continuing to grow goodness in the world, pointing people gently toward Christ and eternal principles of truth.

She has spoken for the Church's various Youth and Family programs for 25 years. She and her husband Dean have eight children and four grandchildren. She adores being a wife, mom and grandmother. She loves flowers, brownies, cooking Italian and Southern foods, the ocean, and laughing every chance she gets.

Vickey was baptized a member of the Church as a teenager in Virginia. She serves as gospel doctrine teacher in her ward, and Dean serves on their stake high council.

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