"No obstacles are insurmountable when God commands and we obey"
- - Heber J. Grant
October 13, 2015
The Art of Productive Worrying
by Daryl Hoole

I’m really good at worrying. I worry so well, in fact, that Hank designated me as the family worrier. And there is plenty of opportunity for worrying because there is always someone in the family, if not several, who cause some concern for one reason or another.

Even while worrying, I realize that it’s futile. I have to agree with whoever said, “Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It keeps you busy but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”

I know that worrying is self-defeating. This saying, attributed to Mary Engelbreit, sums the matter up well: “Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strengths.”

Nevertheless, I continue to worry. I’ve gradually come to realize over the years, however, that the problem is not that I worry; it’s how I worry that is the issue. There are two kinds of worrying. One is reactive and results in wringing hands and losing sleep. The other is proactive, which results in solving problems and helping things go right.

So now, as the matriarch of a large family of four generations, I’m trying hard to become a proactive worrier. May I share the following suggestions for solving problems and helping things go right:

  • Speak words that edify, heal, comfort, encourage, and strengthen. “A friend [family member] is someone who knows the song in your heart so well that he/she can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.” (Unknown)

  • Show love and acceptance. “If someone who is close to you (a spouse, child, sibling, friend) is wayward [or struggling], you should place your frustration [concern] at the feet of the Savior and extend your love to that person. Too often we do it the other way around and take our frustration out on the person and accelerate our service to the Lord to show our love.” (John L. Lund, CES)

  • Allow loved ones to learn and grow from the trials of mortality. “I wished for my children an easy Eden. Instead they have learned wisdom, courage, faith and hope.” (Unknown)

  • Stand firm and immovable on solid gospel ground. “Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity,” (1 Timothy 4:12).

  • Fast and pray, place names on the temple prayer roll, and seek priesthood blessings. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding,” (Proverbs 3:5). “If one prays for healing, and healing comes, testimony is strengthened. If one prays for healing and healing does not come, testimony is perfected.” (Unknown)

  • Seek counsel from bishops and other ecclesiastical leaders. “What I the Lord hath spoken... whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same,” (D&C 1:39)

  • Engage professional help from physicians, mental health professionals, family counselors, tutors, and other qualified people. “Faith without works is dead,” (James 2:14-26).

  • Live with hope. “The daily work of the Lord involves changing hopeless to hopeful — for all of us. And it is for us to find at last that in the midst of winter we have within us an invincible summer. In a world filled with adversity we can reach for joy. (Elaine Cannon)

  • Be of good cheer. “Being of good cheer is being valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Elder Neal A. Maxwell)

  • Believe in miracles. “The most remarkable thing about miracles is that they happen.” (Unknown)

  • Know that everything will work out in the end. “...Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed,” (D&C 123:17).

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About Daryl Hoole

A native of Salt Lake City, Daryl Hoole has written and lectured extensively on home management and family living. She has served on the ward, stake, regional, and general levels of the Church. It has also been her privilege to fulfill three missions -- once to the Netherlands when she was young and single; another time as companion to her husband as he presided over the Netherlands Amsterdam Mission; and the third time with two other senior couples as Asia Area Welfare/Humanitarian Administrators, headquartered in Hong Kong.

She and her husband Hank and are the parents of eight living children, the grandparents of thirty-six, and the great-grandparents of a rapidly increasing number.

Her website is www.theartofhomemaking.com.

She currently serves in the Salt Lake Temple as a sealing assistant.

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