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Thursday night I went to a Relief Society activity with a Chicken Soup for the Soul theme. After a talk on gratitude and a tasty chicken soup dinner, a sister spoke about trials she has had throughout life, such as infertility, divorce, a brain tumor, and a child with Down Syndrome. She titled her talk "My Life with a Lemon Tree and a Bowl of Sugar."

Although I have heard "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade" all my life and usually dismiss it, this sister made me see the metaphor in a new light. She talked about the tree of life from Lehi's dream, which represents the plan of salvation, and how it is the source of sugar. When we use the plan of salvation (sugar) to get through our trials (the lemons), we have lemonade. She closed with, "After a while I stopped labeling things lemons and sugar, because things I thought were lemons ended up being sugar, and things I thought were sugar were also tart. I learned to put the lemons and sugar together and see and enjoy life as lemonade."

I never thought of it that way before. Usually I thought of the quote as meaning we have to add the sugar to life's lemons in order to make lemonade, that we need to just grin and bear it. But in reality, the sugar comes from the gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. When we allow Him to carry our burdens, the trials seem not as tart. We still taste the tartness and learn from it, but we can swallow it, and even enjoy it, thanks to the added sweetness of the Savior.

Discussion: What does the quote mean to you?


Anonymous said…
A few years ago my visiting teachers gave me a card designed like a book of matches but bigger. One of the sisters is very crafty and made it. Inside was an envelope of instant lemonade. The cover showed a tall glass of lemonade and below it were the words "When life hands you lemons...MAKE LEMONADE! Some time later I asked why the lemonade card? The response was that I've inspired them because they saw me do this. The lemonade is long gone but the card has remained on the bookcase next to my computer. It means that you do the best with what you have and where you are in spite of the pain, disconfort, disappointments, or hardship. This is not easy but doable. I know this to be true. Of course, you can apply it to the gospel as this sister has.

Anonymous said…
fruits have been used for parables - tame and wild olive trees, figs, Lehi's Vision with the fruit so white, and of course fruit was used in tempting our First Parents

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