Image source and credit: Photo by Cadetgray under the Attribution-ShareAlike CC 3.0 portable license

~by Michelle

I was recently thinking about the people who helped deepen my roots of belief, and S. Michael Wilcox is one of them. I took a Book of Mormon class from him my freshman year of college at Brigham Young University. I intend to write more about that in another post.

But for today, I wanted to share this podcast discussion with Dr./Brother Wilcox that a friend recently sent to me. Dr. Wilcox has studied and written about the questions Jesus asks in the New Testament. This question He asks of Mary is one He might ask us all at some point (or points) in our lives.

Brother Wilcox talks in his writings, and in this podcast, from experience in a vulnerable, tender way about losing his wife to an aggressive form of brain cancer ten years ago. He reflects on impressions he’s had when wrestling with the hard things in the world, the problem of evil. He shares scriptures that have helped him hold on when things have felt dark…including still at times, now ten years after his wife passed away.

For me, Brother Wilcox has a way of bringing the scriptures to life and giving me new lenses with which to engage them. He shows how endlessly full of truth and light and inspiration they are, especially when we go to them with questions of the heart.

[The question given to Mary at the tomb was], ‘Why weepest thou?’…Mary, to me represents all the pain of the world in that moment, all the pain seems to be in that one woman. And now even the body of the Savior is gone. ..And I love the three words, “She turned herself.” …we have our empty tombs, things we look into and there’s nothing there, but darkness, the empty tomb. She turned from it to the living Christ.

Brother Wilcox also can see God and life truths in the natural world. His thoughts the ibex goat, for example, feel like they could be relevant for many who may be passing through struggles with their faith, or even just how the struggles around us can sometimes make places to get our footing feel all the more rare or even apparently non-existent.

The video below will make Brother Wilcox’s insights from Habakkuk all the more poignant.

Sometimes I have to say to myself, “Lord,” Habakkuk’s prayer, “give me hinds feet. Just give me hinds feet. There’s not any answers. I don’t know the whys, maybe I don’t have anybody that’s watching and tarrying with me. I’m just desperate. I’m exceeding sorrowful unto death. And my path is only a half an inch wide, and I’m on a vertical cliff. Give me Habakkuk’s hinds feet for the high places.”

I love all those Hs, that alliteration. Habakkuk, hinds, high. “Just give me those feet.” So I’ll hold on because I know from experience the path widens again, things change. 

We’re all going to get our Mary-Jesus moment[s] when Jesus says [our name],” and we turn. And [the pain will] be over.

Sometimes those moments will come interspersed throughout life. Brother Wilcox has shared many such moments over the years, and he continues to share in his writing and speaking.

In my life, we look for what I call the attic moments and every single day there’ll be a dozen of them. So I don’t have in my life the big joy, the grand happiness, which for me is Laurie. For Latter-Day Saints, it’s love, it’s family, it’s relationships. I don’t think the celestial kingdom is a place. I think the celestial kingdom is people…. It’s relationships. It’s not an environment. It’s relationships. I don’t have that now. The big center of the painting [is missing for now], but there are all kinds of attic moments, little happinesses all around. And we look for those and they come all the time.”

There’s so much in this podcast that I would love to share, but instead, I’ll just send you to the original interview. You can also read some of his thoughts in this article.

Why Weepest Thou? – A conversation with S. Michael Wilcox: {NOTE: Linking to this episode does not imply endorsement of the website housing the podcast or other interviews on the site.}

[And here’s an ibex video…there are several available on YouTube]

*This post has been edited from the original